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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Paula Newberg

Professor Ph.D., University of Chicago

Clinical Professor and Fellow of the Charles Wilson Chair in Pakistan Studies
Paula Newberg

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GOV 390L • Complex Emergencies

38185 • Spring 2015
Meets M 200pm-500pm SRH 3.212
(also listed as ANS 390 )
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COMPLEX EMERGENCIES AND GLOBAL POLITICS

Spring 2015

Monday, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

 

Professor Paula R. Newberg

BATS 4.102

512-232-7270

pnewberg@austin.utexas.edu

 

Course overview

 

The international community’s understanding of complex political, development and humanitarian emergencies has evolved over the past decade to include a number of intersecting elements: displaced populations, weak political and social institutions, fragile economies, challenging development environments, pervasive insecurity, disasters that reflect and exacerbate these conditions, and often – although not necessarily -- structural violence.   The term “complex emergencies” is generally used to describe these intersecting conditions as part of analysis and in order to determine appropriate local and international responses to these phenomena.  As our readings for this course will make clear, this is a concept that has arisen by the accumulation of experience, related to a group of practices that has not taken a final form, and is not always internally consistent.  The topic of this seminar is therefore a problematic: how should we dissect complex emergencies, how can we understand their attributes, why are they important, and what can we learn about governance, politics and policy by studying them?

 

We will examine the many and changing meanings, iterations and dimensions of complex emergencies, and will focus on the conditions that create and typify them.  We will pay special attention to the political environments that give rise to complex emergencies, those that allow them to continue, and the political and economic challenges and constraints that color responses to them. These include several cross cutting issues:  crises of humanitarianism, the meanings of vulnerability, and the construct of disasters; problems of migration, displacement and citizenship; justice, rights and governance; intransigent political disputes; and political emergency powers in transitional governance environments.  The latter will include questions of trusteeship and political successions; problems of statelessness and contested borders; the contexts for international assistance and crisis response; the complicated politics of relief and development, and in some instances, transitions toward peace; and the ways that pandemics and climate change do or do not fit into the trajectories of complex emergencies.

 

Our exploration of emergencies will span the globe.  Initially – and in part to develop a common understanding of the vocabulary and concepts of complex emergencies -- we will use modern south Asia as the canvas for these explorations.  South Asia was born and shaped through complex emergencies, and these continue to shape its state-building processes and regional development.  (For these purposes, prior knowledge of the region is not required.)  I expect projects to take other regions and/or international issues as their foci, as seems interesting and appropriate to the course. In all of our case studies, we will analyze the intersections of political, humanitarian and development crises, pairing our investigations of specific geographical cases with issues that affect sustained emergencies

 

Our seminar will focus on analysis in the context of policy.  It is meant to expand our understandings of the factors that contribute to complexity and the relationships among the various elements of complex emergencies. We will examine problems that influence the making of policy and its efficacy, broadly conceived – local, national and international, and economy, polity and society -- as well as the consequences of policy choices for the persistence or resolution of emergencies.

 

This course is intended to be a collaborative endeavor, and will include collective projects as well as individual papers and memoranda.  Class attendance is mandatory, as is the timely completion of all course reading, presentations and written assignments.

 

Requirements

 

Class attendance is mandatory.  Students are required to attend all classes punctually; complete all assignments; participate actively in class; and as designated, lead class discussions.  All work will be graded on the basis of clarity, organization, structure and quality of argument.   Grading will be based on the following:

 

(a) 40% of grade:  Prepared readings and participation in all class discussions, with due attention to assigned readings. We will rotate responsibility for leading discussions.   Each student will submit a short document with questions and comments for every class discussion prior to each week’s meetings (to be submitted electronically by 9 AM on Mondays).

 

In addition, class participation includes one formal individual oral presentation and one group presentation.  Background readings for these presentations should be made available to the class no later than one week before the presentation date.

 

            (b) 20% of grade:  One short (2000-2500 words) memorandum, due February 23rd. 

 

            (c) Proposal for research paper and/or memorandum series, due March 9th. The research paper may be an independent project, or part of a collaborative case study, and must be decided in consultation with me                        well in advance of the due date.

 

(d) 40% of grade:  one research paper or memorandum (6000-7000 words), due May 8th.  

      

Penalties for late submission will be ½ grade for each late day, unless timely and appropriate documentation is provided from health services or your personal physician.

 

Conferences with me are required to discuss classroom and written assignments, either during office hours or at other pre-arranged times. One class session in March will not be held to allow additional time for longer individual conferences

 

Readings and reference materials

 

An extensive reading list has been prepared for this seminar and will be available on blackboard. It contains required readings as well as those that may be used in the preparation of oral presentations and research papers, and other materials generally related to our seminar subject.  I urge you to read broadly, and in this way, to begin to appreciate what complexity means in our understanding of the basic themes of the seminar.

 

Only one book is recommended for purchase:  David Keen’s Complex Emergencies.  All other materials should be easily accessible via library journals (web-based) and research and policy institution websites.  A short list of library reserve reading will also be available.  I will post class assignments and other notices on Canvas and through email.  Please contact me immediately if weekly readings are inaccessible.  Should you need to miss a class, please contact me in advance; please do the same if you miss class assignments. 

 

Preparatory materials for oral presentations should be made available as internet-available articles, or photocopied materials to be placed on reserve for other students.  They will be included in the reading list as the semester proceeds.

GOV 365L • Rights & The State: S Asia

38930 • Fall 2014
Meets M 300pm-600pm CBA 4.340
(also listed as ANS 361 )
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RIGHTS AND THE STATE: MODERN SOUTH ASIA

(Global Cultures Flag)

 

Course overview:  Politics in modern south Asia are shaped, often dramatically, by contests about the nature of rights, the ways that citizens claim their rights, and the ways that states respond to those claims.   Every state in the region contends with popular movements to assert rights, whether through war and insurgencies, experiments with constitutions and the rule of law, or efforts to secure the rights of excluded groups, minorities and the economically disadvantaged.  Each state has also tried variously to promote and protect rights – on their own, and with their neighbors and the international community -- and to limit them in order to consolidate power.

 

What do rights have to do with political change?  With contemporary cases as our guide, we will explore basic elements of political change in the region by asking how states and societies are meeting the challenges of creating rights-based political orders, and how and why they succeed or fail.   The range of potential topics is intriguingly varied and broad; after our introduction to the field and the region, we will focus on topics related to rights and conflict.

 

Using political writings, government documents, laws and regulations, social science analysis, local journalism and reporting from local and international organizations we will dissect the meanings of rights in the region, and strive to understand the different ways that these complex issues affect citizens, states, observers and advocates.  In the process, we will examine the tools that are employed to protect rights or limit them, and how reports on rights conditions are developed and used.

 

Neither prior experience with the region nor detailed knowledge of human rights is required for this course (although those who have studied either or both are very welcome).  We will use our readings and discussions to learn about the region through the lenses of rights and governance, and to refine our understanding of rights through the experiences of the people and states that comprise south Asia today.  By the end of the course, each student should have a working understanding of some of the many challenges involving fundamental rights in south Asia, a grasp of analysis and reporting related to rights, and the skills needed to write about rights and politics.

 

Prerequisites:  Six hours of lower-division Government courses. 

 

Requirements:  A seminar succeeds when all of us are fully engaged.  Please use any electronic devices – including computers, tablets, and telephones -- in the classroom only when we are consulting documents that are most easily available online.  If you carry a cell phone with you, please silence it before/during class.

 

All seminar members are required to attend all classes punctually; complete all assignments (both written and oral); participate actively in class and as designated, lead class discussions on assigned readings and written projects.   Your class attendance and participation will be included in determining your final grade.

 

Grading:  Class participation and collegiality will be essential to the success of this seminar. Your oral and written products will be graded on the basis of their clarity, organization,  structure and quality of argument, including your ability to marshal evidence to support your arguments.   Grading will be done on a 100-point scale, translated into plus and minus grades.

 

Participation:  Participation will count toward 40% of the term grade.  As part of class preparation, I will assign, on a rotating basis, 1-2 page memos on specific topics related to readings and class discussion.  Specific assignments for class discussion will be indicated as we progress through the semester.   All class members are expected to participate in every class session.

 

Papers:  Each student will be expected to prepare two concise, 1500-1750 word written assignments and a final paper of approximately 2250-2500 words.  Submission dates will be late in the second, third and fourth months of the term.  Paper #1 will count toward 15% of your grade; paper #2 toward 20% of your grade; and paper #3 for 25% of your grade. 

 

Please provide your papers to me in hard copy (in person) as well as electronically.  Please take the time to revise, proofread, and follow accepted form for footnotes and references. 

 

Penalties for late paper submission will be ½ grade for each late day, unless you provide timely and appropriate documentation from health services or your personal physician. 

 

Course readings:   Two books are available for purchase:

 

Andrew Clapham:  Human Rights:  A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2007). This volume is optional, but recommended.

 

Jack Donnelly:  Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition (Cornell University Press, 2003).  This volume is required.

 

For reference and background, you might want to refer to a compendium edited by Micheline Ishay entitled  The Human Rights Reader:  Major Political Essays, 2nd. Edition.

 

Other materials (including videos):  I will post class assignments – including PDFs when URLs are not available -- and other notices on Blackboard on a regular basis.   Class readings are generally available online; in some instances, I will distribute materials in class.  Should you miss a class session, please contact me (and perhaps a classmate) for further information. 

Flags:

Global Cultures

GOV 365L • Rights And The State In S Asia

39290 • Spring 2014
Meets M 300pm-600pm GDC 5.304
(also listed as ANS 361 )
show description

Course overview:  Politics in modern south Asia are shaped, often dramatically, by contests about the nature of rights, the ways that citizens claim their rights, and state responses to those claims.   Every state in the region contends with popular movements to assert rights, whether through war and insurgencies, experiments with constitutions and the rule of law, or efforts to secure the rights of excluded groups, minorities and the economically disadvantaged.  Each state has also tried variously to promote and protect rights, and to limit them in order to consolidate power.

 

Using contemporary cases to illuminate these issues, we will explore basic elements of political change in the region by asking how states and societies are meeting the challenges of creating rights-based political orders, and how and why they succeed or fail.   The range of potential topics is intriguingly varied and broad; after our introduction to the field and the region, we will focus on topics related to rights and conflict.

 

Using political writings, government documents, laws and regulations, social science analysis, local journalism and reporting from local and international organizations we will dissect the meanings of rights in the region, and learn to understand the different ways that these complex issues affect citizens, states, observers and advocates.  In the process, we will examine the tools that are employed to protect rights or limit them, and how reports on rights conditions are developed and used.

 

Neither prior experience with the region nor detailed knowledge of human rights is required for this course.  We will use our readings and discussions to learn about the region through the lenses of rights and governance, and to refine our understanding of rights through the experiences of the people and states that comprise south Asia today.  By the end of the course, each student should have a working understanding of some of the many challenges involving fundamental rights in south Asia, a grasp of analysis and reporting related to rights, and the capacity to write about right and politics.

 

Prerequisites:  Six hours of lower-division Government courses

 

Requirements:  Students are required to attend all classes punctually; complete all assignments (both written and oral); participate actively in class and as designated, lead class discussions on assigned readings and written projects.

 

Each student will be expected to prepare three concise, 1500 word written assignments; submission dates are indicated in the course outline.  Please provide your papers to me in hard copy, and in person.  Please take the time to revise, proofread, and follow accepted form for footnotes and references. 

 

Be sure that your written submissions do not plagiarize the intellectual property of others:  do not copy, without attribution, a sequence of three or more words from a published text, an internet source, grey literature or another person’s work.  Plagiarizing is a form of cheating, and is grounds for a failing grade in this course.  Any incident of plagiarism will be reported to Student Judicial Services.

 

I will post class assignments – including PDFs when URLs are not available -- and other notices; should you miss a class session, please contact me (and perhaps a classmate) for further information. 

 

A seminar succeeds only if all of us are fully engaged.  Please do not use any electronic devices – including computers, tablets, and telephones -- in the classroom.  If you carry a cell phone with you, please silence it before class.

 

I expect all students to see me during office hours and other pre-arranged appointments to discuss classroom and written assignments.  Should office hours be inconvenient, please schedule an appointment with me for another time.

 

Course readings: 

 

We will make use of two books that are available for purchase:

 

Andrew Clapham:  Human Rights:  A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2007)

 

Jack Donnelly:  Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition (Cornell University Press, 2003)

 

For reference and background, you may refer to an online compendium edited by Micheline Ishay:  The Human Rights Reader:  Major Political Essays, 2nd. Edition.

 

Class reading assignments, selected primarily from the readings list, will be posted on Blackboard; most are available online, and in some instances, I will distribute materials in class.  The reading list is far longer than will be assigned for specific class sessions, and these pieces vary considerably in length and complexity.  It should help guide you as you seek additional sources, consider paper topics and generally, expand your horizons.

 

Grading:  Class participation is essential to the success of this seminar, and will count for 25% of the term grade. 

 

The first paper will contribute 20% of the course grade; the second paper, 25%, and the third paper, 30% of the overall grade.  Penalties for late paper submission will be ½ grade for each late day, unless you provide timely and appropriate documentation from health services or your personal physician. 

 

Your oral and written products will be graded on the basis of their clarity, organization, structure and quality of argument, including your ability to marshal evidence to support your arguments. 

GOV 365L • Rights And The State In S Asia

38941 • Spring 2013
Meets M 300pm-600pm CLA 0.108
(also listed as ANS 361 )
show description

Course Description

Contemporary politics in south Asia are shaped by contests about the nature of rights, the many ways that citizens claim their rights, and the manners in which statesrespond to those claims.   Every state in the region contends with movements to assert rights (whether internally or across borders), through war and insurgencies, experiments with constitutions and the rule of law, and efforts to secure the rights of excluded groups, minorities and the economically disadvantaged.  We will explore the development of politics in the region by asking how states and societies meet the challenges of creating rights-respecting political orders, why they succeed or fail, and what current experience means for the future of the region.   

To illuminate a series of case studies, we will analyze political writings, government documents, laws and treaties, scholarly analysis, local journalism and reporting from local and international organizations to dissect the meanings of rights in the region.  Our task will be to clarify the different ways that these complex issues are understood by citizens, states, observers and advocates. 

 

Course Requirements

Students are expected to attend and participate in all class sessions and complete all assignments.  Each student will be expected to help lead class discussions of assigned readings.  Three written assignments of 1500 words will be required, and students will be asked to present on some of their writtenwork orally.

 

Firstwritten assignment                      20%

Second written assignment                 25%

Thirdwritten assignment                     25%

Oral presentation                              15%.

Classparticipation                              15%

 

Texts

Many of the readings will be collected into a course packet.

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