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Governance and Diversity in Developing Countries



This course aims to introduce students into main themes and discussions in the literature on the politics of ethnic and racial diversity. Questions concerning ethnic diversity and conflict within national states are high on the political and administrative agenda around the world. Students who take this course will learn about the fundamental questions, possible solutions, and ongoing discussions concerning this issue. We shall focus on developing countries (although not exclusively) and see that their long experience with deep social and cultural divisions is instructive for current discussions about the same issues in “the West.” Moreover, we shall inquire into several aspects of the complex relation between democracy and development, and see how these issues are related to (ethnic) diversity. A leading theme throughout the seminar is the role of the state and politics in the construction of social and cultural “groups,” and the dilemma’s this poses for political institutions and activists alike. The course combines political philosophy, and empirical analysis of the politics of ethnic and racial group formation.

Course Objectives

Objective 1: Students acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of governance and regime types in developing countries, with a special attention to issues of (ethnic) diversity and development.
Objective 2: Student learn to apply and critically judge the literature on this topic and to design and conduct empirical research on a theme of their choice within the overall theme of the course.

Mode of Instruction

Seminar: mini-lectures, close reading, discussions and presentations. Preparation is essential for participation in class.

Assessment Method

The assessment of the course will be based on
Presentation (literature): 20%
Reaction Paper 20%
Final paper: 60%

Final papers are to be around 4000 words, double-spaced and properly referenced. They should be analytical essays on major issues related to the issues raised in this course. Papers have an empirical and/or theoretical component and should use or refer to the literature discussed in class.
Papers have to be submitted in both printed version (secretariat or to the lecturer) and in electronic format through the blackboard site of the course.

Study Material

See Brightspace


See Preliminary Info