[LA Weekly] The Art of Political Bargaining Was Recently Named One of the Best Classes in Los Angeles

L.A. Weekly featured USC in its Best of 2012 issue. The designation Best Video Art Exhibit of 2012 was given to the Tree of Testimony, an exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust based on survivor testimonies from the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. L.A. Weekly also featured two USC classes in its Best of L.A. Education section. “Human Survival: Learning From the Past,” taught by Lynn Swartz Dodd of the USC Dornsife College, teaches students to make clothes, food and tools the way prehistoric humans would. “The Art of Political Bargaining,” taught by Jeb Barnes of the USC Dornsife College, examines what produces gridlock and new legislation during the political process. “On the first day of class, I arrive with a warm batch of homemade brownies and tell the students to divide them using majority rule,” Barnes said. “Soon students are busy building coalitions, trying to persuade members to join them and buying off ‘swing votes’ with promises of a greater share.”

Best of L.A. CLasses, LA Weekly


The Art of Political Bargaining
Jeb Barnes, Political Science

This course will examine the art of political bargaining using simulations, documentaries and case studies of successful and unsuccessful efforts to build winning legislative coalitions in Congress. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, including law, political science, economics and sociology, students will gain a greater appreciation of the federal policy-making process, the challenges facing lawmakers in building support for their policy preferences, and the prospects of our system of checks and balances for dealing with today’s major policy problems.

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