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Courses Taught

Comparative Politics

Populism in comparative perspective

This seminar examines the political, economic, and cultural forces that drive anti-system political movements in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Using both historical and contemporary examples, students discuss and debate the importance of cultural backlash, economic crises and inequality, democratic deficits, and charismatic leadership to the rise and fall of populism.


This course introduces students to the process by which states become democratic. All three major steps in the process (transition, consolidation, and deepening) are analyzed. Economic, cultural, and political theories of democratization are compared and debated. Finally, the course analyzes various ways in which the process goes wrong: democratic decay, collapse, and endurance of hybrid regimes.

Introduction to comparative politics

This course lays out the basic analytical frameworks of comparative politics (structuralism, culturalism, and rational choice), and introduces some of the key topics and controversies in the field. Topics include political economy, democratization, ethnic conflict, and the comparative method.

US American Politics

Populism in the United States and Texas

This course, which is similar to my comparative course on populism, traces the nearly constant rise and fall of populist movements throughout US history. It traces the origins of this cycle to the conflict between liberalism and civic republicanism and their influence on US political institutions and culture. Major movements and leaders analyzed include the People's Party, the prohibition movement, anti-masonry, the know-nothings, the McCarthy-era right, George Wallace, Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party, and Donald Trump.

Introduction to US American Politics. 

Introduces the basic ideas and institutions that have shaped the modern system of US American government. Special emphasis is placed on understanding why certain institutions were chosen or how they have come to operate as they have. I have taught versions of this course both in person and on-line.

General courses

Introduction to Political Science

This course is designed to introduce students to the discipline of political science. Students learn about applying the scientific method to political science research, as well as an overview of the four major substantive subfields of political science (political theory, international relations, comparative politics, and US American politics). 

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