Courses Taught

POLS 6396: Formal Models in International Relations

Graduate course at the University of Houston


This course is designed for graduate students who are interested in the formal analysis of international relations. It is meant to provide students with a thorough understanding of how the rational choice approach and the use of mathematical models can help to answer questions about international relations. We will build slowly, starting from an introduction to rational choice theory and its applications in IR, moving to the formalization of the rational approach through game theory, integrating this with the mathematical tools necessary to develop and solve formal models, and finally, examining some of the key literature in the field. The course will culminate in students developing their own ideas, which they will explore formally in a research paper.

PSCI 2210: Western European Politics

Undergraduate course at Vanderbilt University


This course provides an introduction to politics in today's Western European democracies. We will focus on the issues and institutions that drive the political system within and across the countries in the region. The first part of the course is a broad overview of the history, politics, and institutions of modern Europe. The second part delves more deeply into five specific European countries: Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, and the UK. Students learn about each of these countries in greater depth, and discover how the concepts outlined in the first portion of the course apply in each of these cases. Students also take part in a group project, in which they research another European country, culminating in a presentation to the class.

PSCI 1102: Introduction to International Politics

Undergraduate course at Vanderbilt University


What factors determine the interactions of states on the international stage? Why do wars occur? What underlies the decision to trade with or sanction another actor? Why do groups choose to use terrorism or insurgency, and how can they be stopped? This course will touch on these questions and others, providing a broad survey of some of the most important topics in world politics. During the course, students will learn what questions are relevant to contemporary international relations, what approaches scholars are using to analyze them, and how to think critically about these issues.

SA.600.907: Quantitative Methods in International Relations

Graduate-level course at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Europe


This is a quantitative reasoning course, designed for students currently pursuing a master's degree. The course is meant to provide students with a thorough introduction to the use of statistical methodology in the analysis of international relations data. We will begin by discussing basic statistical techniques, and will gradually move to more sophisticated methods of analysis, including linear regression and models for limited dependent variables. Along the way, we will address a number of important pitfalls that can plague quantitative research. We will do all of this within the context of international relations. This approach will allow us to develop a familiarity with commonly used IR datasets, as well as with some of the most important works in empirical international relations.

Teaching Assistantships

IR/PSC 101: Introduction to Comparative Politics (Fall 2009)

Instructor: G. Bingham Powell, Jr.

This course is an introduction to the study of political science and comparative politics. It focuses on how citizens may be able to control public policies in different modern democracies. The course begins by applying some of these ideas briefly to the American political system. It then turns explicitly to the politics of contemporary Britain, Russia and Germany, examining the political culture, the basic institutional arrangements, the party system, the voters' choices, and the policymaking system in each country. These systems will be compared to each other, to the United States and, occasionally, to other democracies. This course is recommended for those thinking about a major, minor, or cluster in political science, or international relations, and others who are simply interested in learning more about the politics of democracies.

PSC 244K: Politics and Markets: Innovation and The Global Business Environment (Spring 2010)

Instructor: David M. Primo

Innovation is a driving force behind the massive increases in wealth that occurred in the 20th century, and the globalization of business is causing changes in the world's economy that we are only beginning to understand. In this course, we will spend several weeks studying how entrepreneurship and innovation are affected by government institutions. We will then spend several weeks studying business strategy in the global business environment, focusing on the role of regulations imposed by foreign governments and international organizations. Class meetings will be a mix of lecture and discussion, use real-world cases, and feature guest speakers. By the end of the course, you will have a stronger understanding of how businesses shape and are shaped by government policies. There are no prerequisites for this course, though some exposure to political science or economics is useful.

IR/PSC 106: Introduction to International Relations (Fall 2010)

Instructor: Hein Goemans

This course provides students with the background and conceptual tools they need to understand contemporary international relations. The course will introduce students to the wide range of issues that make up the study of international relations, including the workings of the state system, the causes of international conflict and violence, and international economic relations. Students will be introduced to the literature in a broad way, to make them familiar with the main theoretical traditions in the field. Students will be asked, as much as possible, to read original texts, rather than a textbook. Time permitting, we will also examine topics of particular current interest, such as the evolving nature of power in the post-Cold War environment as well as special global challenges like nation-building and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

PSC 247: Green Markets: Environmental Opportunities and Pitfalls (Spring 2011)

Instructor: Lawrence S. Rothenberg

In recent years, there has been much discussion of the possibility of a green economy. This course examines the potential for “green markets,” focusing on three drivers—social, political, and economic—that can both constrain firms and potentially condition whether issues of environment and sustainability can be exploited as a means for competitive advantage. Among issues covered will be demand and willingness to pay for green goods, the roles of NGOs and investors, regulation and its alternatives, firm reputation and product differentiation, supply chain management, and green production processes. Special attention will be given to the need of firms to deal with climate change now and in the future.