[grad; ucsd; fall 2018] poli220: comparative politics of institutions
description This class investigates the origins, operation, and consequences of political institutions. Institutions are generally thought of as the “rules of the game” insofar as they set the parameters within which political actors function and strategize. More pragmatically, we will be examining the structures—mostly formal—that give order to the state and everyday political life: constitutions, parliaments, political parties, electoral systems, and so forth. The class focuses on democratic institutions, but there will also be a consideration of the role played by institutions in non-democratic systems. Toward the end of the quarter, we will dip into the large literature on institutions’ social and economic effects.


[grad; ucsd; winter 2019] poli138d: social science replication
description The purpose of this class is to learn how to do cutting-edge empirical research in the social sciences by replicating others’ work. For each class, we will have a non-UCSD faculty member visit campus. A week before their visit, they will circulate a working paper—typically one drawing on an experimental or quasi-experimental design—along with the data and code needed to reproduce the results. Small teams of graduate students will reanalyze the data, and propose further robustness tests and extensions. A presentation and group discussion of these findings, with input from the paper’s author, will last about two hours. Classes will start with short (50 minute) lectures covering various topics in experimental design and analysis. This is an opportunity for graduate students to engage with scholars from leading departments, take a deep dive into work in progress, and to pick up new tools and best practices.



[undergrad; ucsd; fall 2018] poli138d: democracy, development, & conflict in south asia
description This class introduces core topics in the study of South Asian politics. Further, it aims to use evidence from South Asia—focusing on the cases of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka—to shed light on some of the central questions in the study of comparative and international politics. The course is structured in three parts. We start with introductions to the recent histories of the region’s major states, and attempt to derive some general explanations for salient political trends. A focus will be on trying to understand why the regime trajectories followed by these nations since independence have diverged so dramatically. Next, we consider violent conflict in South Asia. We will examine the role played by ethnicity and religion in fomenting disorder, as well as nuclear weapons’ contribution to regional stability. The third section covers key topics in human and economic development, notably the political economy of corruption, caste, gender, the natural environment, poverty alleviation, liberalization, and growth. Students will engage with a wide range of theoretical debates in the social sciences. Along the way, they will also gain a rich and textured knowledge of the modern political evolution of the subcontinent, which is home to one quarter of the world’s population.


egap learning days

description I’ve been privileged to teach 3–5 day workshops in Malawi (2017), Abu Dhabi (2017, 2018), and Benin (2019) introducing experimental methods to researchers and PIs from various African countries, on behalf of Evidence in Governance and Politics. I would always love to hear from former participants.

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