POL 370: Constitution Making & Constitutional Design


Between 1975 and 2003, nearly 200 new constitutions won approval in countries around the globe.  Internationally brokered peace accords entailed the development of constitutions not only in the Balkans but also in Cambodia, East Timor, Rwanda, Chad, Mozambique, and the Comoros. New fundamental laws featured in the adoption of multiparty systems from Albania to Zambia.  Afghanistan and Iraq took halting steps toward the creation of new polities. 

The study of constitution making and constitutional design dates back at least to Aristotle.  This course introduces...

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POL 560: Law & Development


This course surveys several important debates in the contemporary study of law and development.  At the end of the 1800s and through the early 20th century, law and the emerging discipline of political science were almost indistinguishable.  Scholars focused on “getting the law right” in much the way economists later sought to “get prices right.”  Constitutional engineering lay at the center of political science for several decades, until the Weimar experience (“good” design, bad results), coupled with some innovative research in law schools, threw the centrality of law into...

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POL 521: Introduction to Comparative Politics


This survey of major topics in comparative politics is intended for Ph.D. students.  Its purpose is to introduce some of the major theoretical and conceptual building blocks in the sub-field, along with the basics of the comparative method.  The course proceeds thematically.  Each week participants discuss a subset of the pertinent scholarly literature, usually focusing on a major theoretical controversy.  Key methodological issues are addressed in context. 

Normative concerns inform the questions to which we seek answers.  The major challenge of the...

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WWS 571: Development Policy in Africa


Investment levels and natural resource endowments do not account for the patterns of growth and poverty observed in Africa.  Increasingly, economists have pointed to institutional design and capacity as important ingredients of development success or failure.  Using this recognition as a point of departure, this seminar asks how to make public services work under the conditions that prevail in different parts of continent today.  It uses an eclectic array of resources, drawn from several fields, to provide background and stimulate discussion and research.

This course...

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POL 366: Politics in Africa


This course provides an introduction to the study of African politics. The lectures and readings briefly review the social and historical context of contemporary political life. They then profile the changes of the early post-Independence period, the authoritarian turn of the 1970s and 80s, the second liberation of the 1990s, and problems of war, state-building, and development. Although the lectures trace a narrative, each also introduces a major analytical debate and an important policy problem. Broadly comparative with some special attention to selected countries.

WWS 574: Topics in Development - Making Government Work in Hard Places



This course introduces key concepts and principles for improving government effectiveness and accountability in challenging contexts across the globe. The course uses Innovations for Successful Societies case studies, biography, and other materials to develop concepts and tactical repertoires appropriate to different settings. An abridged version is available as a MOOC on EdX.

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