The New Institutionalism


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Reaction paper to Chapter 3 “The Court as an Idea, Not a Building (or a Game): Interpretive Institutionalism and the Analysis of Supreme Court Decision-Making” by Howard Gillman

Here are the instructions from the syllabus-
Throughout the semester you will be required to complete four, three paged, double-spaced opinion papers. These papers are to showcase your thoughtful reaction and opinion regarding a reading or readings from the Murphy, Pritchett, Epstein and Knight Reader, or from Moodle. The readings should correspond with the topic at the time of the assignment. You can cover just one reading, or multiple readings.

In these papers I am looking for evidence that you have not only read the readings you discuss, but have clearly digested the material and have some reaction to it. What are the questions addressed by the readings? Do you have critiques of the author’s theoretical arguments, research design, evidence and/or conclusions? You will not be judged on whether you agree or disagree with the author – just that you are able to back up your position in a logical and clear manner.

Opinion papers should be three-paged, double-spaced; with one inch margins all around, printed on both back and front if possible. Your name and the date should be in the upper right hand corner. The name of the readings should be in bold at the top.

Opinion Papers are due at the beginning of class on the dates assigned in the syllabus. If you are unable to attend class on a day that a paper is due, you are responsible for e-mailing the paper to your TA before class. Any papers received after the beginning of class will be considered late and points will be deducted. You may want to bring an additional copy of the paper to class for your own reference to facilitate your participation in class.

The papers are your opportunity to accumulate points in this class. Make sure they are correctly formatted, neat, spell-checked and complete. Style and grammar will count towards the grade. I expect you to follow the format and be full and robust in your analysis. Because we review the readings in class, any late submissions will be very heavily penalized. I will accept opinion papers only one day late and then for only half the value.

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