Political ScienceIssues in Comparative Politics (PhD Seminar)
This course is intended for PhD students preparing for their qualifying exams and enrollment is limited. Doctoral students will be given priority and the requirements of the PhD program will be considered if it is necessary to establish priority among them. The content of the seminar is aimed at exposing students to the main questions motivating research in comparative politics, but it is not intended to be an exhaustive survey of the classic works in the field. Students are expected to read closely and are encouraged, both in class discussions and in their written work, to critically evaluate the literature and to think of ways to improve upon it.Comparative Public Policy (PhD Seminar)
This PhD seminar will analyze public policy from the perspective of comparative politics focusing on policy adoption and the decisions pertaining to rules defined at implementation but not on the technical policy design. It will emphasize the political variables that affect the process of policymaking. Factors to be studied include institutional configuration of the polity, the role of organized economic interests, electoral competition and the party system, the role of ideology, and pressures from social movements on the policymaking process. The first part of the course will review the debates in the literature of comparative politics explaining policy outcomes with an emphasis on assessing their empirical application to Latin America. The second part of the course will center on specific policies and the way in which different factors affect either policy adoption or implementation.Latin American Political Economy (Senior Seminar)
This class focuses on the transformation of Latin American Political Economy since the 1980s as a result of the processes of democratization and economic liberalization. The class reviews the debates on the relationship between both processes, focusing on the impact of political dynamics on economic policymaking in the first part of the course and on the political consequences of these economic reforms in the second part of the course. The seminar assumes a basic background on Latin American politics and history. Class discussion will combine theoretical concepts and their application to Latin American politics since the 1980s. Additionally, the seminar provides a forum to develop your writing skills in presenting cogent arguments within the framework of social science.Latin American Politics: Democracy, Representation, and the Rule of the Law
This class seeks to introduce students to social scientific analysis while discuss the shifting dynamics of political representation in Latin America. In analyzing political representation in the region, it focuses on demands for political inclusion and resistance from established elites that involved regime changes and the reshaping of political systems. It covers these political dynamics and their institutional consequences since the onset of the twentieth century. In so doing, it also covers important political science concepts associated with democratic representation, social inclusion and the rule of the law, such as social movement mobilization, political regime changes in political regime, presidentialism, political party systems, political identities, state capacity, and institutional weakness.
The emphasis on political inclusion and representation is crucial to understand political dynamics in a region characterized by political instability during most of the twentieth century, but is also crucial to understand its current political landscape. The emphasis on social scientific concepts is useful to link the political phenomena analyzed in Latin America with its counterparts in other regions of the world and to allow students develop comparative tools for political analysis.
The class is structured to combine political science literature along with fiction and documentaries. Students are encouraged to relate the political science concepts studied in class with other forms of expression that illuminate our understanding of Latin American politics. The lectures are prepared to frame the issues of each class and complement the readings. Students are required to do the readings and expected to participate in class asking relevant questions or making appropriate comments. There will be time at the end of the lectures assigned for student participation and sections led by TAs.
School of International and Public AffairsState and Society in the Developing World
This seminar presents political economy perspectives on development focusing in particular on the role of the state in development, the impact of state intervention on social structure and economic change, as well as recent transformation of such relations under the pressure of globalization. This course is an advanced seminar that requires background knowledge of development theories and their evolution, as well as familiarity with basic social science theories and methods. The course emphasizes comparative methods and introduces students to a wide range of social science theories applied to different parts of the developing world.Labor in a Global Economy
This course analyzes the challenges for labor facing increasing capital mobility, including the challenges of political and economic liberalization, increasing diversity of the workforce, labor mobility across borders, and the weakening of traditional strategies of labor organization and methods of labor regulation. The course focuses on labor politics attempting to address these new challenges, bringing together inter-disciplinary theories and empirical research comparing the experience of advanced democracies (especially the US) and developing countries. The theories are applied to understand labor responses to current processes of economic liberalization, expansion of the informal sector, changes in the workforce - including both its diversity and diverse national origin and citizen status, as well as the transformation of institutions (local, national and global) regulating work