This course introduces students to some of the major arguments, hypotheses and debates in the literature on African politics and development, and aims to help students develop the skills to become both more intelligent consumers and more effective producers of this literature. Intense discussions of an extensive set of readings are combined with a series of written assignments designed to help students develop research strategies to evaluate the hypotheses they encounter in (or are inspired by) the literature.
The topics covered include colonialism and its impact; the weakness of political institutions and the implications for policymaking; linkages between voters and politicians; the role of ethnicity and traditional institutions; and urbanization. Readings are a mix of classic articles and recent work that exemplifies the methodological and theoretical “cutting edge.”
The course is designed principally for UCLA Political Science PhD students who focus their research on Africa and/or other parts of the developing world. PhD and MA students from other social science departments are also welcome if space permits. A limited number of students from low- and middle-income countries with graduate training in political science, economics, or related field will be permitted to participate in the seminar via Remote Student Exchange.
Our favorite causal inference guru Prof. Scott Cunningham is teaching a free class on causal inference for students from low- and middle-income countries. We're now looking for TAs for this class! The work is condensed into a few days in July (see dates), and will involve some live teaching and some grading.
You have to be a PhD student, or hold a PhD, in economics or a related discipline, and have a solid grasp of econometric methods, especially causal inference. Ideally you've previously taught/TA'd for an econometrics class. When you sign up, please describe in detail whether and how you meet these criteria.
Important: In contrast to the rest of this website, you do NOT have to be a citizen/resident of a low- or middle-income country to be a TA for this class.