Fall 2009 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: Regionalism, Conflict & Intergovernmental Relations in Today's World
Instructor(s): Lawrence Graham
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 63063
Day & Time: Fridays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.355
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Notes: This course can be counted as a MGPS topic.

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: Globalization is redefining the contemporary world in ways that are transforming state and nation and reconfiguring societies. This seminar seeks to examine in depth two particular, overlapping developments: first, regionalism and conflict in world areas where there are overlapping and competing allegiances in the movement toward new forms of economic association and governance and, second, tensions in institutionalized federalist and unitary states (under decentralization and devolution).

The European Union is the leading example of the movement toward larger forms of association at the continental level and experimentation with multi-level governance. In contrast stand quasi-independent regions or territories in which two or more national groups are competing for control of territories where competing ethnic, religious, and political identities make it impossible for one group to impose its will (viz., Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Kashmir), or tensions in large states (i.e., Russia, China, and India) where governments find themselves enmeshed in governing diverse peoples and regions in which conflict is endemic (the Caucuses, Tibet, and Muslim/Hindu communities). At the same time, other large states (such as Brazil, Mexico, and the US) are struggling to devise new forms of federalism and intergovernmental relations in order to respond to competing political, social, and economic pressures through decentralization.

Four collaborative endeavors sample this new and diverse literature: the newly devolved United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland (Robert Hazell (ed.), Constitutional Futures: A History of the Next Ten Years), multi-level governance in Northern Ireland with the participation of the Irish Republic and the European Union (Paul Carmichael et al., Devolution and Constitutional Change in Northern Ireland and the European Unionís Programme for Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland, and Western Scotland and its Programmes for Peace and Reconciliation), and Robert H. Wilson et al., Governance in the Americas: Decentralization, Democracy, and Subnational Government in Brazil, Mexico, and the USA). To this will be added appropriate materials on Russia, China, and India, as well as Southeast Europe and Southern Africa, the background for which is my textbook, Graham et al., The Politics of Governing: A Comparative Introduction (2007).

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