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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Jason Brownlee

Associate Professor Ph.D., Princeton University

Jason Brownlee



Jason Brownlee studies domestic and international processes of political emancipation. He is the author of Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization (Cambridge University Press, 2007), which examines the historical sources of electoral contestation and regime change during the last thirty years. Professor Brownlee is currently researching the worldview of American nation-building since the late nineteenth century. He has published articles in World Politics, Comparative Politics, and Studies in Comparative International Development.


Domestic and international processes of political emancipation.

MES 384 • Authoritarianism

42212 • Fall 2014
Meets W 930am-1230pm BAT 1.104
(also listed as GOV 390L )
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The most common regime type in history is authoritarianism, a category encompassing all forms of undemocratic rule, from absolutist monarchies to military juntas and single-party states. This graduate seminar considers modern manifestations of authoritarianism in comparison with popularly accountable rule, whether limited or democratic. The class will focus on explanations of large-scale variations in economic and social structures. Institutionalist and behavioral accounts will also be addressed. Students will be assigned to read and critique major scholarly monographs, chapters, and articles on the course topic. They may be asked to assess novels and films as well. Cases will come mainly, but not totally, from Europe and the Middle East. 


Grading policy: Grades will be based on a series of short and long writing assignments (50%), as well as active seminar participation, including in-class presentations (50%).


Texts: Williams and Colomb, Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace (4th ed.); Thomas Ertman, The Birth of the Leviathan; Arno Mayer, The Persistence of the Old Regime;  Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies; Brooker, Non-Democratic Regimes (2nd ed.); Kapuscinski, The Emperor; Boudreau, Resisting Dictatorship; Svolik, The Politics of Authoritarian Rule

MES 384 • Political Economy Of Mid East

42427 • Fall 2013
Meets W 900am-1200pm BAT 1.104
(also listed as GOV 390L )
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Course Description:

The course will examine how social scientists have explained major problems in the Middle East and North Africa. Topics will include authoritarianism, women's rights, popular protests, natural resource wealth, war, and foreign intervention. We will read and discuss a variety of recent books and articles from the scholarly literature.     



Grading Policy:  

Grades will be based on a combination of writing assignments, oral presentations, and regular in-class participation,      



Bayat, Life as Politics; Charrad, States and Women's Rights; Jones, Desert Kingdom; Mitchell, Carbon Democracy; Stacher, Adaptable Autocrats,     

MES F323K • Egyptian Politics And Society

86899 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 230pm-400pm PAR 301
(also listed as GOV F365N )
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In spring 2011, Egypt was described in American media as the “anchor” of US policy in the Middle East, a “strategic cornerstone,” and “the most important Arab country.” This course helps explain how Egypt, the most populous country in the Middle East, came to occupy such a prominent place. Our analysis will move chronologically from state-building under Muhammad Ali in the early 19th century to the January 25, 2011 Revolution that toppled long-ruling Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

We will draw upon a range of works from the humanities and social sciences, including academic articles, novels, and films. Students will be asked to read carefully and write clearly. Class discussions and assignments will require comprehending and critiquing the assigned texts.


Course Requirements

Map quiz                                                                                                10%

Three short answer and multiple-choice exams (20% each)                        60%

Attendance and participation                                                                        30%


Primary course texts:

Afaf Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot, A Short History of Modern Egypt (1985). Additional texts to be determined. There will also be course packet of other readings.


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