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Spring Semester AY2011-2012
Department of Political Science
University of Georgia
Athens, GA, 30602-1615

Classroom: Baldwin 302
Time: 3:35 - 6:35PM Wednesdays

Instructor: Keith T. Poole

Office: Room 304D Baldwin Hall
E-Mail: ktpoole@uga.edu
WebSite: Voteview Home Page

Office Hours: Thursday 3:00 - 5:00PM

The following texts will be used in this course:


Grades will be determined by a series of 4 short (10 double-spaced pages or less) required papers evaluating the readings. The papers will be due approximately every 3-4 weeks.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction: Defining the Subject Matter


  2. The Nature of Belief Systems


  3. The Fanatic


    • The True Believer
    • Federalist Number 10 (Annotated)
    • Is History A Fraud?, in The Inequality of Man, J. B. S. Haldane, London: Pelican Books, 2nd edition, 1937.
    • Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder. New York: Basic Books, 2010.


    • Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, by Simon Sebag Montefiore. New York: Vintage, 2003.
    • The Black Book of Communism, by Mark Kramer, Jonathan Murphy, Stephane Courtois, and Jean-Louis Panne. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

  4. Overview: American Politics, 1879 - 1947


    • Chapters 1 and 2, Polarized America
    • Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Party Ideologies in America, 1828 - 1996

  5. Income Inequality and Political Polarization


    • "The Polarization of American Politics," by Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal, Journal of Politics, 46 (Nov.): 1061-1079, 1984.
    • Chapters 3 and 4, Polarized America
    • Chapter 8, Party Ideologies in America, 1828 - 1996

  6. Political Polarization After 1990


    • Culture War?

  7. Political Polarization After 2000


  8. Recommended:

    • The Disappearing Center: Engaged Citizens, Polarization, and American Democracy, by Alan I. Abramowitz. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010.
    • Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in American Politics, by Morris P. Fiorina. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009.
    • Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State, by Andrew Gelman et al. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010 (expanded edition).
    • Party Polarization in Congress, by Sean Theriault. New York: Cambridge, 2008.
    • The Big Sort, by Bill Bishop. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

  9. The Public Policy Consequences of Political Polarization


Site Links

NOMINATE Data, Roll Call Data, and Software
Course Web Pages: UGA (2010 - )
Course Web Pages: UC San Diego (2004 - 2010)
University of San Diego Law School (2005)
Course Web Pages: University of Houston (2000 - 2005)
Course Web Pages: Carnegie-Mellon University (1997 - 2000)
Spatial Models of Parliamentary Voting
Recent Working Papers
Analyses of Recent Politics
About This Website
K7MOA Log Books: 1960 - 2012
Bio of Keith T. Poole
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