Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Robert J. Friedrich

Associate Professor of Government
717-291-4162
Office: HAR212

Professional Biography

Dr. Friedrich teaches courses in American Government, public opinion and mass political behavior, and research methods.  His current research interests are in electoral politics and electoral institutions, particularly the relationship between seats and votes in legislative elections, and in political values and ideology, particularly their relationship to religion.

Professor Friedrich has reviewed manuscripts for the American Journal of Political Science and Journal of Politics and currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Politics.

Education

Dr. Friedrich received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado in 1968 and Master's and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Michigan in 1970 and 1977, respectively.

Course Information

Government 100: American Government (Regular and First-Year Seminar Versions)

This course aims to increase the student's understanding of the American system of government-more specifically, its origins, its evolution, its means, its ends, its structures, its operations, its virtues, its faults-and some of the contemporary issues it confronts.  It pursues this goal through a combination of lectures, reading and discussion in class-which, in addition to helping students learn about American government, helps them to improve their skills in reading, listening, thinking, writing, and speaking.  Discussions often focus on contemporary political events and issues and so students are expected to keep in touch with current affairs by reading a daily newspaper or a weekly news magazine, watching the news and TV regularly, and following some of the many news resources available on the Internet.


Government 225: Citizen Politics

The purpose of this course is to increase the student's understanding of the role that ordinary citizens play in American politics, acting both as individuals and through two particular collective "channels" by which citizens can participate in politics, interest groups and political parties.  Much of political science concentrates on the political elites-political professionals, such as executives, legislators, judges, bureaucrats, or public employees.

Here the focus is on what "ordinary people" who are not occupationally involved do, through certainly "professionals" sometimes figure in the story.  Citizen participation, interest groups, and political parties are among the most prominent and controversial topics in contemporary political analysis.  This course aims to improve the student's understanding of these topics through a two-pronged approach.  It examines empirical questions: what do these phenomena look like and why do they work the way they do?

But it will also address these phenomena's normative aspects: are we satisfied with what we observe and, if not, what can and should we do about it?


Government 250: Political Research

The purpose of this course is to develop the student's understanding of the methods of empirical political research to such a level that:

1. The student will be able to carry out competent political research on his or her own and working in collaboration with others; and

2. The student will be able to read, understand, and comment intelligently on literature, both in political science and more generally, which reports on empirical research in politics, public policy, and many other fields.


Government 476: Seminar on Survey Research

Students design and carry out one of more surveys of public opinion in the Lancaster area and then write papers and make presentations based on their analyses of the results.  To provide a substantive focus for the survey project, some sessions focus on contemporary issues in public opinion and public policy, on both the national and local level.