James Raymond Vreeland, Professor 2.0
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For spring syllabus, please click here
Brief description: Introduction to comparative political analysis with focus on themes such as democracy and dictatorship, the state and its role in economic development, differences among democratic institutions, political parties, interest groups, social policy, political economy, economic reforms, political participation, civil war and revolutions.
Brief description: The International Monetary Fund is at a crossroads. For the first time in its history, calls for its reform and even its dissolution come from across the political spectrum. In this course we will study the purposes of the Fund, the effects of its programs, and the various arguments for reform.
Brief description: This is the second part of the two-part course on international ideas and institutions. This semester addresses contemporary research questions in the field of international relations. The course is organized around questions that reflect both interesting international phenomena and curious puzzles that call for some kind of explanation. In addition to learning substantive answers to our research questions, students will be introduced different analytical tools. The questions we will address include: Why do countries go to war? What are the determinants of international trade and what are the effects? What is the role of international institutions such as the WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF? Students will learn that there are no clear-cut answers to these questions - experts disagree. Yet, the course will arm the students with several different approaches that can be employed to tackle these difficult questions.
Brief description: The question of the course is why governments do what they do and with what consequences. The first part of the course covers the historical debate of the proper role of the state in the economy. Having established that there is a potential role for the government in the economy, the second and third parts of the course examines constraints facing the state and asks what should the state do. The pace of the course is brisk. Students are expected to read, on the average, one model and some background materials per week. The mathematics are not difficult, but students need to know at least the static maximization techniques to follow course.
Brief description: Generic problems in comparative research concern the origins or the consequences of some systemic features of a country. Such problems often entail discrete or limited dependent variables and endogenous sampling. The course covers statistical models of discrete and limited dependent variables, leading to the problem of non-random selection and the appropriate ways of handling it in statistical research as well as in case studies. Applications include bilateral agreements, the impact of political regimes and international institutions on economic performance (selection models), and the origins of democracy. The emphasis is practical. Students use a cross-national data file (ACLP) and a software package (LIMDEP). The course is useful for students who are doing or think of doing analyses involving limited or qualitative dependent variables and for students working on policy evaluation. Prerequisites include OLS and basic calculus.