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Political Science Questions

Political Science Questions


there is a lot of evidence of Partisan Polarization in American politics right now.  But it is also true that this narrative of a neat division of all voters into 2 parties obscures a more complex reality.  

For example, here are the results of your participation in the Pew Center’s typology survey (which I run to include spring and summer students).  Even among a group of college students in San Diego, there is a lot of diversity in viewpoints that does not get reflected in the blue/red binary:

   Typology Results – Rodriguez classes
7235f19e 6d5a 4984 aa21 cbb4bd0c9723As you’ve seen, political scientists have helped to explain how our ELECTORAL SYSTEM (the way we organize elections and count votes) contributes to the dominance of the Democratic and Republican parties, and also why these two parties have in recent years seemed to become the basis of deeply antagonistic identities.

But political scientists have also pointed to ELECTORAL SYSTEM REFORMS  that can ease the hold of the 2 party narrative and maybe weaken the trend toward political parties being the organizing frame for hostile “mega-identities.” 

In this paper, you will CHOOSE 1 of the 3 reforms described on this page, and then write a paper with the following elements: 

  1. very briefly- what does the reform do to change the way elections are organized and/or the votes are counted?  
  2. what is the current status of state experimentation with this reform? (you’ll find this either in a news story or at the website for an interest group advocating for the reform)
    • include a map of which states are trying this reform
  3. what is one RESEARCH question that has recently been published about this reform?  (use the research article you selected at the Mesa library for this – this is one of the hypotheses in the article)
    • include a direct quote from one journal article for this element
  4. what groups and/or interests, seem to prefer this reform?  
  5. what groups and/or interests seem NOT to prefer this reform?  
  6. what are the arguments for/against this reform ?
  7. what is your critical opinion of this reform?  

You should include a direct quote from at least: 

2 recent news stories

1 political science journal article 

You MUST access a journal article via the MESA library.  I have included instructions for each reform on the linked page.  This paper is NOT about the presidential election system.  You should be thinking about legislators who represent people in the House, Senate, state level offices etc……

Lmk if you have any trouble finding and/or accessing the newspaper and journal articles or if you have any questions about the topic.   

Max 1200 words.

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