Graduate Courses

Modern Institutional Analysis (Advanced Institutions)

Modern Institutional Analysis (MIA) explores the logic, structure, operation, and significance of political institutions. MIA holds that all political institutions involve a relatively limited repertoire of “strategic situations.” By learning how to recognize and analyze these strategic situations in different guises, students acquire tools that afford deep insight into virtually any political institution.  The course 1) Introduces students to some of the main strategic situations encountered in MIA ; 2) Drills students in pattern recognition; 3) Illustrates MIA in a wide variety of settings; 4) Surveys some of the greatest hits of MIA. The aim is to learn how to think in models about political institutions.

Model Courts

This seminar introduces the positive political theory of courts and judicial institutions. It provides a unified framework for understanding the logical structure and evolution of law, the behavior of judges and litigants, the design and operation of judicial institutions including judicial hierarchies and collegial courts such as the U.S. Supreme Court, and the relationship between courts, administrative agencies, and legislatures.  More than a survey of existing literatures, the course aims at providing a progressive way of thinking about law and courts, one that leads naturally to new theoretical and empirical research at the current frontiers of knowledge. The emphasis is on theory-building and theory-testing rather than empirical fact finding.