SYLLABI

Currently I teach multiple courses in international politics and research methods at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the Faculty of Social Science, University of Ottawa. My teaching experience also includes several undergrad-level courses in Political Science at Ohio State; individual and group undergrad-level teaching and supervision in Politics at Pembroke College, Cambridge University; and short integrated undergrad-grad courses in International Relations at the Graduate School of Law, Kobe University.

Below is a list of courses I have taught since the early 2010s, with links to sample syllabi (other teaching materials–teaching philosophy, sample lectures and class exercises, evaluation summaries etc–are available upon request). All current course websites are accessible through the University of Ottawa’s virtual campus system and/or via API and ECH (use the passwords given in class).

NB: Syllabus-making is a gift exchange of sorts, which is to say that in designing those below I drew most heavily on the suggestions of colleagues, former teachers, and students. You know who you are, and you have my eternal gratitude.

API 5105  Concepts & Issues in International Affairs (20122016
This course 
will introduce you to “international affairs” primarily but not exclusively from a perspective of the broad, semi-autonomous field of International Relations (IR). We will survey of a number of “concepts” and the ways in which they relate to select “issues.” In doing so, we will learn how scholars in IR and nearby fields (international legal theory, developmental economics, Canadian Foreign Policy etc.) make their arguments and conjectures, for whom, and for what purpose. In addition to reflecting on the value and logic of theory and on the standards of evidence and empirical interpretation, we will thus also discuss the meanings of social scientific validity and of political and policy relevance.

ECH 2320 Qualitative Methods in Conflict Studies and Human Rights (2016)
Nouveau! “Methods for the collection and analysis of original data and secondary sources and data. The study of qualitative methodologies for research in the fields of conflict studies and human rights. Comparative approaches, process-tracing, case studies designs etc.” (Créée par l’Études des Conflits et Droits Humains en décembre 2015).

ECH 3350 Research Methods (2012)
The course begins with an overview of the philosophy of social science, including the nature of reality, theory, and causation. Next, it reviews the construction and use of social science concepts, measurements, data, and considers assorted distinctions and debates between and among “quals”, “quants” and “interps.” Then the course turns to case studies and the comparative method, followed by an overview of methodologies for analyzing text.  The course ends with a consideration of basic quantitative methods used to analyze large-N data. Discussion of “research design” will be managed throughout the course, with ample attention paid to recent scholarly work on conflict studies and human rights.

API 5136 Research Methods (2011)
There are three parts to this course: Part I (“meta”) briefly covers ontological, epistemological, and methodological questions that keep philosophers and practitioners of social science awake at night, namely the nature of reality and causation, the construction and use of social science concepts, and the quantitative-qualitative-interpretative-mixed method distinctions and disputations. Part II (“quant”) begins with an overview of quantitative methods used to analyze large-N data and ends with a computer lab assignment in which students will use SPSS to do single-equation regressions. Part III (“qual”) reviews case studies, participatory work and a selection of methods for text analysis. In the final assignment, students will write a research proposal on a topic of their interest, with concentration on the research question, conceptualization,  case selection, and the nature of evidence.

API 5106 Globalization & Governance (2014 syllabus)
The phrase “globalization & governance” draws attention to patterns of order and systems of rule that differ from the ubiquitous “states under anarchy” perspective of mainstream International Relations (IR) theory. In this course we begin by evaluating globalization from a historical perspective, while debating the extent to which “our” globalization refers to an intensification of communication, transformation and other specific features at a global level versus qualitatively new forms of connectivity. Next, following the work by James Rosenau, we consider the concept of global governance as “order + intentionality + authoritative rule” at a global scale. Then we move onto the relationship between globalization and the state, followed by a closer look at the governance role of transnational and trans-governmental networks, private-public partnerships, non-governmental organizations, international institutions, international law, and global norms.

API 6339 Special Topics: US Foreign Policy (2011
Foreign policy has been traditionally defined as the means by which a state seeks to protect and project its interests in the world. But the U.S. (a.k.a. America) is not just any state – it has been so powerful, for so long, and by such large margins relative to other states that many people have called it superpower, hyperpower, empire, imperium, hegemon, leader and so on. While there are many more approaches for studying American foreign policy (historical, practical, anti-American…) in this graduate seminar we will rely on the concepts and theoretical frameworks taken from the field of International Relations (IR) in order to analyze major historical and contemporary themes such as democracy- and trade-promotion, military interventions, and the environment. Ample attention will also be given to America’s changing place in the world as well as to the foreign policy roles of the White House, NSC, Congress, interest groups and lobbies, the news media and mass opinion.

API 6639 Special Topics: Canada-U.S. Relations in Comparative Perspective (2012 syllabus
Grounded in four concepts – region, alliance, security community, and network – this course examines cultural, economic, social, and political dimensions of the Canada-United States relationship. It begins with a broad historical overview and then zooms on a selection of contemporary issues such as borders, American decline, free trade, the Arctic, and overseas military interventions. Comparisons with Europe, Mexico, and other parts of the world are managed throughout the course.

API 6399 Capstone: The Economics & Politics of Canadian Defence (2017).
Canadian defence is shaped, and shapes, a myriad of economic and political factors located both within and outside Canada. This course covers the application of economic theory and empirics plus a selection of theoretical approaches in the study of international relations and Canadian politics.