Version 1.0 (Jan. 2, 2012)

Proseminar in Political Participation
Political Science 685,
Winter 2012

Gregory B. Markus
Professor of Political Science and Research Professor, Center for Political Studies
6735 Haven Hall
(734) 763-2222,

Class meets: Thursdays. 3:10 pm to 5:00 pm, 5769 Haven Hall
Office hours: Thursdays, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm, and by appointment

This course surveys major themes in theory and research on political participation, with some emphasis on voting and elections. Students will evaluate the readings critically in our class discussions and in their weekly papers. Students are responsible for reading all of the required pieces and participating in our class discussions. Half of your course grade will be based on your papers; the other half will be based on your contributions to our discussions.

Each week, you will write a brief (800-word) paper on the required readings for that week and turn it in at the end of our class meeting. Provide a brief overview of the main points of the readings and offer some critical commentary. These papers are not expected to be literary masterpieces, although they should be organized and coherent. Please don't agonize over these papers: bang 'em out, and turn 'em in. You are welcome to revise and resubmit your papers for re-grading; but I want everyone to submit a paper each week to ensure that we are all prepared to discuss the week’s readings (and related topics of interest).

All of the required readings (marked with an asterisk) are available online, usually through CTools. Core readings are probably best read in the order in which they are listed. Most of the optional readings are also available online. For journal articles, I suggest that you go to MIRLYN and search for the journal by title.



* Leighley, Jan E. 1995. Attitudes, opportunities and incentives: a field essay on political participation. Political Research Quarterly, 48: 181-209.

* Leighley, Jan E. 2008. Commentary on "Attitudes, Opportunities and Incentives: A Field Essay on Political Participation". Political Research Quarterly, 61 (1): 46-49.

Shapiro, Ian. 1994. Three ways to be a democrat. Political Theory, 22 (1): 124-151.

Pateman, Carole. 1970. Participation and Democratic Theory. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press.


* Lukes, Steven. 2007. Power. Contexts, 6 (3): 59-61

* Dietz, Thomas, and Paul C. Stern, eds. Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Chapter 2, The promise and perils of participation.

* Mettler, Suzanne, and Joe Soss. 2004.The consequences of public policy for democratic citizenship: Bridging policy studies and mass politics. Perspectives on Politics, 2 (1): 55-73

* Macedo, Stephen et al. 2005. Democracy at Risk. Washington, DC: Brookings Press. Chapter 1, "Toward a Political Science of Citizenship."

Huntington, Samuel P. 1975. The democratic distemper. Public Interest, 41 (Fall): 9-38.

Isaac, Jeffrey C. 1987. Beyond the three faces of power: A realist critique. Polity, 20 (1): 4–31..

Skocpol, Theda, Marshall Ganz, and Ziad Munson. 2000. A nation of organizers: the institutional origins of civic voluntarism in the United States. APSR, 94: 527-546.

Verba, Sidney. 2003. Would the dream of political equality turn out to be a nightmare? Perspectives on Politics, 1 (4): 663-679.

Warren, Mark E. 1999. What is political? Journal of Theoretical Politics, 11 (2): 207-231.


* Arnstein, Sherry R. 1969. A ladder of citizen participation. Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 35 (July): 216-224.

* Cornwall, Andrea. 2008. Unpacking 'participation': models, meanings and practices, Community Development Journal, 43 (3): 269-283.

* Cleaver, Frances. 1999. Paradoxes of participation: questioning participatory approaches to development. Journal of International Development, 11 (4): 597-612.

Jacobs, Lawrence R., and Theda Skocpol. 2005. American democracy in an era of rising inequality. In Lawrence R. Jacobs and Theda Skocpol, eds. Inequality and American Democracy: What We Know And What We Need To Learn. New York: Russell Sage.

Cook, Bill, and Uma Kothari, eds. Participation: The New Tyranny. London: Zed Books.

Hibbing, John R., and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse. 2002. Stealth Democracy: Americans' Beliefs About How Government Should Work. New York: Cambridge University Press.


* Brady, Henry E., Sidney Verba, and Kay Lehman Schlozman. 1995. Beyond SES: a resource model of political participation. APSR, 89 (2): 271-294.

* Verba, Sidney, Kay Lehman Schlozman, Henry E. Brady, and Norman H. Nie. 1993. Citizen activity: Who participates? What do they say? APSR, 87 (2): 303-318.

* Brady, Henry E., Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Sidney Verba. 1999. Prospecting for participants: rational expectations and the recruitment of political activists. APSR, 93 (1): 153-168.

Burns, Nancy, Kay Lane Schlozman, and Sidney Verba. 1997. The public consequences of private inequality: family life and citizen participation. APSR, 91 (2): 373-389.

Eliasoph, Nina. 1997. 'Close to home': the work of avoiding politics. Theory and Society, 26 (5): 605-647.

Schlozman, Kay Lehman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady. 2010. Weapon of the strong? Participatory inequality and the Internet. Perspectives on Politics, 8 (2): 487-509..

Rosenstone, Steven J. and John Mark Hansen. 1993. Mobilization, Participation, and Democracy in America. New York: Macmillan.

Verba, Sidney, and Norman Nie 1972. Participation in America. New York: Harper & Row.

Verba, Sidney, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Henry E. Brady. 1995. Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.


* Miller, Gary J. 1997. The impact of economics on contemporary political science. Journal of Economic Literature, 35 (3): 1173-1204.

* Oliver, Pamela E. 1993. Formal models of collective action. Annual Review of Sociology, 19: 271-300.

* Verba, Sidney, Kay L. Schlozman, and Henry E. Brady. 2000. Rational action and political activity. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 12 (3): 243-268.

Bianco, William, and Robert Bates. 1990. Cooperation by design: leadership structure and collective dilemmas. APSR, 84 (1): 133-48.

Fishburn, Peter C. 1974. Paradoxes of voting. APSR, 68 (2): 537-546.

Granovetter, Mark. 1978. Threshold models of collective behavior. American Journal of Sociology, 83 (6): 1420-1443.

Green, Donald P., and Ian Shapiro. 1994. Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory. New Haven: Yale University Press. Chapters 2, 4-7.

Macy, Michael. 1990. Learning theory and the logic of critical mass. American Sociological Review, 55 (6): 809-826.

Miller, Nicholas R. 1983. Pluralism and social choice. APSR, 77 (3): 734-747.

Moore, Will H. 1995. Rational rebels: overcoming the free-rider problem. Political Research Quarterly, 48 (June): 417-454.

Ostrom, Elinor. 1998. A behavioral approach to the rational choice theory of collective action. APSR, 92 (1): 1-22.

Schlozman, Kay Lehman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady. 1995. Participation's not a paradox: the view from American activists. British Journal of Political Science, 25 (1): 1-36.

Shepsle, Kenneth, and Mark Bonchek. 1997. Analyzing Politics. New York: Norton. Chapters 1-7.

Chong, Dennis. 1991. Collective Action and the Civil Rights Movement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Downs, Anthony. 1957. An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.

Hirschman, Albert O. 1970. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Olson, Mancur. 1965. The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Ostrom, Elinor. 1990. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. New York: Cambridge University Press.


* Foley, Michael W. and Bob Edwards. 1996. The paradox of civil society. Journal of Democracy. 7: 38-52.

* Sampson, Robert J., Doug McAdam, Heather MacIndoe, and Simon Weffer-Elizondo. 2005. Civil society reconsidered: the durable nature and community structure of collective civic action. American Journal of Sociology, 111 (3): 673-715.

* DeFilippis, James. 2001. The myth of social capital in community development. Housing Policy Debate, 12 (4): 781-806.

* Putnam, Robert D. 2007. E Pluribus Unum: diversity and community in the twenty-first century. Scandinavian Political Studies, 30 (2): 137-174.

Berman, Sheri. 1997. Civil society and political institutionalization. American Behavioral Scientist, 40 (5): 562-574.

Fung, Archon. 2003. Associations and democracy: between theories, hopes, and realities. Annual Review of Sociology, 29: 515-539.

Harris, Fredrick C. 1994. Something within: religion as a mobilizer of African-American activism. Journal of Politics, 56 (1): 42-68.

Krishna, Anirudh. 2002. Enhancing political participation in democracies: what is the role of social capital? Comparative Political Studies, 35 (4): 437-460.

Levi, Margaret. 1996. Social and unsocial capital: a review essay of Robert Putnam's Making Democracy Work. Politics and Society, 24 (1): 45-55.

Putnam, Robert D. 1993. Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Putnam, Robert D. 2000. Bowling Alone. New York: Simon & Schuster.


* Warren, Mark R. 1998. Community building and political power: a community organizing approach to democratic renewal. American Behavioral Scientist, 42: 78-92.

* Speer, Paul W., et al. 2003. The intentional exercise of power: community organizing in Camden, New Jersey. Journal of Community and Applied Psychology, 13: 399-408.

* Markus, Gregory B. 2002. Civic participation in American cities. Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor: ISR, University of Michigan.

To be shown in class: Mahan, Leah and Mark Lipman. 1996. "Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street."

Faris, Robert, and Bruce Etling. 2008. Madison and the smart mob: the promise and limitations of the Internet for democracy. Cambridge, MA: Berkman Center, Harvard University.

McAdam, Doug. 1986. Recruitment to high-risk activism: the case of Freedom Summer. American Journal of Sociology, 92 (1): 64-90.

Morris, Aldon. 1981. Black Southern student sit-in movement: an analysis of internal organization. American Sociological Review, 46: 744-767.


* Timpone, Richard J. 1998. Structure, behavior, and voter turnout in the United States. APSR, 92 (1): 145-158.

* Highton, Benjamin. 2004. Voter registration and turnout in the United States. Perspectives on Politics, 2 (3): 507-515.

* Berinsky, Adam J. 2005. The perverse consequences of electoral reform in the United States. American Politics Research, 33 (4): 471-491.

* Uggen, Christopher, and Jeff Manza. 2002. Democratic contraction? Political consequences of felon disenfranchisement in the United States. American Sociological Review, 67 (6): 777-803.

* Hershey, Marjorie Randon. 2009. What we know about voter-ID laws, registration, and turnout. PS, 21 (1): 87-91.

Mebane, Walter R., Jr. 2004. The wrong man is president! Overvotes in the 2000 presidential election in Florida. Perspectives on Politics, 2 (3): 525-535.



* Powell, G. Bingham, Jr. 1986. American voter turnout in comparative perspective. APSR, 80 (1): 17-43.

* Riker, William H., and Peter C. Ordeshook. 1969. A theory of the calculus of voting. APSR, 63 (1): 11-30.

* Meehl, Paul. 1977. The selfish voter and the thrown away vote argument. APSR, 71 (1): 11-31.

* Blais, Andre. 2006. What affects voter turnout? Annual Review of Political Science, 9: 111-125.

Barreto, Matt A. 2007. Si se puede! Latino candidates and the mobilization of Latino voters. APSR, 101 (3): 425-441

Holbrook, Thomas M., and Scott D. McClurg. 2005. The mobilization of core supporters: Campaigns, turnout, and electoral composition in United States presidential elections. AJPS, 49 (4): 689–703.

Jackman, Robert W. 1987. Political institutions and voter turnout in the industrial democracies. APSR, 81 (2): 405-424.

Leighley, Jan E. 2001. Strength in Numbers: The Political Mobilization of Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


* Gerber, Alan S., and Donald P. Green, and Christopher W. Larimer. 2008. Social pressure and voter turnout: evidence from a large-scale field experiment. APSR, 102 (1): 33-48.

* Gerber, Alan S., and Donald P. Green. 2000. The effects of canvassing, direct mail, and telephone contact on voter turnout: a field experiment. APSR, 94 (3): 653-663.

* Nickerson, David W., Ryan D. Friedrichs, and David C. King. 2006. Partisan mobilization campaigns in the field: Results from a statewide turnout experiment in Michigan. Political Research Quarterly, 59 (1): 85-97.

* McDonald, Michael P., and Samuel L. Popkin. 2001. The myth of the vanishing voter. APSR, 95 (4): 963-974.

* Lau, Richard R., Lee Sigelman, and Ivy Brown Rovner. 2007. The effects of negative political campaigns: A meta-analytic reassessment. Journal of Politics, 69 (4): 1176–1209.

Green, Donald P., Alan S. Gerber, and David W. Nickerson. 2003. Getting out the vote in local elections: results from six door-to-door canvassing experiments. Journal of Politics, 65 (4): 1083-1096.

Hillygus, D. Sunshine. 2005. Campaign effects and the dynamics of turnout intention in election 2000. Journal of Politics, 67 (1): 50-68.


* Bartels, Larry. 2008. The study of electoral behavior. In: Jan E. Leighley, ed. The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press.

* Markus, Gregory B. 2001. American individualism reconsidered. In James H. Kuklinski, ed. Citizens and Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 401-432.

* Lupia, Arthur. 1994. Shortcuts versus encyclopedias: information and voting behavior in California insurance reform elections. APSR, 88 (1): 63-76.

Ansolabehere, Stephen, Jonathan Rodden, and James M. Snyder. 2008. The strength of issues: using multiple measures to gauge preference stability, ideological constraint, and issue voting. APSR, 102 (2): 215-232.

Bafumi, Joseph, and Robert Y. Shapiro. 2009. A new partisan voter. Journal of Politics, 71 (1): 1–24.

Bartels, Larry M. 1996. Uninformed votes: Information effects in presidential elections. AJPS, 40 (1): 194-230.

Bartels, Larry M. 2000. Partisanship and voting behavior, 1952-1996. AJPS, 44 (1): 35-50.

Converse, Philip E., and Markus, Gregory B. 1979. Plus ca change ...: the new CPS election study panel. APSR, 73 (1): 32-49.

Feldman, Stanley, and Pamela J. Conover. 1981. The origins and meanings of liberal/conservative self-identifications. AJPS, 25: 617-645.

Jennings, M. Kent, and Gregory B. Markus. 1984. Partisanship over the long haul: results from the three-wave political socialization panel study. APSR, 78 (4): 1000-1018.

Campbell, Angus, Philip E. Converse, Warren E. Miller, and Donald E. Stokes. 1960. The American Voter. New York: Wiley.

Green, Donald, Bradley Palmquist, and Eric Schickler. 2002. Partisan Hearts and Minds: Political Parties and the Social Identities of Voters. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Lewis-Beck, Michael S., et al. 2008. The American Voter Revisited. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

MacKuen, Michael B., Robert S. Erikson, and James A. Stimson. 1989. Macropartisanship. American Political Science Review, 83 (4): 1125–114.


* Markus, Gregory B., and Philip E. Converse. 1979. A dynamic simultaneous equation model of electoral choice. APSR, 73: 1055-1070.

* Markus, Gregory B. 1982. Political attitudes during an election year: a report on the 1980 NES panel study. APSR, 76: 538-560.

* Gilens, Martin, Lynn Vavreck, and Martin Cohen. 2007. The mass media and the public’s assessments of presidential candidates, 1952–2000. Journal of Politics, 69 (4): 1160–1175.

Bartels, Larry M. 1987. Candidate choice and the dynamics of the presidential nominating process. AJPS, 31: 1-30.

Conover, Pamela J., and Stanley Feldman. 1989. Candidate perception in an ambiguous world: campaigns, cues, and inference processes. AJPS, 33: 912-940.

Fiorina, Morris. 1981. Retrospective Voting in American National Elections. New Haven: Yale University Press. Chapters 1, 10.

Hillygus, D. Sunshine, and Simon Jackman. 2003. Voter decision making in Election 2000: campaign effects, partisan activation, and the Clinton legacy. AJPS, 47 (4): 583-596.

Marcus, George E., and Michael MacKuen. 1993. Anxiety, enthusiasm, and the vote: the emotional underpinnings of learning and involvement during presidential campaigns. APSR, 87: 672-685.

Miller, Arthur H., Martin P. Wattenberg, and Oksana Malanchuk. 1986. Schematic assessments of presidential candidates. APSR, 80: 521-540.

Schuessler, Alexander A. 2000. Expressive voting. Rationality and Society, 12 (1): 87-119.

Popkin, Samuel L. 1991. The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


* Kramer, Gerald H. 1983. The ecological fallacy revisited: aggregate- versus individual-level findings on economics and elections and sociotropic voting. APSR, 77: 92-111.

* Markus, Gregory B. 1988. The impact of personal and national economic conditions on the presidential vote: a pooled cross-sectional analysis. AJPS, 32: 137-154.

* Bartels, Larry. 2005. Homer gets a tax cut: inequality and public policy in the American mind. Perspectives on Politics, 3 (1): 15-31.

* Bartels, Larry M. 2005. What's the matter with 'What's the Matter with Kansas?' Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 1: 201-226.

Gomez, Brad T., and J. Matthew Wilson. 2001. Political sophistication and economic voting in the American electorate: a theory of heterogeneous attribution. AJPS, 45 (4): 899-914.

Hibbs, Douglas A., Jr. 2000. Bread and Peace voting in U.S. presidential elections. Public Choice, 104: 149-180.

Lupia, Arthur, Adam Seth Levine, Jesse O. Menning, and Gisela Sin. 2005. Were Bush tax cut supporters "simply ignorant?": a second look at conservatives and liberals in "Homer Gets a Tax Cut." Ann Arbor: ISR, University of Michigan.

Nadeau, Richard, and Michael S. Lewis-Beck, 2001. National economic voting in U.S. presidential elections. Journal of Politics, 63 (1): 159-181.

Kramer, Gerald H. 1971. Short-term fluctuations in U.S. voting behavior, 1896-1964. APSR, 71 (1): 131-143.

Tufte, Edward. 1975. Determinants of the outcomes of midterm Congressional elections. APSR, 69: 812-826.


* Hacker, Jacob S., and Paul Pierson. 2005. Abandoning the middle: the Bush tax cuts and the limits of democratic control. Perspectives on Politics, 3 (March): 33-53.

* Hacker, Jacob S., and Paul Pierson. 2010. Winner-take-all politics: Public policy, political organization, and the precipitous rise of top incomes in the United States. Politics & Society, 38 (2): 152-204.

* Gilens, Martin. 2005. Inequality and democratic responsiveness. Public Opinion Quarterly, 69 (5): 778-796.

Hacker, Jacob S., and Paul Pierson. 2010. Winner-Take-All Politics. New York: Simon & Schuster. Chapter 6.

Tomasky, Michael. 2008. How historic a victory? New York Review of Books, 55 (Dec. 18).

Erikson, Robert S., Michael B. MacKuen, and James A. Stimson. 2002. The Macro Polity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.