Seminar in Political Communication

Political Science 425 - Communication 360g

Winter Quarter 2019-20

Location: Encina Hall, Room 400
Time: M 1.30 - 4.20

Instructor: Shanto Iyengar (
Office Hours: 445 Encina Hall, Tue 1-2pm (and by appt.)

Class website:

The seminar provides an overview of research in political communication with special reference to work on the impact of the mass media on public opinion and voting behavior. Students are asked to submit four papers. Three will be critical syntheses of a designated subset of the readings. These short papers (3-4 pages, double-spaced) will set the agenda for in-class discussion. The fourth paper will be more extensive; you are asked to propose a line of research that extends the state of knowledge in a particular sub-field of political communication. The research proposal will account for fifty percent of the course grade with the remainder being divided (evenly) between the three review papers.

Stanford University and its faculty are committed to ensuring that all courses are financially accessible to all students. The Diversity & First-Gen Office may be able to provide assistance by completing their questionnaire on course textbooks & supplies or by contacting Joseph Brown, the Associate Director of the Diversity and First-Gen Office (; Old Union Room 207). Dr. Brown is available to connect you with resources and support while ensuring your privacy.

Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066,

Jan 6 – Historical Perspective

Jan 13 – Media as a Political Institution

Jan 27 – The Economics of News

Feb 3,10 – Exposure to Political Messages

Feb 24 – Media Effects (1); Agenda-Setting and Priming
Mar 2 – Media Effects (2); Framing and Persuasion

Mar 9 – Media and Polarization