Public Opinion and Political Communication

“Politicians say that they faithfully follow public opinion. However, some scholars have argued that elites not only do not follow public opinion but that they shape it. What is the true of nature of the relationship between elite opinion, public opinion and government policy? Why is this an important question?

Make your argument with reference to at least 4 authors whom we covered in this class. A shorter essay that answers the question is better than a long essay that does not answer the question at all.

Carefully read the question to make sure that you are answering the question that I posed and not one that you have studied for
– Formulate a thesis statement (i.e. an argument) in the first few opening paragraphs
– Present and develop an argument over the course of the essay beyond simply summarizing the literature
– Refer to relevant readings (insofar as they are an essential part of your argument) in the essay by, at the very least, including the author’s last name
– Bear in mind that a shorter well-argued essay is much better than a long summary of the literature that lacks an argument.

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