Comparative Race Politic

Subject Name: 
Political Science
Course Number: 
Amherst College

This course will explore theories of migration, ethnic, and racial politics from a comparative perspective. We examine these issues using a combination of scholarly articles, literature and film. The course will include writings that examine the politics of race and ethnicity in all major regions of the world, including North America. The aims of this course are three-fold: 1) to acquaint students with the theoretical literatures on ethnic and racial politics; 2) to teach students how to design and evaluate theoretically-oriented research; and 3) to train students to carry out various types of writing assignments that political scientists are frequently required to perform.

During the first weeks of the course we will examine the meaning of race and ethnicity. We will analyze what determines membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, and how fluid membership is. We will also explore different ways to measure ethnic and racial identification. We will then examine how ethnicity affects attitudes, economic development, and social mobilization. We will seek to assess to what extent ethnic and racial identities shape trust and prejudice, and we will examine the impact of ethnic diversity on development and the provision of public goods. We will also explore what factors lead ethnic and racial groups to mobilize politically and what the consequences of such mobilization are. In the third section of the course, we will examine ethnic and racial electoral politics. What is ethnic voting and where does it occur? Why do ethnic parties thrive in some countries but not in others? What is their impact on ethnic relations and democratic governance? The final section of the course will focus on ethnic conflict. We will examine what role identity, democratization, and political institutions play in provoking or mitigating ethnic conflict.

Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Professor Dendere.

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 

Course Sections

Comparative Race Politic
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Chipo Dendere M 02:30PM-05:00PM WEBS 217