TEACHING

The focus of my teaching follows my research interests in the international politics of recognition, identity, and status conflict. Just as this research cuts across the security-cooperation spectrum, so does my portfolio of course offerings. A selection of these courses—Intro to Global Politics, Politics & Power of International Law, International Security: advanced seminar, and Israeli Politics—are summarized below. Syllabi are available upon request.


Intro to Global Politics

This is an introductory course on global politics. Throughout the semester students will learn about the historical development of the international system, and the moments of order and disorder that mark its on-going evolution. You will learn about sources of conflict and cooperation between states, about the creation, role, and power of international organizations and non-state actors, and about the legal, normative, economic, technological, and environmental factors that influence the conduct of international politics. In this course you will learn about both the empirical reality of the international system, across time, and the theories and concepts that exist to explain this reality.

Politics & Power of International Law

What role does international law play in the conduct of international politics? In the last century states have embraced legalization as a means of regulating their behavior: both with each other, and with their citizens. Rules governing appropriate conduct have been debated and codified, with institutions set up to interpret and render judgement on their violation over everything from armed conflict to trade and the extraction of resources in international waters. In many cases, states have willingly consented to be bound by these rules, while non-state actors have found in international law a useful resource for pushing states toward a normative ideal. At the same time, international law has never developed—and likely never will develop—the kind of enforcement mechanism that anchors domestic legal regimes. There is, in international law, a fundamental paradox surrounding its very existence, and its power, in international politics: few mechanisms exist for actually enforcing the law and sanctioning violators, and yet the law’s influence on state practice, and discourse, can be seen everywhere. In this course we will explore this paradox while working to bridge an understanding between what international law is, as a body of highly technical codified and customary rules that aim to “govern the globe,” and the actual effect that this comparatively recent push to find legal solutions for global problems has had on international politics.

International Security: advanced seminar

The primary aim of this course is to give students a broad guide to the field of international security. The first half will center around three questions: [1] Why do wars start? [2] How do they end? and [3] Why does peace persist? The course embraces theoretical diversity, and students will learn about the myriad material, social, and psychological approaches and answers to these questions. The second half of the course moves away from general questions on war and peace to analyze a more specific set of questions and topics no less pertinent to global security: technological change, civil-military relations, international law, and non-state actors (including terrorist organizations and private military firms).

Israeli Politics

This course is interested in how ideas about statehood develop, in how the idea of a “Jewish state” was formed and executed, and in the political effects that this idea—put into practice—has had, and continues to have, on the development of the Middle East. Israel is, as the title of the course textbook makes clear, a “complex society.” Seventy years after its declaration of independence, deep questions on the nature of Israeli identity, on the secular-religious balance of the state, on its territorial definition, and democratic ideals continue to plague Israeli society. The course introduces students to these complex political debates, paired with a close look at the historical trajectory, political and institutional structures that make up and define the state. This is primarily an Israeli politics course but it begins with the premise that the Israeli and Palestinian experience are intertwined. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and the Arab states of the region, cannot be neatly separated from a discussion of Israeli history, identity, institutions, and politics, and therefore will not be separated in this course.