Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Spring 2019



Course Number


Course Description

This course provides a systematic introduction to the ways in which identity and ethnic issues ("ethnopolitics") and the way they have become institutionalized by various political systems help shape the contemporary world through their impact on national, regional, international, and global relations. The course is divided into three parts, Part I presents the main concepts and historical background needed to understand modern ethno-political relations. Part II looks at key models of recognizing ( or not) ethnic and cultural diversity and organizing it as part of the institutional setup of the state and its policies. For each of these key models, we will use a variety of case studies, including from the Ottoman Empire, the former USSR and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, and Europe. In doing so, we will ask how each of these models of dealing with ethnic and cultural diversity has affected prospects for peace, conflict and democracy in each of these areas. Part III of the course will be devoted to conducting an original group research project. Each group will complete and present an original research paper on a relevant topic related to the concepts and issues discussed in class.

Some of the learning outcomes associated with this course are:

1. Familiarity with the basic concepts and theories relating to the way identity and its management shape our modern world

2. Familiarity with the way identity and its political management have affected the post­ socialist world, the Middle East, East Asia, and European Union states

3. Gaining an understanding of how ethno-political issues shape ongoing conflicts and an ability to relate current issues to theories and debates on identity and ethnopolitics.

4. The development of critical skills such as: face-to-face discussion and rapid reaction to others' arguments, verbal and non-verbal communication, ability for effective decision­ making under conditions of limited information.

5. Development of effective research and oral presentation techniques.

6. Development of skills necessary to conduct a group research project from beginning to end.