As Instructor of Record:
POLS 204 Introduction to Comparative Politics, Summer 2017
While democracy currently represents the most common type of “political order” around the world, the legitimacy of democratic institutions is far from a foregone conclusion in many countries. The spread of representative forms of government has not come without significant challenges, both old and new. Throughout modern history, there continues to be significant variation in the types of political systems, or “rules of the game,” that govern society—rules that have real consequences for those that they govern.
This course explores a sequence of questions aimed at better understanding the causes and consequences of various forms of political order around the world. What is “the state” and where do states come from? What are institutions? Why are some states strong while others are weak? What explains the persistence of authoritarian forms of government, or even the collapse of previously democratic governments into authoritarian regimes? Why are some countries more prone to civil conflict and political violence than others? Why are some countries wealthy while others remain mired in poverty? Why do some countries have more generous social welfare states than others?
To answer these questions and more, this course will introduce students to a broad range of concepts and theoretical approaches that will provide them with the tools to systematically analyze politics. This course is organized around core themes in comparative politics, and the major theories therein. This includes the development of states and nations, democratization, the consequences of different electoral systems, authoritarianism and hybrid regimes, development, redistribution and inequality, and the role of ethnicity in politics. This course emphasizes social scientific approaches in order to better understand politics in a broad range of “case studies” as varied as Afghanistan, Chile, Denmark, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Germany, Northern Ireland, the United States, and Russia (just to name a few). In addition, the course will use scholarly insights to shed light on current issues influencing public debate.
As Graduate Teaching Assistant:
POLS 204 Introduction to Comparative Politics, Spring 2018
POLS/JSIS 371 Global Crime and Corruption, Winter 2018
POLS 204 Introduction to Comparative Politics, Autumn 2016
POLS 204 Introduction to Comparative Politics, Spring 2014
POLS 270 Introduction to Political Economy, Winter 2014
POLS 325 The Arab-Israeli Conflict, Autumn 2013