Junior Seminar: Crime and Democracy

Th 3-5
791 Barrows
Course Description: 
This seminar will survey research on how voters and politicians react to crime. It will examine crime from the perspective of voters, such as how they react to crime, who they blame for crime, and whether they hold politicians accountable for rising crime. It will also examine how politicians respond to voters, analyzing whether politicians exploit voters’ fears, whether they manipulate crime statistics, and why they pursued policies that led to mass incarceration. In covering these topics, we will review research on why crime has generally fallen over the last few centuries, why it may have risen in the 1960s-1980s, and why it fell in the 1990s. While surveying this research, the course will also focus on training students to rigorously evaluate quantitative evidence for causal claims.

The Junior Seminars are intense writing seminars which focus on the research area of the faculty member teaching the course. The seminars provide an opportunity for students to have direct intellectual interactions with faculty members while also giving the students an understanding for faculty research. Junior seminars fulfill upper division requirements for the major.

Subfield: American Politics

Students who took PS 109Z "Crime and Democracy" with Professor Lenz cannot take this course due to the substantial similarity in course content.



Students will be able to directly enroll in this junior seminar in Phase 1 as long as they are declared Political Science majors in their junior or senior year (based on year, NOT units) and haven't taken a junior seminar before.  NOTE:  IF you have taken a junior seminar before, you must wait until Phase 2 to enroll; otherwise, you will be eventually dropped from the seminar.  

Group visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users