(POLS 295 – Section A:  No. 91398)


Time:  Wednesdays 2:30-5:20 p.m.                                                                    Fall 2003


Place:   523 Old Mill


Professor Frank Bryan          

Tel:                   656-0570

Office:              Room 540 Old Mill Building

Office Hours:    Tues. and Thurs. 9-11 am, Wed. 1:30 – 2:30 pm,  and by appointment

Web Page:



            This is a research seminar that directs students in the use of quantitative data to test hypothesizes derived from communitarian or what Jane Mansbridge calls “unitary” democracy and I call “real” democracy. It seeks to provide a thorough grounding in communitarian theory, an understanding of the world’s best operating example of real democracy, the New England town meeting, and the ability to use a number of statistical tools and methodological procedures. The fundamental question is: “Can ordinary citizens govern themselves?”


Grading System:


            Seminar Participation                                    30%

            Final Paper                                                     70%



                                                                                CLASSROOM PROTOCOL


1.             Students are expected to attend and be prepared for ALL regularly scheduled classes.


2.             Students are expected to arrive on time and stay in class until the class period ends.  If a student knows in advance that s/he will need to leave early, s/he should notify the instructor before the class period begins.


3.             Students are expected to treat faculty and fellow students with respect.  For example, students must not disrupt class by leaving and reentering during class, must not distract class by making noise, and must be attentive to comments being made by the instructors and by peers.


4.             Instructors will inform students of any special additions.


                                                                    THE COURSE


Class Schedule


September 3      Introduction to the Seminar


September 10     The Communitarian Ideal


                                    Mansbridge Beyond Adversary Democracy p. 3-35

                                    McWilliams Democracy and the Citizen p. 79-101

                                    Bryan Real Democracy p. 1-38


September 17     Town Meeting


                                    Mansbridge Beyond Adversary Democracy p. 39-125

                                    Zimmerman The New England Town Meeting p. 83-101 & 164-196

                                    Bryan Real Democracy p. 39-78 & 375-399


September 24     Research Methods I: Fundamentals of Correlation and Regression


                                    Daniel Kemmis Community and the Politics of Place


October 1          Research Methods II: Designing and Using Graphs


                                    No reading assignment


October 8          Attendance at Town Meeting


                                    Bryan Real Democracy p. 79-187


October 15        Participation in Town Meeting


                                    Bryan Real Democracy p. 188-250


October 22        Women in Town Meeting


                                    Bryan Real Democracy p. 251-313


October 29        Conflict and Issues


                                    Bryan Real Democracy p. 314-374


November 5       Preliminary Findings


Nov. 12, 19       Student Presentations and Critiques

& Dec. 3, 10