Political Science | Research in Institutional Analysis, Development, and Governance (3 Cr)
Y673 | 3492 | McGinnis

This course will be held at the Workshop in Political Theory and
Policy Analysis,
513 N. Park.

This seminar will introduce students to several completed and ongoing
research projects undertaken by faculty, students, and visiting
scholars associated with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy
Analysis. Students will read and comment upon published books and
articles as well as unpublished working papers, including several
works written by individuals who will be participating in this
seminar. Although the topics covered in these research projects vary
in many ways (substantive area, methodological focus, and degree of
completion), they all share a common focus on the origins and
operation of institutions in particular empirical contexts or their
broader roles in the constitution of order in human societies. Each
student is also expected to pursue his/her own research project, to
culminate in a research paper to be presented at a mini-conference
held at the end of the spring semester.
The particular topics to be covered this semester will be determined
at a later date. The following topics illustrate the likely range of
material: the predatory and polycentric constitutional orders
envisioned in Hobbes’ Leviathan and the Federalist; Tocqueville’s
concern with the difficulty of sustaining democratic self-governance;
examples of resource management regimes, especially those related to
water resources and fisheries; implications of resource competition
for political conflict at the national and international level,
especially in Africa; the ability of local communities to organize
themselves for collective action, even under conditions of tenure
insecurity; the importance of informal markets in development (as
exemplified in Fernando de Soto’s The Mystery of Capital);
alternative conflict resolution institutions; complementarity of
market and public economies; and the implications of recent
developments in international environmental and human rights law for
emerging patterns of global governance. The common theme uniting
these diverse topics will become clearer as the semester proceeds!
This course is part of a two-semester sequence on Institutional
Analysis and Development.  The fall semester course introduces
students to the methodological approach of institutional analysis as
developed by Workshop-affiliated scholars. Students may take either
course separately for credit. However, students planning to take the
spring semester course who have not taken the fall course should have
at least some background in relevant material in political science,
public policy, economics, or related fields. Please contact the
instructor if you have any questions.