Michael Franz

Associate Professor of Government and Chair of the Government and Legal Studies Department

Teaching this semester

GOV 2080. Quantitative Analysis in Political Science

Michael Franz
Examines the use of quantitative methods to study political phenomena. Discusses the nature of empirical thinking and how principles used for years by natural scientists, such as causation and control, have been adopted by social scientists. Introduces what these methods are (such as Chi-square tests, difference of means, and linear regression) and how they might be useful in political research and applies these methods, with particular emphasis on the use of survey data. Using quantitative methods, employs statistical computing software (such as Stata, SPSS, and/or R) as a research tool, with a focus on effective presentation of data and results. The assignments include a mix of essay writing and problem sets. The course is designed for students with little or no experience in statistical inference.

GOV 3020. Money and Politics

Michael Franz
Considers the historical and contemporary relationship between money and government. In what ways have moneyed interests always had distinctive influences on American politics? Does this threaten the vibrancy of our representative democracy? Are recent controversies over campaign finance reform and lobbying reform signs that American government is in trouble? Reading, writing, and discussion intensive, considers the large academic literature on this subject, as well as the reflections of journalists and political practitioners, with the overall goal of understanding the money/politics relationship in ways that facilitate the evaluation of American democracy.

I am an Associate Professor and Chair of Government and Legal Studies at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.  My research interests include campaign finance, political advertising, and interest groups. I am also co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project.  The predecessor of that project was the Wisconsin Advertising Project.

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Campaign Advertising and American Democracy (with Paul Freedman, Kenneth Goldstein, and Travis Ridout) (Temple University Press, 2007)

Choices and Changes: Interest Groups in the Electoral Process (Temple University Press, 2008).  Research for this book was based on my dissertation, which was awarded the American Political Science Association's E.E. Schattschneider Award the best doctoral dissertation in the field of American government.

Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Michael Franz, Paul Freedman, Kenneth Goldstein, and Travis Ridout.  Forthcoming. “Understanding the Effect of Political Ads on Voter Turnout: A Response to Krasno and Green” Journal of Politics.

Michael Franz and Travis Ridout. 2007. “Do Political Ads Persuade?” Political Behavior.

Travis Ridout and Michael Franz. 2007. “Measures Matter: Assessing Measures of Campaign Tone,” Political Communication.

Michael M. Franz, Joel Rivlin, and Kenneth Goldstein.  2006.  "Much More of the Same: Television Advertising Pre- and Post-BCRA," in Michael Malbin (ed.) The Election After Reform: Money, Politics, and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Travis Ridout, Dhavan Shah, Kenneth Goldstein, and Michael M. Franz.  2004.  "Evaluating Measures of Campaign Advertising Exposure on Political Learning," Political Behavior. 26 (3): 201-225     

Paul Freedman, Michael M. Franz, and Kenneth Goldstein.  2004.  "Campaign Advertising and Democratic Citizenship," American Journal of Political Science. 48(3): 723-741.

Michael M. Franz and Kenneth Goldstein.  2002. "Following the (Soft) Money: Party Advertisements in American Elections," in Sandy Maisel (ed.) The Parties Respond, 4th Edition.  Boulder, CO: Westview Press.


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