Spring 2022


, 4 pts, GR8420


The idea that culture influences politics has been a core theme of the modern social sciences. But scholars have debated what culture is, what it influences, and how. The course looks at some of the foundational works in this literature. It then focuses on the stream of research that uses survey research methods and in so doing, focuses on the understanding of political culture as a distribution within a society of values, norms, and attitudes toward political objects. Within this literature, we look at how social scientists using survey research have assessed the impact of political culture on one type of behavior, political participation, and one type of attitude, regime legitimacy. This in turn involves a discussion of the distinction in the literature between democratic and authoritarian regime types, and how they differ with respect to drivers of participation and causes of legitimacy. The course deals with culture, regime type, participation, and legitimacy at both the conceptual and methodological levels. By critiquing prominent works in the field, we will learn more about problems of measurement, question formulation, response category design, and questionnaire design, and about practical problems of gaining access and conducting interviews in various social and political environments. We will develop an appreciation of how sampling techniques affect the reliability of findings, and discuss the possibilities and limits of using non-random and flawed samples. Students who can use statistical software will have an opportunity to work with the Asian Barometer Survey Wave 4 dataset.

Section Number
Call Number
Day, Time & Location
R 2:10PM-4:00PM 711 International Affairs: Building
Andrew J Nathan