JUNIOR SEMINAR: Democratic Representation and Distributive Politics

Tu 12-2
791 Barrows
Course Description: 

How is democratic representation related to the ways in which public resources are allocated by the state? This question is at the heart of much work in political science. Analyses of elected officials’ effort across policy versus direct distribution, or the specific dynamics of pork barrel politics, clientelism, and constituency service, attempt to shed light on the implications of politicians’ actions for everyday citizens. In this junior seminar, we will consider theories of democratic representation and how they map onto our current understandings of democracy in both developed and developing countries. We will then examine arguments for how representation plays out in practice, what these empirical realities in turn imply for our theoretical understanding of democratic representation, and the distributional implications for various groups and individuals in society, including politicians themselves. Our discussions will draw on analyses of political behavior in Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, and South Asia.   

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.


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