This course offers an in-depth understanding of the antecedents and consequences of public opinion and political behavior in American politics. Particular emphasis is given to the theoretical and methodological approaches central to scholarship in this area. The course is divided into three sections. Part one serves as an introduction and examines the normative and empirical underpinning of public opinion and the classic model of individual opinion and behavior. Part two focuses on revisionist models and approaches to the study of individual and collective opinion and behavior. Part three examines the processes and institutions (i.e., elections, political parties, and interest groups) by which public opinion is aggregated, infused, and diffused into the governing and policy-making processes.
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