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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Aseem Prakash
POL S 403
Seattle Campus

Advanced Seminar in International Relations

Examination of contemporary developments in the field of international relations. Content varies according to the nature of developments and research interests of the instructor.

Class description

Topic: NGO Politics

Non governmental organizations (NGOs) have emerged as important actors in local, national, and international politics. They advocate policy positions and produce collective goods often for the disadvantaged sections of the society. They are often viewed as crucial building blocks for democracy and economic growth. NGOs compete and cooperate with governments and with firms. Importantly, they compete and cooperate with one another for membership, external funding, and media attention. Literatures in political science, sociology, and nonprofit studies study their advocacy and collective good provision functions. This seminar will investigate key theoretical and empirical issues raised in these literatures pertaining to NGOs' goals, strategy, politics, and efficacy.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

I will adopt seminar format. To maximize your learning from this course, you should read the required texts in advance and actively participate in class discussions. You are expected to do the following assignments:

Commentator: I have identified several interesting articles that we will discuss in the class. You will be presenter/lead discussant for five of them. Prepare a 1-2 page (single spaced) summary of your comments and email it to the class prior to your presentation. Budget about 20 minutes for your presentation. I will circulate a sign up sheet on the first day of class.

Individual Project What environmental problems intrigue you? Well, here is an opportunity to study them. You will write short research paper (4-5 pages, single spaced) on any global environmental problem. In this paper, identify the problem, highlight different perspective on it, suggest the most feasible policy solution. You will present your research to the class and also turn in a written report.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Grades. Commentator 50 points Individual Project 30 points Class Participation 20 points Total 100 points


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Aseem Prakash
Date: 05/10/2012