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Course PSCI 6333, Political and Civic Organizations

Professor Robert Lowry

Term Spring 2010
Meetings Tuesday 7-9:45 pm, SOM 2.802

Professor’s Contact Information

Office Phone 972-883-6720
Office Location Green Hall 3.533
Email Address
Office Hours Tuesday 6-7, Wednesday 1:30-3:30, or by appointment.

General Course Information

Political and civic organizations are the chief vehicles enabling individual
citizens to come together and pursue common interests in politics and
public life in democracies. The academic political science literature has
traditionally focused on political parties and “interest groups,” but in
recent years political scientists have focused more of their attention on
organizations that are not overtly political, but that nonetheless provide
Course Description opportunities for civic engagement and the creation of social capital.

This course presents an institutional perspective on political parties,

interest groups, and other organizations such as labor unions and non-
profit organizations that are important actors in political and civic affairs.
The emphasis is on internal operations of organizations, their strategic
behavior, and interactions with government, including both regulation by
the state and attempts to influence public decision makers.

On completing this course, students should:

1. Understand important theories and controversies regarding the
Learning formation, operation and impact of political and civic organizations in the
Objectives/Outcomes United States.
2. Be able to synthesize and critique the academic literature on political
and civic organizations.

The following books are in the bookstore and should be purchased:

John H. Aldrich, Why Parties? The Origin and Transformation of Party

Politics in America. The University of Chicago Press 1995.

Raymond J. La Raja, Small Change: Money, Political Parties and

Required Texts &
Materials Campaign Finance Reform. University of Michigan Press 2008.

Seth E. Masket, No Middle Ground: How Informal Party Organizations

Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures. University of Michigan
Press 2009.

Anthony J. Nownes, Total Lobbying: What Lobbyists Want (and How

they Try to Get It). Cambridge University Press 2006.

The remainder of the readings are listed and numbered at the end of the
syllabus and are available through the UTD Library website or the course
eLearning page.
Suggested Texts,
Students who have not had an undergraduate course on political parties in
Readings, &
the U.S. may want to get a copy of a text such as Marjorie Randon
Hershey, Party Politics in America. Longman, 12th ed. 2007.

Assignments & Academic Calendar

Date Topic(s) Assignment*
Jan. 12 Course introduction
Jan. 19 What's a Party? Party formation in the U.S. Aldrich ch. 1-5, [32]
Jan. 26 Evolution of U.S. parties Aldrich ch. 6-9, [7], [11]
Feb. 2 More on parties [1], [2], [5], [21] La Raja ch. 1-2
Feb. 9 Modern parties and campaign finance La Raja ch. 3-7
Informal Party Organizations Masket
Feb. 16
Paper Topics Due
Feb. 23 Midterm Exam
March 2 Mobilizing Interests I [24], [30], [35], [37], [38]
March 9 Mobilizing Interests II [17], [19], [28], [31], [36]
March 23 Interest Groups in Elections [6], [10], [12], [29], [33]
March 30 Lobbying Nownes
April 6 More on Interest Group Influence [3], [8], [9], [13], [14], [18]
April 13 Student presentations
April 20 Labor Unions [15], [16], [22], [23], [25], [27]
Nonprofit Organizations and social capital [4], [20], [26], [34], [39]
April 27
Papers due
May 11 Take-home Final Due

* Numbers in brackets refer to readings listed at the end of the syllabus.

Course Policies

In addition to weekly readings and discussion, there will be an in-class midterm exam
on February 23, a take-home exam handed out on the last day and due May 11 and a
paper due April 27. Paper topics are due February 16. Students will make in-class
presentations on their paper projects April 13. See page 6 of this syllabus for
additional notes on papers.
Grading Criteria
Course grades will be based on the following weights:

Class participation 25%

Midterm exam 20
Take-home final 25
Paper 30

Make-up midterm exams will be allowed only if you provide documentation of a

Late Work
family or medial excuse. Late term papers will be penalized 20 % for each day they
are late.

Attendance is mandatory at student presentations April 13. Attendance on other days

Class Attendance
is expected, and unexcused absences will affect your class participation score.
and Participation
Students are expected to do the assigned readings before class and come prepared to
discuss them.

The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and
regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the
responsibility of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable
about the rules and regulations which govern student conduct and activities. General
information on student conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD publication, A
to Z Guide, which is provided to all registered students each academic year.

The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the

procedures of recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and
described in the Rules and Regulations, Board of Regents, The University of Texas
Student Conduct
System, Part 1, Chapter VI, Section 3, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and
and Discipline
Activities of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. Copies of these
rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students,
where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and
regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-6391).

A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of
citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the
Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject
to discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place
on or off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such

The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic
honesty. Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute
integrity of the work done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student
demonstrate a high standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work.

Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts or omissions
related to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission
Academic as one’s own work or material that is not one’s own. As a general rule, scholastic
Integrity dishonesty involves one of the following acts: cheating, plagiarism, collusion and/or
falsifying academic records. Students suspected of academic dishonesty are subject to
disciplinary proceedings.

Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and
from any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the university’s
policy on plagiarism (see general catalog for details). This course will use the
resources of, which searches the web for possible plagiarism and is over
90% effective.

The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes the value and efficiency of

communication between faculty/staff and students through electronic mail. At the
same time, email raises some issues concerning security and the identity of each
individual in an email exchange. The university encourages all official student email
Email Use
correspondence be sent only to a student’s U.T. Dallas email address and that faculty
and staff consider email from students official only if it originates from a UTD
student account. This allows the university to maintain a high degree of confidence in
the identity of all individual corresponding and the security of the transmitted
information. UTD furnishes each student with a free email account that is to be used

in all communication with university personnel. The Department of Information

Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method for students to have their U.T. Dallas
mail forwarded to other accounts.

The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-
level courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog.
Withdrawal from Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to
Class handle withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, I cannot drop or
withdraw any student. You must do the proper paperwork to ensure that you will not
receive a final grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend the class once you
are enrolled.

Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and
Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.

In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other

fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make
a serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or
committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”).
Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and
Student evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be
Grievance submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean.
Procedures If the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the
student may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not
resolved by the School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the
Dean of Graduate or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene
an Academic Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final.
The results of the academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties.

Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the
Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting
the rules and regulations.

As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work
unavoidably missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has
been completed. An incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from
the first day of the subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the
course and to remove the incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline,
the incomplete grade is changed automatically to a grade of F.

The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational

opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Disability Services is located
in room 1.610 in the Student Union. Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30
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a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is:

The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22
PO Box 830688
Richardson, Texas 75083-0688
(972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY)

Essentially, the law requires that colleges and universities make those reasonable
adjustments necessary to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. For
example, it may be necessary to remove classroom prohibitions against tape recorders
or animals (in the case of dog guides) for students who are blind. Occasionally an

assignment requirement may be substituted (for example, a research paper versus an

oral presentation for a student who is hearing impaired). Classes enrolled students
with mobility impairments may have to be rescheduled in accessible facilities. The
college or university may need to provide special services such as registration, note-
taking, or mobility assistance.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an
accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to
faculty members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations.
Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class
or during office hours.

The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required
activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose
places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code,
Texas Code Annotated.

The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as

possible regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student,
so excused, will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a
reasonable time after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a
Religious Holy maximum of one week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any
Days missed exam or assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails
to complete the exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a
failing grade for that exam or assignment.

If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the
purpose of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about
whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed
assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling
from the chief executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief
executive officer or designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC
51.911(b), and the student and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief
executive officer or designee.
Off-campus, out-of-state, and foreign instruction and activities are subject to state law
Off-Campus and University policies and procedures regarding travel and risk-related activities.
Instruction and Information regarding these rules and regulations may be found at
Course Activities
Additional information is available from the office of the school dean.

These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Professor.

Notes on the Term Paper

For the term paper, you have the choice of writing a critical analysis of the literature, a case
study, or a design for an empirical research project. A one-page statement of your proposed topic
is due in class February 16. Presentations of work-in-progress will occur in class April 13. Final
papers are due April 27. Papers should not exceed 15 double-spaced pages of text and footnotes
(minimum 11-point font), plus a list of references and any appendices, tables or figures.

Below are a few thoughts on each of the options:

Critical Analysis

A critical analysis of the literature is not just a summary. The goal is to generate some research
questions that merit further study. This could be done, for example, by arguing that the existing
research in an area is incomplete with respect to one or more important questions; or by pointing
out that different theories are inconsistent; or by arguing that existing findings are context-
specific and would not necessarily apply to other settings (e.g., existing research on interest
groups and mobilization may not apply to use of the internet). In any event, you should cite the
relevant literature, critique it, and explain why the research questions you have identified would
lead to important contributions to our understanding.

Case Study

The case study option would focus on one specific organization and analyze it in the context of
the issues raised by the academic literature. The key is to show how this organization illustrates,
extends, or contradicts existing findings. The paper should include a discussion of the extent to
which you can generalize your findings to other organizations or contexts.

Empirical Research Designs

The goal for this option is to develop a plan that could be used to conduct an original, empirical
investigation. It should include the following elements:

1. A statement of the research question. Why is it an interesting/important question? What

contribution will be made to the academic literature or contemporary policy debates?
2. A brief summary of previous research on this question.
3. One or more testable hypotheses to be explored. Explain the reasoning behind each
4. A summary of preliminary results (if any) that suggest further investigation is warranted.
5. Identification of the relevant dependent, independent, and control variables to be studied.
6. A plan for operationalizing key variables and collecting data.
7. Identification of techniques for analyzing the data and testing the hypotheses, to the
extent you can.
8. Discussion of problems that you might encounter.

The project should be one that a graduate student might actually complete. You may assume
some financial support, but it should be similar to what might be available through dissertation

Additional Readings

Readings labeled eJournal or eBook can be found through the library website by
searching for the journal or book title in the catalog. Readings labeled eReserve are available on
electronic reserve. eLearning indicates that a link is posted there.

[1] John H. Aldrich, "Southern Parties in State and Nation." The Journal of Politics
62(August, 2000): 643-670. eJournal

[2] American Political Science Association Committee on Political Parties, “Summary of

Conclusions” and "The Need for Greater Party Responsibility." American Political Science
Review 44(Sept. 1950, Part 2, Supplement): 1-5, 15-36. eJournal

[3] Jeffrey M. Berry, "The Power of Citizen Groups." In The New Liberalism: The Rising
Power of Citizen Groups, 61-86. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1999. eReserve

[4] Jeffrey M. Berry with David F. Arons, “Nonprofits as Interest Groups” and “The
Regulation of Lobbying.” In A Voice for Nonprofits, 24-65. Washington, DC: Brookings
Institution Press 2003. eBook

[5] Paul Allan Beck, "A Tale of Two Electorates: The Changing American Party Coalitions,
1952-2000." In John C. Green and Rick Farmer (eds.) The State of the Parties: The Changing
Role of Contemporary American Parties, 38-53. Rowman & Littlefield, 4th ed. 2003. eReserve

[6] The Campaign Finance Institute. “Soft Money Political Spending by 501c Nonprofits
Tripled in 2008 Election.” eLearning

[7] Pradeep Chhibber and Ken Kollman, ”Party Aggregation.” In The Formation of National
Party Systems, 61-80. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 2004. eBook

[8] Richard L. Hall and Frank Wayman, "Buying Time: Moneyed Interests and the
Mobilization of Bias in Congressional Committees." American Political Science Review
84(November, 1990): 797-820. eJournal

[9] Richard L. Hall and Alan V. Deardorff, "Lobbying as Legislative Subsidy." American
Political Science Review 100(February, 2006): 69-84. eJournal

[10] Paul S. Herrnson, “The Roles of Party Organizations, Party-Connected Committees, and
Party Allies in Elections.” The Journal of Politics 71(October, 2009): 1207-1224. eJournal

[11] Shigeo Hirano and James M. Snyder, Jr. "The Decline of Third-Party Voting in the
United States." The Journal of Politics 69(February 2007): 1-16. eJournal

[12] Robert E. Hogan, "State Campaign Finance Laws and Interest Group Electioneering
Activities." The Journal of Politics 67(August, 2005): 887-906. eJournal

[13] Peter Katel, “Lobbying Boom.” CQ Researcher Vol. 15, Issue 26 (July 22, 2005).

[14] Brian Kelleher Richter, Krislert Samphantharak and Jeffrey F. Timmons, “Lobbying and
Taxes.” American Journal of Political Science 53(October 2009): 893-909. eJournal

[15] Jan E. Leighley and Jonathan Nagler, "Unions, Voter Turnout, and Class Bias in the U.S.
Electorate, 1964-2004." The Journal of Politics 69(May, 2007): 430-441. eJournal

[16] Margaret Levi, "Organizing Power: The Prospects for an American Labor Movement."
Perspectives on Politics 1(March, 2003): 45-68. eJournal

[17] David Lowery and Virginia Gray. "The Population Ecology of Gucci Gulch, or the
Natural Regulation of Interest Group Numbers in the American States." American Journal of
Political Science 39 (February, 1995): 1-29. eJournal

[18] Theodore J. Lowi, “The New Public Philosophy: Interest-Group Liberalism.” In The End
of Liberalism, 42-63. New York: W.W.Norton & Company, 2d ed. 1979. eReserve

[19] Robert C. Lowry, "The Private Production of Public Goods: Organizational Maintenance,
Managers' Objectives, and Collective Goals.” American Political Science Review 92(June,
1997):308-323 eJournal

[20] Robert C. Lowry, “Explaining the Variation in Organized Civil Society across States and
Time.” The Journal of Politics: 67(May, 2005):574-594. eJournal

[21] Samuel Merrill, III, Bernard Grofman, and Thomas L. Brunell. "Cycles in American
National Electoral Politics, 1854-2006: Statistical Evidence and an Explanatory Model."
American Political Science Review 102(February, 2008): 1-17. eJournal

[22] Terry M. Moe, “Collective Bargaining and the Performance of the Public Schools.”
American Journal of Political Science 53(January 2009): 156-174. eJournal

[23] Mancur Olson, "The Labor Union and Economic Freedom." In The Logic of Collective
Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, 66-97. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Press 1971. eReserve

[24] Mancur Olson, "The 'By-Product' and 'Special Interest' Theories." In The Logic of
Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, 132-168. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press 1971. eReserve

[25] Pamela M. Prah, "Labor Unions' Future: Can They Survive in the Age of Globalization?"
CQ Researcher, September 2, 2005. eJournal

[26] Robert D. Putnam. "Social Capital and Institutional Success." In Making Democracy
Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, 163-185, 240-247. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press. 1993. eReserve

[27] Benjamin Radcliff and Patricia A. Davis. "Labor Organization and Electoral Participation
in Industrial Democracies." American Journal of Political Science 44(2000): 132-141. eJournal

[28] Lawrence S. Rothenberg. "Agenda Setting at Common Cause." In Allan J. Cigler and
Burdett A. Loomis (eds.) Interest Group Politics 131-149. Washington DC: CQ Press, 3rd ed.
1991. eReserve

[29] Mark J. Rozell, Clyde Wilcox and David Madland, “Interest Groups and Candidates.” In
Interest Groups in American Campaigns, 71-112. Washington, DC: CQ Press 2d ed. 2006.

[30] Robert H. Salisbury. "An Exchange Theory of Interest Groups." Midwest Journal of
Political Science 12(1969): 1-32. eJournal

[31] Robert H. Salisbury. "Interest Representation: The Dominance of Institutions." American

Political Science Review 78(1984): 64-76. eJournal

[32] Joseph A. Schlesinger, "Introduction: A Theory of Political Parties" in Political Parties

and the Winning of Office 1-32. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press 1991.

[33] Richard M. Skinner, “Membership” and “Expertise.” In More than Money: Interest
Group Action in Congressional Elections, 101-135. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield 2007.

[34] Theda Skocpol, Marshall Ganz and Ziad Munson. "A Nation of Organizers: The
Institutional Origins of Civic Voluntarism in the United States," American Political Science
Review 94(September, 2000): 527-546. eJournal

[35] David B. Truman, "Groups and Society." In The Governmental Process: Political
Interests and Public Opinion, 14-44. Alfred A. Knopf, 2d. ed. 1971. eReserve

[36] Jack L. Walker, Jr. "The Origins and Maintenance of Interest Groups in America."
American Political Science Review 77(1983): 390-406. eJournal

[37] Jack L. Walker, Jr. "The Mobilization of Political Interests in America" In Mobilizing
Interest Groups in America: Patrons, Professions, and Social Movements 19-30. Ann Arbor, MI:
University of Michigan Press, 1991. eReserve

[38] John R. Wright, “The History, Organization and Regulation of Interest Groups.” In
Interest Groups and Congress: Lobbying, Contributions, and Influence, 9-36. Longman 2003.

[39] Robert Wuthnow, "Mobilizing Civic Engagement: The Changing Impact of Religious
Involvement." In Theda Skocpol and P. Fiorina (eds.), Civic Engagement in American
Democracy, 331-363. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press,1999. eReserve