Courses

Descriptions of the courses I teach are below.  During terms when they are taught, each course has an active website with a syllabus, schedule of classes and assignments, lecture notes and data, links to electronic resources, etc.  Connect to these through Blackboard at Dartmouth.

 

Government 4:  Politics of the World

The subject matter of Gov.4 includes democracy and authoritarianism, revolutions and social movements, political development, and the nature of political regimes and political institutions around the world.  The course begins and ends with a big question:  Where is democracy possible and where is it impossible?   In the course of the term, we examine three problems that afflict politics everywhere:

  • How to reach decisions in the face of competing demands?
  • How to mobilize groups behind decisions?
  • Can authority be exercised without being abused?

We examine how these problems play out in a variety of real-world political settings, keeping an eye on how they can inform our investigation into the prospects for democracy.

 

Government 26:  Elections and Reform

This course examines the problem of how politicians are selected by citizens.  Politicians fight tenaciously to shape the rules under which they compete because how elections are conducted affects what sorts of choices voters are offered, which politicians and parties gain power, and whose interests get represented.  When you complete this course, you will understand what rules matter, and why, and you will be able to make an informed case for or against specific reform proposals in contexts from Afghanistan to the United Kingdom.  We draw from a broad array of cases to illustrate the most important issues at stake in current electoral reforms around the world, and here in the United States

 

Government 49:  Latin American Politics

This course is an introduction to the political development and the current context of politics in Latin America.  It combines material on historical and theoretical topics with material on the current politics of specific countries.  The central theme of the course is to evaluate the performance and stability of democracy in Latin America.  We consider the impact of political culture, economic development, representative institutions, and the legacies of authoritarian and revolutionary regimes on the contemporary politics of the region.

 

Government 84.11 Democracy and Accountability in Latin America

Is democracy working in Latin America?  A generation ago, most countries in the region were governed by the military.  Today almost every Latin American country has an elected, civilian government.  At first glance, this ought to be cause for celebration, but there are reasons for caution – widespread distrust of political institutions and discontent with public policy, corruption, protested elections, collapsing governments.  This course assesses the quality of Latin American democracy by considering key topics (elections, parties, policies, corruption and abuse of power), and by examining current trends in some political hot spots – for example, Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Peru.

 

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