An introduction to the analysis of U.S. politics. Approaches given consideration include institutional design and innovation, social capital and civil society, the state, attitudes, ideology, econometrics of elections, rational actors, formal theories of institutions, and transatlantic comparisons. Assigned authors include R. Putnam, T. Skocpol, J. Gerring, J. Zaller, D.R. Kiewiet, L. Bartels, D. Mayhew, K. Poole & H. Rosenthal, G. Cox & M. McCubbins, K. Krehbiel, E. Schickler, and A. Alesina. Students are expected to read and discuss each week’s assignment and, for each of five weeks, to write a three- to five-page analytic paper that deals with a subject addressed or suggested by the reading.