Washington Center

Researching World Politics in Interesting Times

Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PT
Quarter Dates: 
March 23 - June 1, 2021
Core Seminar

This seminar is designed to help you to critically engage with the dizzying array of problems faced by human societies today and to guide you through the process of developing a significant research paper on a topic of your choice related to world politics. This is not a field seminar in international relations. Through a combination of pre-recorded presentations, live lectures and discussions via weekly zoom meetings, required and recommended readings will provide you with theoretical and historical frameworks to identify, diagnose, and devise solutions to problem of world politics. To help you develop your own research, readings, lectures, and discussions will also focus on principles of social science and policy research. To help bring theoretical discussions to life, a central component of the course will involve your participation in the on-line Statecraft simulation (http://www.statecraftsim.com/). In the simulation students will represent nation-states in a fictitious world, take on the roles of foreign policy decision-makers, and grapple first-hand with the sorts of tradeoffs and responsibilities that characterize world politics. The issues and problems covered during class discussions and that you read and write about will be driven by your own geographical and substantive interests. The course is also designed to help you to connect your academic pursuits with your professional development through your internships and experiences immersed in the broader political ecosystem of Washington, DC, albeit remotely.

Remote Syllabus

About the Instructor: Professor Michael Danielson has taught at UCDC since 2014. He is also a Research Fellow at the American University Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and has taught courses in Latin American politics at various universities in Washington, DC. His book Emigrants Get Political: Mexican Migrants Engage Their Home Towns (Oxford 2018) examines the ways in which Mexican migrants engage with and shape the politics of their home towns. He has also studied the politics of indigenous rights movements in Latin America and am co-editor of Latin America’s Multicultural Movements and the Struggle Between Communitarianism, Autonomy, and Human Rights (Oxford 2013). My current research includes projects on the climate–migration nexus, migration and refugee studies, violent democracies in Mexico and Central America, and migrant mayors. When not teaching, I work as an expert consultant on social science research methodology, migration and displacement, and Latin American politics and society. Additionally, I regularly serve as an expert witness on country conditions in Mexico and Honduras in US immigration courts. I am a political scientist by training (PhD 2013, American University) with training in comparative and international politics and hold an MA in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and Spanish and Philosophy degrees from Santa Clara University.

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