Teaching

Undergraduate Courses:

Politics of Authoritarianism: This course explores the causes and consequences of authoritarian regimes in the 20th and 21st centuries. It includes discussions about the most effective ways to analyze politics under authoritarianism, from in-depth case studies to cross-national trends using large statistical datasets.

African Politics (W): What are the most pressing problems facing African countries since independence? Is there something exceptional about Africa? How can the continent inform our broader understanding of comparative politics? To answer these questions, this course draws on academic scholarship, media reports, policy papers, documentary films, art, music, and fiction across several thematic areas. The class provides students with a working knowledge of the African context and important skills in research and writing.

Democratization: Where do democracies come from? Why do some democracies die? And what can we do to promote and protect democracy? This course explores how democracy went from a revolutionary idea to a global norm. It tackles questions about what constitutes democracy, what explains democratization, and how the U.S. promotes democracy around the world.

Graduate Courses:

Authoritarianism (MA/PhD): The majority of countries are now governed by authoritarian regimes, and democratic freedoms are declining for one-third of the world’s population. This class covers theories concerning authoritarianism, from big macro-processes to everyday politics. It also introduces students to research design and ethics in the authoritarian field. Students obtain a broad overview of knowledge about authoritarianism from recent texts, including books and academic articles.

The Politics of Foreign Aid (MPA): Since the end of WWII, donor countries have spent over $7 trillion on foreign aid. Donor countries make strategic choices about which countries to give aid and which target areas to prioritize. Likewise, recipient governments have their own agendas and engage in strategies to capture foreign aid. This course examines these dynamics, with a particular emphasis on how the United States government makes foreign aid decisions. By the end of the semester, students will have a foundational working knowledge that they can apply throughout their careers in public service, academia, or the private sector. 

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