We live in a representative democracy – but what does it mean to be adequately represented? How do we, as political scientists, evaluate the quality of political representation? In what ways are certain groups excluded from political processes? How can we create a more representative government? This course grapples with these questions and introduces students to the concept of political representation. In the first half of the quarter, we will explore various definitions and theories of representation. In the second half of the quarter, we will read and analyze empirical studies of political representation (with an emphasis on gender, sexuality, race, citizenship, age, and disability). While much of this course focuses on the United States, we will also learn from examples in other countries.
Course Learning Objectives
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
Understand and evaluate competing theories of political representation
Analyze the status of political representation in the United States
Read and comprehend empirical political science research related to political representation
See improvement in their written and oral communication skills