Skip to:

Courses on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law - Spring 2016

Listed below are courses offered in the spring quarter of 2016 by CDDRL core and affiliated faculty:


The Politics of Private Sector Development (IPS 236)

Francis Fukuyama

This is a case-based course on how to achieve public policy reform with the aim of promoting private sector development in developing countries. It will deal with issues like privatization, reducing informality, infrastructure development, trade promotion, and combatting corruption.


The American West (AMSTUD 124A, ARTHIST 152, ENGLISH 124, HISTORY 151, POLISCI 124A)

Bruce Cain; Shelley Fishkin; David Freyberg; David Kennedy; and Connie Wolf

The American West is characterized by frontier mythology, vast distances, marked aridity, and unique political and economic characteristics. This course integrates several disciplinary perspectives into a comprehensive examination of Western North America: its history, physical geography, climate, literature, art, film, institutions, politics, demography, economy, and continuing policy challenges. Students examine themes fundamental to understanding the region: time, space, water, peoples, and boom and bust cycles.


Energy Policy in California (CEE 263G, POLISCI 73, PUBLPOL 73)

Bruce Cain and Dian Grueneich

This seminar will provide an in-depth analysis of the role of California state agencies in driving energy policy development, technology innovation, and market structures. The course will cover three areas: 1) roles and responsibilities of key state agencies; 2) current and evolving energy and climate policies; and 3) development of California's 21st century energy systems. Presentations will include experts from the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Air Resources Board, the California Independent System Operator, the California Legislature, and the Governor's office. This class is required for all Stanford Energy Internships in California (SEIC) fellowship awardees and is open to other interested undergraduate and graduate students. Class dates are: April 2nd (10am-2pm), April 30th (10am-1pm), and May 21st (10am-1pm). Lunch will be provided. May be repeat for credit. If interested you can fill out this webform:


Fixing US Politics: Political Reform in Principle and Practice (POLISCI 225C)

Bruce Cain

Americans have been trying to perfect their system of government since its founding. Despite some notable achievements, there is a pervasive sense of frustration with political reform. This course will examine the goals and political consequences of American political regulation. Topics will vary by year to some degree but examples include campaign finance, lobbying, term limits, conflict of interest regulation, direct democracy, citizen commissions and assemblies, vote administration problems, transparency, and open meeting laws.


Topics in Brazilian Education: Public Policy and Innovation for the 21st Century (EDUC 404)

Eric Bettinger; Paulo Blikstein; and Martin Carnoy

The objective of this seminar is to provide students from different backgrounds an opportunity to learn about current issues and debates on Brazilian education. The seminar will cover topics on the history of Brazilian education; an overview of current school reforms at the federal level; educational assessments; education and economic growth; educational equity; teacher labor market; technology and education; early childhood; and higher education to Brazil.


Legislation and Administration (LAW 394)

Mariano-Florentino Cuellar

This course explores the world of legislation and administration that defines much of our modern legal order. By analyzing agencies, statutes, and legislative procedures, the course prepares students to think about the structures and processes of government, and how they influence legal outcomes that would otherwise be defined largely by social norms, economic transactions, and common law adjudication. Drawing on examples from a variety of substantive areas, the course covers the legislative process, approaches to statutory interpretation, the role of agencies and the legislature in a system of separated powers, delegation to agencies, the interaction of common law doctrines and agency practices, and techniques of agency regulation and adjudication. First-year students are welcome. Special Instructions: Students who receive credit for Legislation ( Law 319) and/or Statutory Interpretation ( Law 425) may not receive credit for Legislation and Administration (Law 394) and vice versa. Note: Some sessions will be rescheduled to Friday afternoon because of oral argument. Elements used in grading: Attendance, participation in in-class discussion and occasional short assignments, being on "panel" for selected classes, and an open-book exam. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Consent Application Form available on the SLS website (Click Courses at the bottom of the homepage and then click Consent of Instructor Forms). See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline.


Comparative Democratic Development (POLISCI 147/SOC 112)

Larry Diamond

Social, cultural, political, economic, and international factors affecting the development and consolidation of democracy in historical and comparative perspective. Individual country experiences with democracy, democratization, and regime performance. Emphasis is on the third wave of democratization over the past three decades and contemporary possibilities for democratic change. 


Political Economy I (ECON 220, POLISCI 331E)

Gabriel Carroll and James Fearon

Theoretical models of political economy. Potential topics include: basic social choice theory, democracy, electoral competition, political accountability, legislative bargaining, lobbying, corruption, autocratic politics, democratization, conflict and arms races, and institutional change. Attention to economics implications, including taxation, redistribution, and public goods. Prerequisite: 203 or permission of instructors.


Deliberative Democracy and its Critics (AMSTUD 135, COMM 135, COMM 235, COMM 335, POLISCI 234P, POLISCI 334P)

James Fishkin

This course examines the theory and practice of deliberative democracy and engages both in a dialogue with critics. Can a democracy which emphasizes people thinking and talking together on the basis of good information be made practical in the modern age? What kinds of distortions arise when people try to discuss politics or policy together? The course draws on ideas of deliberation from Madison and Mill to Rawls and Habermas as well as criticisms from the jury literature, from the psychology of group processes and from the most recent normative and empirical literature on deliberative forums. Deliberative Polling, its applications, defenders and critics, both normative and empirical, will provide a key case for discussion.


Economic Development: A Historical Perspective (ECON 128)

Avner Greif

The course explores the process of economic development from a historical perspective. It draws on contemporary theories of economic development and the historical experience of various regions over the last millennium. The substantives focus is on the cultural and institutional and social foundations for economic growth. The stalker focus is particularly on the Middle East, Europe and China. The course is conducted as a seminar based on in class discussion, readings, and students presentations. Limited Enrollment. Prerequisites: ECON 50ECON 52ECON 102B. Recommended: ECON 118.


Institutions and Organizations in Historical Perspective (ECON 228)

Avner Greif

The course integrates historical analysis and economic theory in evaluating the nature and role of institutions in economic and political outcomes. The motivating question is the factors determining economic and political developments in the long run and the historical focus is on the Middle East, Europe, and China over the last millennium. The course first examines various approaches for the study of institutions, their nature and dynamics and then focuses on detailed discussions of frontier research papers.


The International History of Nuclear Weapons (HISTORY 103E, POLISCI 116)

David Holloway

An introduction to the history of nuclear weapons from World War II to the present. The focus is on politics, but the role of technology transfer (whether legal or illicit) in the development of nuclear weapons will be examined; so too will the theories about the military and political utility of nuclear weapons. We will look at the efforts to control and abolish nuclear weapons and at the international institutions created to reduce the danger of nuclear war.


Challenging the Status Quo: Social Entrepreneurs Advancing Democracy, Development and Justice (INTNLREL 142, AFRICAST 142)

Katherine Kelly Janus

This seminar is part of a broader program on Social Entrepreneurship at CDDRL in partnership with the Haas Center for Public Service. It will use practice to better inform theory. Working with three visiting social entrepreneurs from developing and developed country contexts students will use case studies of successful and failed social change strategies to explore relationships between social entrepreneurship, gender, democracy, development and justice. It interrogates current definitions of democracy and development and explores how they can become more inclusive of marginalized populations. This is a service learning class in which students will learn by working on projects that support the social entrepreneurs' efforts to promote social change. Students should register for either 3 OR 5 units only. Students enrolled in the full 5 units will have a service-learning component along with the course. Students enrolled for 3 units will not complete the service-learning component. Limited enrollment. Attendance at the first class is mandatory in order to participate in service learning.


Theories of Change in Global Health (SOMGEN 207)

Stephen Luby

Open to graduate students studying in any discipline whose research work or interest engages global health. Upper-class undergraduates who have completed at least one of the prerequisite courses and who are willing to commit the preparatory time for a graduate level seminar class are welcome. The course undertakes a critical assessment of how different academic disciplines frame global health problems and recommend pathways toward improvements. Focuses on evaluating examples of both success and failure of different theories of change in specific global health implementations. Prerequisites: ECON 118CEE 265DHUMBIO 129S or HUMBIO 124C.


From Biopolitics to Necropolitics and Beyond (ANTHRO 322)

Michael Kohrman

Scholarship produced and informed by Michel Foucault. Focus is on the final period of Foucault¿s life; how his discussions of biopolitics, subjectification, governmentality, and death have served as touchstones for recent empirical research. Key interventions initially made under these rubrics; how anthropologists and others have applied, challenged, and extended them. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.


SENSA Social Enterprise Seminar (CEE 246E, CEE 146E)

Raymond Levitt

Students meet with mentors to discuss and get feedback on SENSA labs social enterprise projects. Attendance at all seminars is required for credit.


VIP: Very Impactful People - Social Innovation and the Social Entrepreneur

Various Speakers; Moderated by Lawrence Litvak

Invited lecture series. Perspectives and endeavors of entrepreneurs and thought leaders who address social needs in the U.S. and internationally through private, for-profit and nonprofit organizations or public institutions.


International Human Rights (LAW 330)

Jenny Martinez

This course examines the law of international human rights, analyzing various categories of rights, from civil and political human rights, to social and economic human rights, to group and collective rights. It studies the structure and processes of international and regional courts that adjudicate human rights claims and international treaty bodies that report on State human rights action. It explores debates about the normative justifications for human rights, and whether and how these debates impact upon the application and enforcement of human rights. Special Instructions: Students have the option to write a long research paper in lieu of the final exam with consent of instructor. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. Elements used in grading: Class participation; exam or final long research paper.


American Foreign Policy: Interests, Values, and Process (GLOBAL 220, IPS 242, POLISCI 217A)

Michael McFaul

This seminar will examine the tension in American foreign policy between pursuing U.S. security and economic interests and promoting American values abroad. The course will retrace the theoretical and ideological debates about values versus interests, with a particular focus on realism versus liberalism. The course will examine the evolution of these debates over time, starting with the French revolution, but with special attention given to the Cold War, American foreign policy after September 11th, and the Obama administration. The course also will examine how these contending theories and ideologies are mediated through the U.S. bureaucracy that shapes the making of foreign policy. ** NOTE: All interested students should attend the first class. Final enrollment criteria will be detailed on the first day of class. There will be 16 spaces available in the course.


Current Issues in European Security (POLISCI 71)

Moderated by Michael McFaul with talks from special guests

Russia's annexation of Crimea in Spring 2014 posed not only a threat to post-World War II Europe formed around the norm of national sovereignty, but possibly also the very real threat that Russia had awakened from its 20 years of peacefulness to once again impose its will on Eastern Europe. Is Europe again under threat from the East? In Current Issues in European Security, students will attend public events organized by Stanford's Europe Center and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. These events -- talks by political leaders and scholars from the U.S. and Europe -- will engage and encourage students to understand the deepening crises in Ukraine, conflict in the Baltics, and European security as a whole. Students will leave the course with a better understanding of the multi-faceted dilemmas policy makers face, historical background, and possible paths forward for global decision makers. In addition to attending the events, students will write a final memo recommending a course of action for US policy makers. Events will typically be scheduled from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. but may be held at other times. There will be approximately six events in spring quarter, and students may also be required to attend one or two separate discussion sessions.


Islam, Iran and the West (POLISCI 149S)

Abbas Milani and Salma Mousa

Changes in relative power and vitality of each side. The relationship in the Middle Ages revolved around power and domination, and since the Renaissance around modernity. Focus is on Muslims of the Middle East.


World Food Economy (EARTHSYS 106/206; ECON 106/206; ESS 106/206)

Marshall Burke and Rosamond Naylor

The economics of food production, consumption, and trade. The micro- and macro- determinants of food supply and demand, including the interrelationship among food, income, population, and public-sector decision making. Emphasis on the role of agriculture in poverty alleviation, economic development, and environmental outcomes. (graduate students enroll in 206)


Leadership Challenges (ETHICSOC 111)

Deborah Rhode

This course will examine the responsibilities and challenges for those who occupy leadership roles in professional, business, non-profit, and academic settings. Topics will include: characteristics and styles of leadership, organizational dynamics, forms of influence, decision-making, diversity, and ethical responsibilities. Class sessions will include visitors who have occupied leadership roles. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a placement for 1 additional unit through the Haas Center with leaders of local non-profit organizations, foundations, and government offices. Through these experiential placements, students will see the responsibilities and challenges of leadership firsthand, across a variety of sectors and organizational settings. Placements are limited, and interested students should indicate their interest when applying. Requirements will include class participation and short written weekly reflection papers (2-3 pages) on the assigned readings. Students should submit a resume and a description of no more than one page of relevant leadership experiences, interests, and motivations for taking the course. Application link here:


Gender, Law, and Public Policy (LAW 307)

Deborah Rhode

Topics in this course will include equal protection standards, employment, family, reproductive rights, sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence, pornography, sexual orientation, diversity in the profession, feminist legal theory, international human rights, and intersections with race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation. Materials will include cases, commentary, problems, and media portrayals. Special Instructions: Course requirements will include class participation and either (1) a long paper, which will satisfy the research requirement or (2) short weekly reflection papers on the assigned readings, and a short final research paper. Students writing reflection papers will form teams and each member will be responsible for writing comments on one classmate's paper each week. There will be no final examination. A maximum of 10 students will be permitted to write the long paper for R credit. All students interested in R credit should pre-register by lottery for Law 307-0-02. Students who do not receive a spot in section 02 may enroll in section 01. Open to students from other schools with the consent of the instructor. To apply for this course, non-Law students must complete a Non-Law Student Course Add Request Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (Click Registration and then click Non-Law Students). Elements used in grading: Class participation, attendance, reflection papers, and final paper.


Africa in the 20th Century (AFRICAAM 145B, HISTORY 145B)

Richard Roberts

(Same as HISTORY 45B. History majors and others taking 5 units, register for 145B.) The challenges facing Africans from when the continent fell under colonial rule until independence. Case studies of colonialism and its impact on African men and women drawn from West, Central, and Southern Africa. Novels, plays, polemics, and autobiographies written by Africans.


Special Topics: Taiwan's Democratic Evolution (POLISCI 243D)

Kharis Templeman

This course is an introduction to the contemporary politics of Taiwan. Once a poor, insecure autocracy, today Taiwan has been transformed into a prosperous and stable liberal democracy, albeit one whose long-term security remains imperiled by the rising power of the People¿s Republic of China. We will draw on concepts and theories from political science to explore distinct aspects of this ongoing political evolution, including the transition to and consolidation of democracy, origins and trajectory of economic and social development, sources of Taiwanese nationalism, security of the Taiwanese state and its relationship to the PRC and the United States, parties and elections, and public policy processes and challenges.


Policy Practicum: Burma: Comparative Practice on International Protection of Prisoners Standards (LAW 415C)

Anthony Weiner

The Public Interest Law and Policy Group ("PILPG"), a pro bono international law firm, is providing legal assistance to Burmese civil society organization to develop effective advocacy campaigns and to draft legislation and policy proposals. Students in this Practicum will provide guidance to PILPG in support of its work with its Burmese Civil society clients. Students in this Practicum will focus in particular on assisting Burmese civil society organizations advocating for legal reforms to the state's prison system. Students will research and prepare a memorandum analyzing the prison laws and regulations in states within the South Asian (ASEAN) region. To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Consent Application Form available on the SLS website (Click Courses at the bottom of the homepage and then click Consent of Instructor Forms). See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline.


Introduction to Comparative Politics (POLISCI 104)

Jeremy Weinstein

(Formerly POLISCI 4) Why are some countries prone to civil war and violence, while others remain peaceful? Why do some countries maintain democratic systems, while others do not? Why are some countries more prosperous than others? This course will provide an overview of the most basic questions in the comparative study of political systems, and will introduce the analytical tools that can help us answer them.


Design Thinking for Public Policy Innovators (PUBLPOL 242)

Jeremy Weinstein

What happens when new technology is developed so quickly that society isn¿t sure if it poses an opportunity or a danger? How should we regulate it when there are real risks but also real potential for societal benefit¿both of which are hard to measure? These kinds of dilemmas are arising now in bioengineering, information technology, and beyond. The scientific and policy communities are trying to address these issues, but the clash of cultures between a fast-moving innovation mindset and a risk-averse safety and security mindset affects how this work progresses. In this experimental class, you will explore how design thinking can be used to reinvent a policy ecosystem by focusing on the challenge policymakers face in trying to establish new rules and/or standards that they hope a wide variety of constituent groups will accept and follow and will keep pace with future innovations. This is a new approach to a critical problem ¿ you must be willing to dig into unknown territory. If you¿re looking for a survey course in design methods, this class is not for you. Limited enrollment. Admission by application. See



Share this Page