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POLS 320: Democracy in America (HC)

Political Science 320: Democracy in America (McGovern) Fall 2023

Background Information

The following sources summarize political and legislative issues and provide a good overview of the national policy debate on political participation, social justice, and other topics.  They provide an excellent resource for quickly identifying relevant legislation, key players, terminology, and points of view.  To find how to obtain the related congressional reports, hearings, laws and other materials, see the tab for Data and Other Source materials.

Background Information: Literature Reviews

Literature reviews are a particularly useful resource when doing research.  They address the issues involved in a specific question and the debates among scholars.  They map out the intellectual terrain succinctly and give you the major landmarks in terms of key authors and significant titles for greater understanding.  They will often also discuss new directions needed in research.  See this research tutorial for more information and resources.

Literature reviews devoted in whole or part to issues related to your topic include those listed below:

1.  Bipartisan collaboration in Congress

The Dysfunctional Congress (2015) in the Annual Review of Political Science

How Party Polarization Affects Governance (2015) in the Annual Review of Political Science

2.  Diversion programs for juveniles in the justice system

Promoting Healthy Outcomes among Youth with Multiple Risks: Innovative Approaches (2013) in the Annual Review of Public Health

Models of Prosecutor-Led Diversion Programs in the United States and Beyond (2021) in the Annual Review of Criminology

3.  Gender pay gaps 

The Evolution of Gender Gaps in Industrialized Countries (2016) in the Annual Review of Economics

The Impacts of Paid Family and Medical Leave on Worker Health, Family Well-Being, and Employer Outcomes (2023) in the Annual Review of Public Health

4. Politics of climate change

Harnessing the Power of Communication and Behavior Science to Enhance Society's Response to Climate Change (2023) in the Annual Review of earth and Planetary Sciences

Social Movement Theory and the Prospects for Climate Change Activism in the United States (2017) in the Annual Review of Political Science 

5. Urban/regional mass transit

Health Impact Assessment of Transportation Projects and Policies (2019) in the Annual Review of Public Health

Representation and Accountability in Cities (2010) in the Annual Review of Political Science

Urban Political Ecology (2015) in the Annual Review of Anthropology

Handbooks and Guides

These kinds of reference books provide overviews that address major issues and topics within a field of study.  The authors not only discuss key content but they also provide a more sophisticated level of analysis and contextualization than you might find in a textbook or introductory study.  The authors are chosen for their research in specific areas and deliver authoritative essays.  The material they choose to include in their bibliographies are good points of departure for further research and reading.  Some relevant titles are listed below. 

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