Pompeiian fresco, 1st c. AD

SSP100.001: Democracy Inaction
M 2.30-3.25
W 1.00-2.20 F 1.25-2.20 (Lib 213)

Prof. Michael Arnush Starbuck 201D x8113
marnush@skidmore.edu Hours: M 11-12 F 10.30-11.30
Classics Department
Skidmore College
1 Conducting Research
Barbara Norelli, Government librarian: meet in our classroom 1-1.20, and then the Bibliographic Instruction room, Library first floor
2 Visit the Tang - group 1: 7pm
Leadership, the charter and the democratic process
  • F. Bryan, "Democracy as Public Presence: Walking the Bounds," Real Democracy, ch. 3
  • "Committee discusses out with the old, in with the new," The Saratogian, December, 2005
  • Review:
    J. Svara, "Institutional Powers and Mayoral Leadership," State and Local Government Review 27 (1995) 71-83.
    R. Gurwitt, "Nobody in Charge," Governing Magazine (Sept. 1997)
4 Visit the Tang - group 2: 2pm
6 Mathematical power indices for the Saratoga Springs City Council - class in TLC 202
Joint class meeting with Prof. David Vella's Scribner Seminar on "Serious Games: Conflict, Power and Voting, Davis Auditorium"
7 Election Day: watch the results on television and read Wednesday morning's papers!

Vote on Charter Revision &
Richard Danielpour

  • 1.00, LI213: local election - recap of the vote
  • 1.25, BO281 (w. Prof. Mechem's CC220 Classical Myth): Richard Danielpour's Margaret Garner

Did democracy work?
Dinner at the Arnush/Mechem residence, 53 Warren St.

  • Raaflaub, "A Hypothetical Debate about Democracy"
  • Final Project: Topic/Thesis statement due
11 Trip to NYC

Visit the Greek galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of NYC

Review of modern democracy &
Prep questions for Mayor Keehn
  • Bryan, Read Democracy, ch. 11, "The Best Democracy, the Worst Democracy"
15 Democracy Inaction: final project discussions & comic presentation preparations
  • Group work: designing a comic take on local politics, ancient or modern
  • Group work: reviewing final projects
The charter reform: a recap & a look to the future
Guest: Mayor Valerie Keehn, Saratoga Springs
20 Democracy ancient and modern
  • Beedham, "Full Democracy"
  • Robinson, "Direct Democracy: Old Prejudices and New Possibilities" (handout)
  • Final Project: introductory paragraph and working bibliography due
22-24 Thanksgiving break  
27 Democracy Inaction: satire and comedy
  • Meet outside of class to make final preparations for presentations; see Prof. Arnush in his office if necessary
  • America (The Book), 1-34, 103-132, 167-183
  • Group work: designing a satiric take on local politics
29 Democracy Inaction: satire and comedy, and
Stress Management
  • Group work: presentations of comic projects
  • Guest speaker, Julia Routbort, Director, Skidmore Counselling Center