I teach courses in the international studies department in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington IN, including courses on global development, natural resources, research design, and models. These regularly include:
- Global Development (I-203) I-203 is the core undergraduate course for the International Studies thematic concentration in Global Development. In this course, we will address big questions such as: Why are some countries poor while others are not? What is the effect of “globalization” on development at the local and national level? What do we mean by “global” and “development” anyway? Who are the actors and institutions, and what are the challenges and strategies in addressing global poverty, inequality, and development? How (and how well) can we measure development, what does this mean for policy and how we think of developed versus developing countries? We will explore the political, economic, social and cultural forces and effects of global development. While we will focus on “developing” countries, we will continue to reference “developed” countries to compare trajectories and outcomes related to human development. We will consider the role of international institutions, markets, non-governmental organizations, and domestic governance structures in our exploration of the causes and consequences of development. There are no prerequisites for this class.
- Politics of Natural Resource Extraction: Linking the Global and the Local (I-203) This class will survey the ways in which natural resource extraction shapes and is shaped by political forces. We will address questions such as: What is the relationship between natural resources and economic development? What is the natural resource “curse” and when does it apply? How does extraction of different kinds of natural resources result in different local and national outcomes? What does it mean to manage natural resources sustainably? What are the tools communities and countries have at their disposal to manage natural resources? How do political institutions, at the local and national level affect the distribution of costs and benefits of natural resource extraction? We will consider the role of natural resources in economic development, growth, and conflict. We will also explore the incentives and tools relevant for the management of natural resources, at the local, national, and international level. Developing countries in many of the primary resource producing regions of the world will be discussed, with a slight emphasis on Africa. While we will focus on developing countries, we will discuss overarching themes that apply to developed and developing countries alike. We will consider the role of international institutions, markets, non-governmental organizations, and domestic governance structures in our exploration of natural resource extraction. This course is cross-listed in African Studies and there are no formal prerequisites for this class.
- Research Design for International Studies (I-315) I-315 provides a foundation for understanding and conducting research in international studies. Conducting research in the social sciences means identifying a research question, proposing a theory that answers it, developing a research design that fits the research question, gathering and analyzing data, and interpreting these findings. You will learn how to do each of these tasks, exploring different approaches to each, and learning how to navigate theoretical, methodological, and ethical questions that may arise. We will explore both quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluating a research question. In particular, you will become familiar with methodologies such as case study, surveys, field experiments, ethnography, and in depth interviews. At its core, this course is about developing the tools for conducting and evaluating the process of knowledge accumulation about social, political, economic, and cultural processes. In order to give substantive weight to the research design questions explored in this class, we will read works on the theme of democratic erosion. We will evaluate scholarly works addressing the question of how and when democracies deteriorate, using the tools we develop throughout the course.
- A Survey of Models of Social and Political Processes (I-426/I-500) How did the protests in Tahrir Square begin? Will China’s growth continue? What makes addressing global warming so difficult? How can we explain the reappearance of measles in the U.S.? This course will survey a set of models for thinking about individual, national, and international social and political processes. Models discipline our thinking about the world and help us to define and characterize relationships and events with logical consistency and precision. Familiarity with a toolbox of models also allows us to identify specific kinds of political and social obstacles to achieving collective goals (such as problems of aggregation and public choice, monitoring and enforcement, or free-riding) so we can assess potential strategies for overcoming them. In this course we will learn about why and how models are useful, we will develop an understanding of a number of models that characterize individual and system level behavior, and we will evaluate current and historical local, as well as international and global processes and events using these models. While there are no concrete prerequisites, basic knowledge of algebra is a necessity. This course is for both graduate students and undergraduates. Graduate students will have additional reading and more in depth assignments.
- Global Development: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview (I503/522) I-503 is the core graduate course in Global Development in International Studies. In this course, we will address big questions such as: Why are some countries poor while others are not? What are the principle theories and approaches that explain this divergence? What are the empirical regularities (drivers and consequences) of increased standards of living? We will explore the political, economic, social and cultural forces shaping global development outcomes. We will consider the role of geography, international institutions, markets, non-governmental organizations, and domestic governance structures in our exploration of the causes and consequences of development through the discussion and evaluation of existing research.