NS4327 Southern African Politics
The countries of the Southern African region are closely linked by economics, social demographics, and history. This course examines the dynamics of Southern Africa combining detailed studies of individual countries with themes that cross the region, such as migration, trade, regional security, economic development, and post-conflict reconstruction. Some of the topics covered include the level and variety of democracy in the region; attempts by Southern African countries to strengthen regional integration; the role of South Africa as local hegemon; how recent events in Zimbabwe have impacted on regional dynamics; democratization and demobilization in South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique, and the peace and reconstruction processes in Angola and Mozambique. Designed as an upper-level seminar, the course focuses on discussion and debate of weekly reading assignments. Prior coursework in African Politics is desired, but not required.
NS4311 Contemporary Issues in African Politics
This year, the theme of this class is on resources, politics and conflict. We survey the impact of natural resource abundance on state formation and politics; the relationships between natural resources and conflict; and assess attempts to manage the effects of resources on both politics and conflict in these countries. Each of these has been chosen because it is a major aspect of politics and conflict across Africa, regardless of sub-regional divides. This is not a course on the basics (i.e. ‘causes of war’) and is not explicitly focused on policy responses, though each of these issues is critically important in shaping both regional and international responses to the issues.
This course provides an introduction to the theory and analysis of conflict and peacemaking in Africa. It covers theoretical perspectives on conflict; analytical tools for identifying the causes and dynamics of deep-rooted conflict; mediation and negotiations as means of resolving conflict, and military responses to conflict (peacekeeping and peace operations). The course focuses on social and political conflict (i.e. conflict between groups and between the state and groups of people), with an emphasis on large-scale violent conflict. It does not focus on inter-personal, familial, or localized conflict. The course is structured around five themes: theories of violent conflict; conflict in Africa; resources, geography and conflict; mediation and negotiations, and African peacekeeping.
NS4055 Special Topics: African Politics through Film and Fiction
This course analyzes how films and fiction have portrayed politics and society in sub-Saharan Africa. Weekly readings will focus on films, documentaries, novels and memoirs, which are (primarily) written/produced by Africans, and discussion will be focused on lessons learned about African politics and culture through these outlets. The class will focus on active discussion and participation by the students. Materials will include both contemporary and historical film and fiction, and will focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
Foreign Policy and Conflict Studies
NS3321 U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Africa
This course examines U.S foreign policy in Sub-Saharan Africa since 1960, with emphasis on the post-Cold War period. It focuses on three main issue areas: economic policy, governance/democracy promotion, and security and capacity building policies. Throughout, students are challenged to critically assess the promise and practice of U.S. foreign policies, and whether they are appropriate to the contexts in which they are applied.
NS4332 Ethnicity and Ethnic Conflict
The goal of this course is to examine issues of ethnicity, ethnic identity and ethnic conflict and democracy in non-Western countries, and to enable students build a knowledge base about ethnicity and ethnic conflict in their regions of expertise. The course provides students with the theoretical tools and case background to analyze issues of ethnicity and ethnic conflict in multiple-country contexts. The course is divided into three main subject areas: (1) the nature of ethnicity, (2) the nature of and explanations for ethnic conflict, and (3) solutions to ethnic conflict. Weekly course readings present a mix of theoretical approaches and case studies, and will cover all the major areas of the world: Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. During this course, students develop a portfolio of case studies drawn from countries in the region of their curriculum which they will present to other students in the class
Research, Methods and Core Political Science
NS3011 Research Methods, Naval Postgraduate School
This course provides students with the basic tools to understand and produce research in relevant areas of history, social science and policy analysis. The general objectives of the course are to make you more critical readers and thinkers and better writers and researchers. The course is designed to help you with your other classes at NPS, which require you to read and analyze large amounts of both primary and secondary material and write research papers. The course will also introduce students to basic elements of research design and methodology. In addition the course will provide information on the thesis process at NPS. By the end of the course, every student should be able to produce a well-designed and well-written research paper or thesis.
NS3023 Introduction to Comparative Politics, Naval Postgraduate School
This course is designed to provide graduate students with an introduction to the study of Comparative Politics. The discipline of Comparative Politics is diverse, extensive, and lacking in agreement on many of the key concepts. In this course we cannot cover all of the approaches to the discipline, let alone the findings from different theoretical approaches. Rather, we focus on certain of the main classical and contemporary approaches and illustrate them with some of the leading examples of the relevant literature. We take up some of the main questions in the discipline, and focus in particular on how and why states form in different historical eras and world regions, what is democracy and why we care about it, how democratic forms of government are achieved, challenges to democratic consolidation, political economy, and the emerging field of stabilization and reconstruction. The course places major emphasis on gaining an understanding of how we know what we know: what research traditions have been used and are still valuable; whether or not findings from one area of the world can be applied to another; how we conduct “scientific research” when we cannot experiment, etc. The course focuses equally on the substantive material and on research methods and analysis.