New GOVT Courses Fall ’16

Here are two new GOVT courses being offered this fall semester:

GOVT345    Citizenship and Immigration    Prof. Liza Williams  Tues & Thurs, 1:20 – 2:40 PM  Allbritton 103 This course examines the concept of citizenship and explores its connection to immigration, ideas of membership, political rights, and processes of incorporation as well as integration. Some of the core questions we will pursue include: What responsibilities do liberal democracies have to immigrants? How should we conceive of citizenship? Should we think of citizenship as a formal political and legal status? As an entitlement to a set of rights? As active participation in self-governance? As an identity? Or, something else entirely? How have racial, ethnic, gender, and class identities and hierarchies shaped the access people have to rights and formal membership? Finally, we will evaluate how political thinkers have argued for the inclusion and exclusion of immigrants into the political community. Most of our readings for the term will be drawn from legal theorists and political philosophers; we will also read some work by historians, political scientists, and sociologists for historical context and background.

GOVT383-01    Democracy and Development in India    Prof. Susan Ostermann   Tuesdays, 7:10 – 10:00 PM, PAC 422 Much has been written and said about the link between democracy and religious/ethnic fragmentation. When India gained independence from British Rule in 1947, many observed that the likelihood of the new country remaining democratic was limited. Yet, democracy has thrived in India for almost 70 years. Other South Asian countries have recently followed suit. How do countries with multiple social, economic, ethnic, and linguistic cleavages manage democracy and what is the connection between their successes (and failures) in this area and the persistence of widespread poverty? This course focuses on the “politics of accommodation” in South Asia, examining institutions, elite bargaining, the deployment of force, accommodation of regional leaders and their political aspirations, and the constant reconfiguration of caste, party, and religious alliances to explain why Indian politics in particular is often dominated by social accommodation rather than the amelioration of poverty. In addition to focusing on India, we will examine a number of comparative cases from elsewhere in South Asia.