Pre-Conference Short Courses

Short courses take place on Wednesday, August 29.  They provide diverse opportunities, either half day or full day, for professional development and offer attendees the chance to connect with scholars from a range of backgrounds. They are sponsored by APSA Organized Sections and other affiliated organizations. Pre-registration for short courses is required and is $25 per short course. Registration for short courses is available on the Annual Meeting registration page, as part of the registration process. All short course participants must also be registered for the conference. Find our pedagogy and dissertation workshops here.

Register for a Short Course here!

Table of Contents

SC01: Activism, Advocacy, and/vs. Scholarship: The Methods Studio—Workshop and “Crit”
Dvora Yanow
Half Day, 1:30 – 5:30PM

The Methods Studio has 2 parts, a workshop and a “crit.” This year’s workshop topic is “Activism, Advocacy, &/vs Scholarship.” Following that, the crit entails discussion of interpretive methods in works in progress, selected via application [see below].

Part I. Workshop: Activism, Advocacy, &/vs. Scholarship
Activism and advocacy have started to generate more interest now than they have since the 1960s-70s. In certain quarters, the same concerns are raised now as were then—that these activities are not “science.” It seems a good time to revisit these matters in political science.

In his American Sociology Association presidential address, Michael Burawoy (2005) argued for public sociology among other academic activities. Similarly, Didier Fassin’s recent book (2017) explores public ethnography. The table below adapted Burawoy’s argument for political science. The Methods Studio workshop is intended to carry the exploration further.

Illustrative of the tension between advocacy and “science,” Lahra Smith, reviewing Fred Schaffer’s 2016 book on concepts, wrote: His book, applied to my empirical work, helps “…navigate a space between two extremes…—the one being an advocacy…that is too embedded in one or another particular local community for my comfort as a scholar, …the other [being a scientific version] too removed and mirroring the foreign policy community language of ‘diplomacy’ for my comfort….” The challenge of that assessment lies at the heart of our concerns, exploring activism within the academy as well as outside it,

Part II. Crit: Exploring research projects
Part II of the Methods Studio adapts the “crit” from architectural teaching and practice. Three researchers, selected through application, will present their work focusing on questions about their research methods. Other researchers from a range of subfields and interpretive methods backgrounds will lead off in response, with the intention of drawing also on the comments/questions of others attending, such that all learn from the discussion. Previous crits have involved Ph.D. students to Full Professors.

Please limit yourself to 2 pages, double spaced. Send to the Methods Studio organizers [,] no later than May 15; we aim to reply by May 29. Open to all subfields, all interpretive methods, all levels/ranks.


SC02: Automated Image Content Analysis: An Introduction and Hands on Tutorial
John Wilkerson
Full Day, 9:00AM – 5:00PM

This full day short course is a practicum on automated approaches to image analysis. It will be of particular interest to scholars studying social media or any domain where large numbers of images (e.g. tens of thousands or more) need to be labeled. The first part of the short course introduces Deep Learning and Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), the go-to methodologies for image labeling.

The second part is a hands-on tutorial using a Python software package developed by the instructors that they use in their own research. It will cover how to 1) use pre-trained CNNs to extract features of interest from an image (e.g. particular objects or text), and 2) how to train CNNs to classify images into user-determined categories using labeled examples. Working knowledge of Python is assumed.

Instructors: Andreu Casas (University of Washington, NYU); Nora Webb Williams, Wesley Zuidema, John Wilkerson (University of Washington).

SC03: Brexit and Beyond: Implications for British and European Politics
Terrence Casey
Full Day, 9:00AM – 6:00PM

The decision of British voters in June 2016 to leave the European Union initiated an unprecedented period of turmoil and transformation in both British and European politics. This short course sponsored by the British Politics Group will gather key scholars from the UK, Europe, and the US to explore these issues.The most significant impacts of Brexit relates to foreign relations and the economy. What will be the political and economic relationship between Britain and the EU post-Brexit? Will the economy be the disaster that Remainers predicted? What will be the impact on the continent’s economies? If Britain leaves the Single Market, can they establish new trade deals – and on what terms — with other major economic actors, especially China and the United States? What will become of the special relationship once the UK is no longer a conduit for America to Europe? Brexit will also inexorably alter the trajectory of European integration (or dis-integration). How will British departure from the EU affect European institutions and the remaining Member States?

British domestic politics is also in a state of extreme flux. Since 2014, Britain held a referendum on Scottish independence, two general elections (both with surprise results) and, of course, the Brexit vote. Collectively these have shaken the foundations of British party and electoral politics. Conservative leader Theresa May is in office yet not exactly in power, having spectacularly failed by losing her majority in a snap 2017 election. Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn, that most implausible of potential Prime Ministers, is potentially poised to lead his Labour Party to victory. The populism that spurred the Leave Campaign to victory, moreover, remains a force. What will be the state of the parties after all this plays out? How will this transform the electoral map heading into the next General Election?

Separating from the EU also raises new problems for the structure of the United Kingdom itself, potentially reconfiguring political and economic relations between England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, where the issue of the border with the Republic of Ireland is already becoming a major concern of the Brexit negotiations. Can the United Kingdom survive Brexit in its current institutional configuration?

In this short course, various panelists from the BPG and beyond will come together to examine the questions raised above, among others, in order to provide a better understanding of the course of British and European politics during the process of Brexit negotiation and beyond. In addition to panelists invited by the BPG, we are open to proposals from other scholars whose research is appropriate to the topics under consideration.

Interested participants should contact the short course organizer, TERRENCE CASEY (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology) at no later than 1 June 2018. Further information can be found at the British Politics Group website.

SC04: Building Neural Networks in R for Political Research
Pete Mohanty
Full Day, 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Political scientists are increasingly interested in machine learning approaches such as neural networks. Neural networks offer predictive accuracy in spite of complex data generating processes and may also aid researchers interested in examining the scope conditions of inferential claims. Until recently, the programming requirements for neural networks have been much steeper for neural networks than for statistical techniques like regression (perhaps not unlike the early days of Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo) and many of the best techniques were limited to Python. This workshop introduces the theory behind neural networks and shows how to build them in R using the library kerasformula (of which I am the author). The workshop will provide political examples such as Twitter data and Congressional forecasting. These examples will also serve to highlight the comparative strengths and weaknesses of neural networks in comparison with classical statistical approaches. The library kerasformula is a high-level interface for Keras and Tensorflow in R that allows researchers to fit a model in as little as one line of code and which allows for a high degree of customization (shape and depth of the network, loss and activation function, etc.). The workshop will be conducted in an ‘active learning’ paradigm whereby mini-lectures will alternate with hands-on coding activities. Participants will be encouraged to bring a sample of their own data and to build a working prototype by the end of the day. Some familiarity with R and RStudio is assumed but participants need not be advanced coders.

SC05: Comparative Democratization Research Development Group
Rachel Riedl
Full Day, 9:00AM – 5:00PM

The Comparative Democratization Section is organizing a Research Development Group short-conference to advance current research from early career scholars from lower-to-middle income countries towards publication, to participate in the APSA annual meeting, and develop scholarly networks with colleagues.

Group participants have been selected through application, open to early-career scholars who would not otherwise have the institutional resources to attend APSA. The short conference will take place on the day prior to the start of the annual meeting (Aug 29). Group participants will attend a one day conference to discuss and receive critical feedback on a paper in progress. The Comparative Democratization section will line up discussants for each paper, and all participants will circulate papers in advance to read. In addition, the seminar will discuss strategies for scholarly networking, grant applications and publishing strategies, and advice for engaging in the APSA meeting productively. Participants will attend APSA panels, section meetings, and meet with editors in the exhibit hall. The Comparative Democratization Section will assist participants in development personalized schedules for the selected attendees.

The Comparative Democratization Section of the APSA has selected 6 early-career scholars based in lower and middle-income countries to attend the 2018 APSA annual meeting as a part of the Research Development Group. These 6 selected participants will have their papers workshopped by appointed discussants and the broader workshop audience. Registration is open for enrollment to all APSA members, but only the 6 early-career scholars will have their papers discussed.

For further information, please see here:

SC06: Designing Multi-Method Research (QMMR1)
Colin Elman
Half Day, 9:00AM – 1:00PM

INSTRUCTORS: Kendra Koivu, University of New Mexico (, and Jason Seawright, Northwestern University (

This course provides students with an introduction to research designs that combine a qualitative and a quantitative component in the service of a single causal inference: multi- or mixed-method designs. We will discuss older “triangulation” ideas about multi-method design but focus on the newer “integrative” approach that uses one method to test the assumptions of the other. We will explore motivating ideas about causation, causal inference, and the strengths of various methods. However, the center of gravity is on considering formal multi-method research designs combining case studies with regression, natural experiments, randomized experiments, and techniques from machine learning.

We begin with key ideas about causation and causal inference that drive contemporary statistical and multi-method thinking, centrally including the potential outcomes framework. We will discuss that framework, considering what it captures and omits from other ideas about causation. Centrally, we will discuss the way that the potential outcomes framework opens opportunities for multi-method research by specifying the assumptions needed to get causal results out of regression analysis. We then move to the central question in most discussion of multi-method research: how to combine regression-type studies with case studies. Optimal case-selection strategies will be analyzed. We conclude by considering multi-method designs that include more recent, and sometimes more credible, quantitative components: natural experiments, randomized experiments, and machine-learning algorithms related to conceptualization, measurement, and causal inference. For each design, we will look at the assumptions needed for causal inference, identify relevant case-study designs, and explore case selection.

SC07: Estimating and Interpreting Effects for Nonlinear and Nonparametric Models
Enrique Pinzon
Half Day, 1:30 – 5:30PM

After we fit a model our analysis does not stop. We want to use our results to construct counterfactual scenarios. We want to study the effects of changes in variables over the population or for a specific subpopulation. Answering such questions is more challenging for nonlinear models and in particular for models in which we make no assumptions about functional forms-nonparametric models.

In this course, we will illustrate how to answer these and other relevant empirical questions, for nonlinear cross-sectional and panel data models, and for nonparametric models. We do this within a unified framework using Stata.

The topics covered will be:

A brief introduction to Stata
Effects for continuous and discrete covariates
Continuous outcome models
Binary outcome models
Count models
Fractional response models
Nonparametric kernel regression

SC08: Gender, Resurgent Nationalism & Masculinist Politics in the US & Europe
Malliga Och
Half Day, 1:30 – 5:30PM

This short-course focuses on cutting-edge research on gender and politics which responds to fast-moving political developments in the US UK and Europe. These include backlash against racial and gendered political progress and the resurgent rise of nationalism and masculinist politics on both sides of the Atlantic. Specific topics of interest include gender and the election of Donald Trump, as well as the outcome of the UK referendum on Brexit. This changing political climate has important gendered implications, ranging from the gendered effects of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, the challenges faced by women of color activists in populist Europe, and the trump administration’s effects on women and/or people of color. This short course will foster US/UK knowledge exchange on these topics, and will explore the links between populism, nationalism and gender on both continents. By including research which integrates the effects of race and gender throughout the program, the course will foster the development of intersectional work on race and gender, which has been an extremely important area of growth in recent years.
This short-course is being organized jointly by PSA and ASPA’s women and politics sections. The workshop is designed to a) respond to current political developments on both sides of the Atlantic, b) foster cross-national collaboration and knowledge-exchange between UK- and UK- based gender and politics scholars, and c) further the development of comparative frameworks for gender and politics research.
We are inviting anyone interested in contributing to the professional development of gender and politics scholars by focusing on the challenges and opportunities posed by working with women within local and national gendered institutions in both countries. During the short-course, participants and panelists will share sharing insights on gaining access to political institutions as well as reflecting on the issues faced by both female political actors and feminist scholars during a time of backlash and resurgent nationalism and masculinist politics.

SC09: Genomic Data and Models for Political Science
Marcus Alexander
Half Day, 1:30 – 5:30PM

This is a methods workshop about genomics and its use in model estimation in political science.

The workshop is designed for graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty who are interested in incorporating genomic data sources into their work, or those who are already engaged in such research. Upon completion of the workshop, all of the participants will have a better substantive and methodological understanding of genomic science, and the main tools to incorporate genomics into their political science research.

Participants with prior knowledge of statistics, data structures/data science, object-oriented programming, and political methodology will benefit the most from the workshop, but there are no pre-requisites and prior knowledge of genetics is not assumed.

The topics covered include: (1) collecting and profiling the human genome, transcriptome and microbiome; (2) microarray and sequence data structures; (3) mining and modelling genomic data; (4) integration of genomic data with standard political science data; (5) using genomics for causal inference in political science; (6) ethics of genomics research within political science. The workshop combines lectures with illustrations using Bioconductor in R and actual data. Practical advice will also be given regarding Human Subjects and institutional IRB review of social science research using genomic analysis. At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants will be provided with a short overview of resources for genomics research, including available public and private genomic data sources.

SC10: Governing Urban Resilience: New Comparative Approaches
Allison Bramwell
Full Day, 9:00AM – 5:00PM

While much recent urban politics research in the United States has focused on neighborhoods as the primary locus for capacity building and governance innovation, issues with pressing urban implications continue to unfold at higher scales. Tectonic and rapidly accelerating technological, environmental, and societal changes present increasingly complex and cross-cutting urban policy challenges, the solutions for which remain beyond the reach of any single actor, level of government, or policy sector. These developments raise timely questions about the governance of urban resilience; how cities and regions in different parts of the world are responding, and the shifting power relations that ensue. A formative question of our time is whether ‘cascading failures’ and exclusionary outcomes are inevitable, or whether, and under what conditions, collaborative innovations for meaningful transformation are possible.

This full day short course examines the questions these new urban governance challenges – and the responses to address them emerging at city and regional scales – raise for scholars of urban politics. We explore opportunities for comparative examinations of the theory and practice of urban governance, engaging with new theoretical perspectives and policy issues concerned with urban resilience. Given its ongoing evolution in real time, we acknowledge that resilience remains a broad and ill-defined construct requiring not only analytical clarity, but also critical engagement with the policy and power implications of different discursive frames and ‘imaginaries’. To encourage dialogue and debate as a precursor to more integrated thinking, we therefore use the term more as a cognitive entry point, intentionally leaving open theoretical and analytical objectives to see what might ensue.

The afternoon session will consist of three inter-related panels. The first panel will frame theoretically the range of ideas and constructs implied by urban and regional resilience. The second panel represents substantive exploration of these theoretical frames, providing empirical insight into policies, practices, and challenges emerging ‘on the ground’ in the Global North. For the third panel, we shift the analytical lens to theoretical and substantive developments emerging in the Global South. The morning session, which will be hosted offsite at Northeastern University remains under development.

SC11: Islam in Europe
Sam Cherribi
Full Day, 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Europe that has been swept by several dynamic forces of change: the de-consolidation of the European Union (Brexit) a massive influx of Muslim immigrants and refugees, and the rising voice of Islamic fundamentalism. The portents are clearly troubling—as evidenced by the murders of Pim Fortuyn and filmmaker Theo van Gogh, after which riots broke out, mosques were burned, and Muslims were openly reviled by the public and the media, in addition to the notorious Danish cartoons, the massacres of the journalists of Charlie Hebdo and the multiple terrorist bombings in Paris and Brussels.
Let’s start our European tour on April 30, 2013 at the abdication of the Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and the enthronement of her son the new King Willem-Alexander. The King was sworn in by the name of God Almighty and 90 percent of the members of Parliament of the first and second Chamber swore allegiance to the King in the name of God Almighty. Among the guests who were present was Sheika Moza of Qatar, wearing a high fashion black dress and very elegant headgear with no reference to Islam, and the “Queen” of Morocco, Lalla Selma, was repeatedly shown on TV with comments about her Rita- Heyworth-like un-Islamic outlook. Next day, the headlines of all the Dutch newspapers had a picture of with her “uncovered red hair” and her “beautiful dark green kaftan.”
Let’s continue our journey in the same week to Belgium where the State recognized Islam in the early 70s as an official religion and integrated the teaching of Islam in public school curricula. The Belgian minister of education appeared on TV that week, worried about young Muslim students who go to fight in Syria while they are still under the law of compulsory education. In French, Belgian and Dutch newspapers politicians and civil organizations worry about the increasing numbers of young Europeans of Islamic decent who are recruited or go voluntarily to fight against the Syrian regime. The Belgian Minister of Interior spoke to imams and Muslim community leaders about ways to stop this kind of recruitment, especially when a young student disappeared for months and was found in Syria. Some of the measures discussed would result in stripping the recruits of their Belgian citizenship.
This course, taught by a former European congressman and scholar of European and pan- Arab societies, politics, and media, provides a useful lens through which to examine the presence of Islam in European Societies.

SC12: Looking Back and Moving Forward: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Founding of the APSA El Sector Latino de Ciencia Politica (Latino Caucus of Political Science)
Valerie Martinez-Ebers
Full Day, 9:00AM – 5:00PM

The Latino Caucus was created in 1998 to both promote and protect the professional development and well-being of Latina/o political scientists AND to increase the visibility and support for the study of Latina/o politics. At that time, Latinos were severely underrepresented in the discipline and there were less than a handful of articles on Latino Politics in general interest political science journals. Today, largely due to the notable contributions and efforts of individual Latina/o scholars and with the support of APSA and other professional associations, there is obvious improvement in the status of Latina/o political scientists and Latino politics research but the problems of underrepresentation and mainstream acceptance and/or respect for the scholarship remain. With these thoughts in mind, the goals of our mini-conference are three-fold: 1. To recognize and celebrate the contributions of early scholars who “plowed the field” in the study of Latino politics; 2. To listen and learn from presentations on the latest, cutting-edge research in Latino politics; and 3. To provide intensive, hands-on training and networking opportunities for junior faculty and graduate students that will assist them in their efforts to survive and thrive in our discipline.


SC13: Managing Qualitative Data and Qualitative Research Transparency (QMMR2)
Colin Elman
Half Day, 9:00AM – 1:00PM

INSTRUCTORS: Diana Kapiszewski, Georgetown University (, and Sebastian Karcher, Syracuse University (

This short course has three central goals. First, the course provides guidance to help scholars manage data through the research lifecycle. We show how participants can meet funders’ data-management requirements and improve their own research by creating a data management plan. We discuss strategies for effectively documenting data throughout the research process to enhance their value to those who generated them and to other scholars. We also provide practical advice on keeping data secure to protect against data loss as well as illicit access to sensitive data. Second, we consider the multiple benefits of sharing data, the various uses of shared data (e.g. for evaluating scholarly products, for secondary analysis, and for pedagogical purposes), the challenges involved in sharing qualitative research data (including copyright and human participants-related concerns), and various ways to address those challenges. Finally, we discuss transparency in qualitative research. Achieving production transparency (i.e., describing how the data drawn on in published work were produced), and analytic transparency (i.e., describing how data were analyzed and how they support empirical claims and inferences in published work) facilitate the effective interpretation and evaluation of scholarly products. We introduce several ways of achieving both types of transparency in qualitative research. We focus in particular on “Annotation for Transparent Inquiry,” a new approach to transparency for work that uses narrative causal analysis supported by individual data sources.

SC14: Process Tracing (QMMR3)
Colin Elman
Half Day, 1:30 – 5:30PM

Andrew Bennett, Georgetown University (, Jeff Checkel, Simon Fraser University (, and Tasha Fairfield, London School of Economics (

DESCRIPTION: This course will cover the underlying logic and best practices of process tracing, which is a within-case method of developing and testing causal explanations of individual cases.

The first session of the course will briefly summarize the philosophy of science behind explanation via reference to hypothesized causal mechanisms. It will then outline the logic of process tracing in terms of Bayesian methods of inference, including the application of “hoop tests,” “smoking gun tests,” “doubly decisive tests,” and “straw in the wind tests.”

The second session of the course will focus on best practices and examples of process tracing, including the more inductive use of process tracing for theory development as well as its deductive use for theory testing. As time allows, and depending on the number of students, the instructors will ask students to outline briefly how they plan to use process tracing in their current research project. This will allow the instructors and fellow students to offer constructive advice on how best to carry out process tracing in each student’s project.

SC15: Rude Politics and College Students’ Political Engagement
J. Cherie Strachan
Half Day, 1:30 – 5:30PM

This short course, sponsored by the Consortium for Intercampus SoTL Research (CISR) and the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) explores solutions for college students’ reactions to rude politics. College students’ disinterest in traditional political participation may result from increasing levels of political incivility in contemporary politics. Negative and polarizing political discourse since 2008 has been characterized by name-calling, interruptions, and yelling – on the campaign trail, in meetings with constituents, and even on the floors of our legislatures. If our students believe that participating in politics requires them to pick a side and join the brawl, it is little wonder some may be reluctant to engage in traditional politics. Further, while rude politics may suppress political interest across the board, these egregious examples of political incivility might have an especially chilling effect on women and minorities, both of whom may find it hard to envision themselves imitating these highly-visible, aggressive public figures.

It is important to determine whether rude politics squelches students’ political ambition and interest, as this reaction will make promoting political engagement on our campuses even more difficult. It may also suppress political science’s efforts to attract and train diverse future political leaders. This short course reviews preliminary results from a multi-campus on-line experiment assessing student reactions to rude political behavior. Students on participating campuses were randomly assigned to review videos of civil or uncivil political behavior prior to taking an on-line post-test questionnaire. During the short course, insights gained from their responses will be used to develop and recommend curricular interventions intended to re-engage young people in politics. Materials from this short course may also be used to persuade college administrators that additional efforts to promote civic and political engagement, and to fulfill higher education’s civic mission, must be undertaken in order to counteract the effect of incivility in the broader political environment.

SC16: Teaching about Political Violence using Simulations and Games
Victor Asal
Half Day, 1:30 – 5:30PM

Simulations, role-play and games are increasingly becoming an important part of the dedicated instructor’s pedagogical repertoire. In terms of both classroom engagement and learning of skills and content, these methods can have a solid impact on students. Political violence is an area of international relations that especially lends itself well to the use of these techniques. This workshop will introduce participants to a number of short games, exercises, and mini-simulations that require little time and few resources to run successfully. We will play several of these games together, debrief them, and discuss the effectiveness of these techniques and ideas for further applications.

SC17: The Overlooked Challenges of Generalizing About Mechanisms (QMMR4)
Colin Elman
Half Day, 1:30 – 5:30PM

INSTRUCTOR: Derek Beach, University of Aarhus, Denmark (

How can we generalize within-case findings about processes and causal mechanisms to other, non-studied cases? The simple answer is that generalizations are possible to other cases that appear to be causally similar to the studied case(s). Existing guidelines suggest that the claim of similarity from the source to cases targeted for the generalization can be substantiated by comparisons – using either large-n, statistical analyses, medium-n comparative methods like QCA, or a small-n most/least-likely case logic (e.g. Lieberman, 2005; Goertz, 2017; Schneider and Rohlfing, 2013, 2016; Levy, 2008).

The core problem with existing guidelines is that they are blind to the potential of mechanistic heterogeneity existing in sets of cases that look similar at the cross-case level. If mechanisms are unpacked into their constituent working parts, how the process works can be very different in different contexts (Bunge, 1997; Falleti and Lynch, 2009; Gryzmala-Busse 2011; Steel, 2008). Mechanistic heterogeneity means that the same cause can trigger different mechanisms due to differences in contextual conditions.

However, the methods we utilize to substantiate the claim of case similarity only look at the level of causes, thereby forcing us to assume that other cases are also homogeneous at the level of mechanisms, when in fact the source case and the cases targeted for generalization might be very different at the process-level, thereby resulting in flawed generalizations.

In this short course, we will first explore the new mechanistic literature from the natural sciences and its recent applications in the social sciences. In this understanding of process, the goal of within-case analysis is to explore how things work in actual, real-world cases using mechanistic evidence. However, taking process seriously has serious but understudied implications for our ability to generalize.

We will then discuss the state-of-the-art regarding generalization about mechanisms and processes post-comparisons, and develop the problems one can encounter when assuming mechanistic homogeneity based solely on cross-case comparisons.

This is followed by an assessment of different potential techniques to deal with the problem of hidden potential mechanistic heterogeneity in sets of cases. These include theoretical tools like lifting the level of abstraction of our theories of mechanisms (and the limits of this), and the actual step-by-step probing of a population using empirical signatures of processes to determine the bounds of valid generalizations about mechanisms (Beach and Pedersen, forthcoming).

The course will utilize the recent book by Haggard and Kaufman (2016) as a working example of mechanistic heterogeneity across cases, but will also include real-world examples of mechanistic heteregeneity and what can be done about it from the field of policy evaluation.

SC18: Campaign Finance Data: Using Campaign Finance Institute, National Institute for Money in Politics, and Center for Responsive Politics Data for Teaching and Research
Bruce Larson
Half Day, 1:30 – 5:30PM

As most scholars of American politics know, the websites of the three organizations featured in this short course contain a treasure trove of data on money in politics, lobbying, personal finances, and legislative politics. Less well known is how scholars can most easily use these data to serve their research and teaching goals. This half day course aims to help scholars unlock this potential. The course will begin with the executive directors of the featured organizations highlighting the contents and applications of their respective databases:

* Sheila Krumholz (Center for Responsive Politics)
* Edwin Bender (National Institute on Money in State Politics)
* Michael J. Malbin, (Campaign Finance Institute)

Among the topics they will cover are the following:

* Using unique entity identifiers from NIMSP and CRP to trace donors, lobbyists, and recipients, across all fifty states (NIMSP) and the federal level (CRP and NIMSP) over time;
* Using CRP and NIMSP for cross-tracking committee memberships, campaign contributions, and lobbying expenditures, with legislative jurisdictions and actions;
* Combining CFI¹s historical database of state campaign finance laws with other data sources to analyze the impact of campaign finance law on outcomes;
* Combining large data sets from these organizations with other large
data sets; and
* Using CRP to track spending by super PACs and dark money groups; political ad data; and foreign lobbying data, as well the personal finances, net worth and potential conflicts of interest of Members of
Congress and public officials over time;

In addition to the executive directors of the featured organizations, three political scientists will help kick off the teaching and research discussions:

* Keith Hamm (Rice University) will address a variety of research issues, problems and potential benefits that arise from working with the data, building on his recent research on state legislative committees.
* Paul Herrnson (University of Connecticut) will discuss his use of CRP data to study super PACs, including coding and cleaning the data; combining them with additional data; addressing anomalies; and analyzing, at different units of analysis, contributions and expenditures.
* Jaclyn Kettler (Boise State University) will provide examples of previous courses using the websites¹ resources for classroom applications, demonstrating features helpful for lectures and undergraduate research projects.

Finally, we will be putting out a call to scholars to share their own teaching and research applications of these data at the short course. All submissions we receive will be available online even if the submitter
cannot attend in person. Participants are invited to bring their laptops, equipped with data sets if they wish. We will have sufficient bandwidth at the meeting venue to allow participants to have a hands-on experience.

Course registrants are also invited to submit specific research or teaching applications they would like the course to address to Bruce Larson at

SC19: Women and Democracy in America, 1630-2018
Eileen Botting
Half Day, 12:00 – 4:00PM

The Hannah Mather Crocker Society and The Wollstonecraft Philosophical Society are co-hosting an American Political Science Association Pre-Conference Short Course at the Massachusetts Historical Society on Wednesday August 29, 2018 from noon-4pm, followed by a reception for registered participants at the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

There is room for up to 40 registrants for this exciting interdisciplinary short course, which will bring together scholars from political science, political theory, literature, philosophy, and history to examine the enduring significance of Hannah Mather Crocker’s Observations on the Real Rights of Women (Boston, 1818), the first book-length treatise on women’s rights by an American. We will situate this understudied classic in the context of Crocker’s life (1752-1829) as a woman political actor and writer who bridged the colonial, revolutionary, and post-revolutionary eras in Boston. We will also examine the question of why the Observations and other political work by women in the early American republic mattered for later iterations of republican, democratic, and feminist theory and practice in the United States.

This APSA pre-conference short course will be held at the Massachusetts Historical Society (1154 Boylston Street, a short walking distance from the APSA meeting at the Boston Convention Center).

Noon-2pm Brownbag lunch and roundtable on “Why Hannah Mather Crocker’s Observations on the Real Rights of Women Matters at 200.” Roundtable panelists are Constance Post (English, Iowa State), Alea Henle (History, Miami University), Sarah L. Houser (Political Theory, American University), Eileen Hunt Botting (Political Theory, Notre Dame), Penny Weiss (Political Theory and Women’s Studies, St. Louis University), and Sandra Gustafson (English, Notre Dame).

Roundtable panelists will each give 10 minute presentations followed by approximately 45 minutes of discussion with the audience. Eileen Hunt Botting will chair the session.

2pm-3pm. Keynote by Sandra Gustafson (English, Notre Dame), author of Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early Republic (2011), on “Women and Democracy in the 19th Century.”

Response by Lisa Pace Vetter (Political Science, University of Maryland-Baltimore County), author of The Political Thought of America’s Founding Feminists (2017).

30-minute discussion with participants to follow the short keynote lecture (20 minutes) and response (10 minutes).

3pm-4pm. 200th birthday party for Crocker’s Observations on the Real Rights of Women. Cake and refreshments followed by a tour of MHS and its special exhibit on women in the early American republic, in honor of Crocker.

4pm-5pm. Break to explore Boston and its historical sites related to Crocker, the American Revolution, and the early republic.

5pm-7pm. Reception (drinks and hors-d’oeuvres) for registered participants, hosted by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 87 Mount Vernon Street.

SC20: #MeToo PoliSci
Nadia Brown
Full Day, 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Started by Tarana Burke in 2007 to stand with young women of color who survived sexual assault, the Me Too campaign was intended to let women know that they were not alone. Today, the phrase is now a viral awareness campaign on social media that has inspired others to share their stories, stand in solidarity with survivors, and to challenge a culture of pervasive sexual assault and harassment. The Women’s Caucus will use #MeTooPoliSci to bring awareness to sexual harassment, assault and misconduct in our discipline. We seek to use our collective power to dispel the shame, embarrassment and secrecy that surrounds these issues. Stand with us.

This daylong event will feature panels, roundtables and a plenary session on helping to empower womyn and our allies to use their influence to combat sexual harassment and misconduct in our disincline.

This session will explore the multiple manifestations and implications of gendered biases in Political Science by “connecting the dots” between the sexual harassment described in the recent Report on 2017 APSA Survey on Sexual Harassment at Annual Meetings and other problematic issues in the discipline, particularly (1) problems like bullying and entitled and toxic forms of masculinity; (2) systematic discounting of and dismissiveness and derision toward work on gender and sexuality; (3) biases and inequities associated with things like hiring, teaching evaluations, service loads, and tenure and promotion; and (4) related and often intersecting forms of harassment, toxicity, and bullying, especially but not only those related to race and sexuality.

SC21: Research Development Group: Emerging Research from African scholars
Andrew Stinson
Full Day, 9:00AM – 5:00PM
The full-day course, organized by the African Politics Conference Group, will feature two theme panels (one morning, one afternoon) in which attendees will discuss and offer feedback on current research undertaken by 6 scholars, all of whom are based at African institutions. Papers will not be presented in a formal sense; rather, panel sessions will be organized to allow for intense discussion and feedback on each paper. Discussion will be moderated by two senior faculty from the US, with a goal of identifying key areas for improvement in pursuit of publication in peer-reviewed journals. The course is open to enrollment from any APSA member interested in engaging with these discussions and networking with African scholars. The course is part of a larger collaboration between the American Political Science Association and the African Studies Association to support and enhance the networks between scholars based in Africa and the USA.

SC22: Research Development Group: Emerging research from MENA scholars
Andrew Stinson
Full Day, 9:00AM – 5:00PM

The full-day course will feature several theme panels in which attendees will discuss and offer feedback on current research undertaken by 7 Arab scholars. Papers will not be presented in a formal sense; rather, panel sessions will be organized to allow for intense discussion and feedback on each paper. Discussion will be moderated by faculty from the US, with a goal of identifying key areas for improvement in pursuit of publication in peer-reviewed journals. The course is open to enrollment from any APSA member interested in engaging with these discussions and networking with scholars from the Arab Middle East and North Africa. The course is part of a larger collaboration between the American Political Science Association and the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS) to enhance the networks between scholars based in the MENA region and the USA.

SC23: Declaring  and Diagnosing Research Designs
Graeme Blair, UCLA; Alex Coppock, Yale
Half Day, 1:30 – 5:30PMThis short course will teach participants how to learn
about their research designs through Monte Carlo simulation using
DeclareDesign, a suite of software tools for R and the web. We will
describe how to “declare” and “diagnose” research designs in order to
learn their properties. Is my design well-powered to detect
heterogeneous effects? Is my design unbiased for my target of
inference? Users with no familiarity with R are very welcome: the vast
majority of tasks can be accomplished via the web interface with no
coding experience required. We ask that participants come to the
session with a research design in mind that we can workshop with the
help of these software tools.Content:I. MIDA: Model, Inquiry, Data Strategy, Answer Strategy- We begin the course with an introduction to our MIDA framework for
thinking about research designsII. Diagnosands- Diagnosands are the properties of a research design we want to
learn: for example, power, bias, or expected standard errorIII. DeclareDesignUsing our software tools, we will characterize two studies:- A two-arm experiment with heterogeneous effects by party
– A snowball survey of political attitudes

IV. Design Diagnosis

– Participants will diagnose their own designs

SC24: Japan-America Women Political Scientists Symposium (JAWS)
Andrew Stinson
Full Day, 9:00AM – 5:00PMThe full-day course will feature several theme panels related to Gender and Democracy. Attendees will discuss and offer feedback on research undertaken by 9 early-career scholars from the Japan and the USA. The course is open to enrollment from any APSA member interested in joining these discussions and networking with women who study related issues in Japanese Politics and American Politics at the intersection of gender.

Register for a Short Course!