Governing Prosperity (Instructor)
Fall 2019, Spring 2020. Designed and taught introductory writing seminar for Princeton freshmen as part of the Quin Morton Teaching Fellowship. Approximately 12 students each. Find a description of the goals of Princeton writing seminars here.
John Adams wrote, “Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government.” But how do we measure a society’s happiness? Why might one government pursue sustained economic growth at all costs, while another assigns greater priority to safeguarding the rights of the individual? How do citizens’ beliefs about prosperity empower their governments to take different actions? In this Writing Seminar, we’ll explore contradictions of governance by examining how different states define happiness for their citizens. We begin by analyzing Robert Dahl’s “Democracy and its Critics” in light of comparative survey data on citizen satisfaction from China and around the world. Next, we turn to hydroelectric projects like the Tennessee Valley Authority and Three Gorges Dam as case studies for examining the politics of displacement and its consequences for communities, industries, and ecosystems. Finally, students will investigate the governance of online spaces in a national or regional context of their choosing. Sample topics might include surveillance of same-sex dating apps in Chechnya, the overturning of net neutrality in the United States, censorship of environmental activism on Chinese social media, or the significance of Bitcoin as an international currency.
Chinese Politics (Preceptor for Professor Rory Truex)
Fall 2018. Advanced undergraduate course. Taught two precepts of approximately 15 students each.
This course provides an overview of China's political system. We will begin with a brief historical overview of China's political development from 1949 to the present. The remainder of the course will examine the key challenges facing the current generation of CCP leadership, focusing on prospects for democratization and political reform. Among other topics, we will examine: factionalism and political purges; corruption; avenues for political participation; village elections; public opinion; protest movements and dissidents; co-optation of the business class; and media and internet control.
Leaders and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy (Preceptor for Professor Keren Yarhi-Milo)
Spring 2017. Advanced undergraduate course. Taught two precepts of approximately 12 students each.
How do US presidents make foreign policy decisions? The class will review the constraints, dilemmas, risks and opportunities that American presidents face during international crises and wars. It will expose students to alternative explanations for how states make foreign policy, with an emphasis on the decision-making process. We will critically analyze the decision-making process that led to the undertaking of major and historical decisions in the US history, and will conduct simulations of potential crisis scenarios.