211 Silsby Hall
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755
Tel: (603) 646-2544
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South Africa, India, Brazil, France, Zambia: most representative democracies also happen to be multiethnic democracies. This seminar examines the role played by ethnicity and ethnic diversity in political campaigns, electoral choices and the political decision-making process. Each class addresses a specific question. While we will usually focus on one "great book" per session - taking time to analyze and critique the author's thought in depth -, the geographical focus of our readings will change from one week to the next, thus offering a broad range of perspectives on the role played by ethnicity in representative democracies throughout the world. Dist: SOC, WC: CI.
Political corruption has become a major research frontier in economics and political science. Over the past few decades, social scientists and policy-makers have increasingly focused on corruption as a major obstacle to economic development and an impediment to effective governance. Conventional wisdom is that corruption demoralizes society, impedes the processes of democratization, and inhibits economic growth. In this seminar, we will critically examine the concept of corruption and explore the literature on the causes of corruption and its political, economic and social consequences in developing countries. We will also consider the possible solutions to corruption, and the varying success of different types of reforms undertaken by governments and advocated by international organizations.
We will begin by considering the different approaches to conceptualizing and measuring corruption, and explore the innovative ways that people have attempted to gauge the extent and effects of hidden corrupt practices. We will then turn to the possible causes of corruption and its impact in comparative perspective. Are there general causes of corruption? How does corruption affect economic and social development? Why has corruption inhibited economic growth and democratization in some countries but not others? Might corruption be "efficient," and even "positive," in some settings? In the final weeks, we will focus on the anti-corruption efforts by national governments and international organizations. Can corruption be eliminated? What policy reforms have proved more effective in reducing or containing political corruption?
Each week combines key theoretical readings central to the study of corruption, with case studies that illuminate how corruption has been experienced "on the ground" across a range of developing and transition societies. In addition to enhancing students' familiarity with the substantive issues, the seminar also intends to introduce students to the latest methods and techniques used by scholars and practitioners to analyze political corruption. Dist: SOC.
The rise of new democracies in Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s enhanced the notion of the rule of law, strengthened democratic institutions, and promoted constitutional changes. Yet after a few decades, many countries still face social unrest over unfilled expectations, and constitutional reforms and overhauls have continued in the new century. This seminar course will address a range of questions associated with democracy and the rule of law in Latin America. Do the new constitutional trends provide solutions to problems of stability, inclusiveness, equality, and economic development? Have they guaranteed free elections and independent justice? What explains the weakness of the rule of law in many countries? Is “legal pluralism” a viable option to the traditional legal culture, particularly in multicultural societies?
How have ideas about class, race, gender and ethnicity shaped Latin American politics in the 20th and 21stcenturies? This seminar will focus on the evolution of these categories as the basis for political incorporation and representation over time. Blitz Professor Baldez for the syllabus.
This course aims at giving students an in-depth understanding of the relations between Canada and the United States by drawing on key concepts in foreign policy analysis and international relations. During this seminar, participants will learn about foreign policy decision-making through a comparison of both countries. The seminar will notably focus on a number of prominent themes for Canada-U.S. relations from the end of the Cold War to the present: the Northwest Passage, the ‘war on terror’, military cooperation and intervention, trade and climate change. Students will also learn about the dynamics of international dispute management and put that knowledge into practice by engaging in a negotiation exercise on the issue of the Northwest Passage.
Security and immigration policy along the U.S.-Mexico border has become a political proving ground, encompassing issues of self-identity and global responsibility. This seminar offers students the opportunity to investigate immigration and admissions policy, law enforcement and citizen activism in border societies, and the securitization of the border.In doing so, we will explore the challenges of setting border policies and the repercussions that these policies have both at the border and beyond. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.
Capitalism shapes every aspect of the public and private lives of people across the globe: it affects what they eat, what they read, where they live, and how governments are organized and power used. Few people are indifferent to what they see as its effects. But "capitalism" itself is constantly changing. In this seminar, we will explore political responses to capitalism, examining both responses to capitalism as a form of economic activity and responses to capitalism as a process of change. Dist: SOC or INT.
1989 was a year of ferment in all socialist countries. However, some socialist regimes crumbled, while others managed to stay in power. In this course we will analyze the experience of China (where protests were violently suppressed and failed to bring about political change), of the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria (where protests were relatively peaceful yet successful), and of Romania (where a bloody revolution was necessary to topple the regime). At the end of the course students will take part in a simulation where they will give advice to North Korean dissidents on how to topple the Communist regime. Dist: SOC or INT, WCult: EU/W.
The course surveys a range of topics relevant to modern Latin American democracy. The central theme is to examine what factors affect the development of democratic institutions and their effectiveness in providing accountable government. We consider the legacy of authoritarian regimes on contemporary politics, the importance of political culture, the role of elections, and a number of alternative frameworks for organizing representation and bargaining among political actors. Dist: SOC.
This course examines the ways in which issues pertaining to gender-related issues are salient to politics in the United States. We will cover four general themes:
Theme One: Gender, Racism and American Political Development. Theme Two: Theories About How Gender is Relevant to Politics. Theme Three: Gender and Elective Office. Theme Four: Law, Courts and Public Policy. Dist: SOC.
The most traditional of the middle eastern countries, the Arab Gulf States (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Oman) have witnessed a series of profound economic and political upheavals since their independence that have kept ruling families in power and local societies largely powerless. In this course we investigate how the influx of oil revenues has shaped the institutions and power of the state in each country, how these state institutions in turn determined the range and shape of political interaction between rulers and local societies, and how Islam became a dividing mechanism to obtain legitimacy, used by local rulers and their opponents alike in pursuing alternative versions of how the state should be constructed.
The rule of law exists when laws are enforced with predictability, transparency, and fairness. We will begin the course by analyzing the conditions under which autocracies can develop a limited form of the rule of law, thus questioning the assumption that the rule of law can only arise in democracies. We will also focus on the special challenges facing federal states that attempt to develop the rule of law. We will then turn our attention to the institutions that ensure the operation of the rule of law –namely courts and bureaucracies –and analyze when and how they can become guarantors of the rule of law. Throughout the course, we will read about the rise of corruption in the absence of the rule of law. This course will be broadly comparative, with historical and contemporary examples drawn from East Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, the United States, and, to a lesser extent, from Latin America and Africa. Dist: SOC
Politicians, journalists, and ordinary citizens all have theories about how the political world works. These theories are rarely articulated. Social scientists, in contrast, articulate their theories—but defend different theories and therefore adopt different approaches and methods as they identify puzzles and elaborate arguments. This seminar will compare different social science paradigms, beginning with their assumptions about (i) the nature of the social world as distinct from the physical world, (ii) the nature and limitations of human action, and (iii) the nature of causality in social phenomena. The goal is to enable students better to assess, use, and critique social science wherever they encounter it.
Post-9/11 common sense conceptions of Islam tend to overemphasize its political role and to underestimate its internal political diversity. The seminar assesses these conceptions through a critical survey of the political role of Islam in the contemporary world both on the local level within states and on the global scale. Its central focus is the phenomenon of Islamist political activism with its distinguishable moderate and radical trends. The course examines the contextual causes and effects of this phenomenon, as well as its various antagonisms or alliances with regimes, secularist activists, and foreign powers in phenomena ranging from regime transitions, civil wars, revolution, and terrorism, to liberal reforms and pro-democracy movements. Cases covered include Muslim-majority countries as well as Muslim minorities in Western and non-Western countries.
This course examines democratic reform movements and their authoritarian challengers in the Middle East. We will consider case studies of different types of authoritarian regimes along with characteristically different experiences with democratization efforts and their outcomes: Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Turkey, and Iran. The course also assesses externally-sponsored democracy promotion in the region and its often-paradoxical effects. The focus is on the relative effects of key factors on democratization: regime type, religion & culture, civil society, socio-economic development, oil wealth, terrorism, and regional & international politics.
This course will address a key unresolved puzzle in post-soviet studies: why have some of the 15 Soviet successor states became democratic, while others remain authoritarian? Several ex-Soviet states have evolved into full-fledged democracies (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia), but others are best described as hard-core authoritarian regimes (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Belarus). A third group of countries falls in between –although they have moved closer to democracy, yet it is by no means certain that they will not revert back to some form of authoritarianism in the coming years (Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan). Russia’s example is instructive about the difficulties of casting away the legacies of authoritarianism: while during Yeltsin’s tenure most analysts believed that the country was bound to become a democracy, under Putin Russia reverted to authoritarianism. In this course we will look for explanations why those countries with shared history and institutions have ended up with such different political arrangements.
The discipline of ‘International Relations’ was long dominated by American scholars and debates among them. Over the past decade, however, voices have increased which claim that there is a ‘European’ approach to both the practice and the study of world politics. This course will explore the content and validity of this claim. Going beyond the sterile division of labor between analysing ‘European integration’ and ‘international politics’, the course will engage the question of what it means to take a ‘European’ perspective on the world. We will do so on a variety of levels, including whether European scholars have developed distinct ways of ‘theorizing’ IR, how they think about core concepts such as ‘the state’, ‘sovereignty’, or ‘security’, which issues matter to them and why, that is, how these directions/priorities are influenced by geography, history, or the process of European integration. Hence, we will also look at the practice of politics in and out of ‘Europe’ today. Underlying is also the question to what extent a ‘European’ perspective is (or may be) different from an ‘American’ one. Dist: SOC; WCult: NA/EU/W.
When Yasir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands on the White House lawn in 1993, many people hoped a peace agreement would follow. Agreements were reached, but the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continued. In this seminar, we will analyze efforts undertaken since the late 1980s to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. What options are currently open? Dist: INT or SOC.
For more than two decades, political scientists have been predicting impending regime change and democratization in China. However, so far China has defied these predictions of regime collapse and democratization. What explains the remarkable resilience of the Chinese government? In this course, we will analyze how economic growth, ideology, nationalism, and selective repression have all contributed to regime stability and legitimacy n China. We will conclude by examining various scenarios for democratization in China. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.
This seminar focuses on a number of prominent themes in Canada-U.S. relations, such as the Arctic, military cooperation and intervention, trade, and climate change. Students will learn about the dynamics of bilateral cooperation by engaging in a special negotiation exercise on the issue of border security. Dist: SOC
Countries emerging from civil war face a unique set of challenges in creating the conditions for lasting peace and dealing with the trauma and devastation left by war. This course will be structured around several key themes related to post-conflict peacebuilding: the demobilization and reintegration of combatants, designing government institutions for conflict-prone settings, the role of transitional justice, and efforts to address the trauma of violence at the individual level. Throughout the course we will examine the role of international actors – the UN, Western Governments, the International Criminal Court – in post-conflict settings. The course will draw on a rich set of case material from Rwanda, Kenya, Liberia, Yugoslavia, Cambodia, and other relevant countries. Dist: INT or SOC.
In recent decades democracy promotion has become a prominent foreign policy objective for developed democracies around the world. This course will explore existing theoretical and empirical literature on democracy promotion as a topic within international relations and comparative politics. It will also include readings written by and for practitioners in the democracy promotion field. The course will draw on case material from a wide range of emerging democracies. Students will gain an understanding of the justifications for democracy promotion, and the challenges facing organizations and states wishing to promote democracy.
Last Updated: 11/13/13