Teaching

At Ohio State, I have been an independent instructor and teaching assistant for several undergraduate courses in comparative politics, political methodology, and American politics. I served as a teaching assistant in “Introduction to Western Europe,” “The Politics of Income Inequality,” and “The American Presidency.” I have been the independent instructor for six semesters for an undergraduate political science research methodology course, “Data Literacy and Data Visualization.” Drawing on my current research, I have also developed a sample syllabus for a course on contemporary challenges to democracy.

PS 3780: Data Literacy and Data Visualization 

At Ohio State, I have taught Data Literacy and Data Visualization six times during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. This course teaches undergraduate students how to identify and acquire data commonly used in Political Science, and then how to use a variety of tools, including Outwit Hub, Gephi, GunnMaps, and especially R, to scrape, clean, visualize, and analyze the data. The class ties experience with these tools of data analysis to the substance of political theory, culminating in an independent research project where students propose a research question, and then identify, collect, and create visualizations with available data to test their hypotheses.

A sample syllabus for this course can be found here: PS 3780 Sample Syllabus.

Democracy in Crisis? : Understanding Historical Approaches and Contemporary Challenges to Democracy’

I have also developed a sample syllabus for a course that draws on my current research on contemporary challenges to democracy. This course introduces the topic with an overview of approaches to theories of democracy and democratization from a historical and comparative perspective, and then uses this foundational work to consider contemporary challenges to democracy in the form of failed consolidation, autocratic reversal, and especially democratic backslide. The lectures and readings for this course span many countries and most regions of the world, but overall the focus is thematic rather than geographically based.

The course begins with material on the definition of democracy and other related concepts, and then continues with an overview of existing theories of the causes, pre-requisites, and means of democratization. This section of the course highlights how theories and approaches have shifted over time in response to empirical changes across the three “waves” of democracy. The class then turns to the concept of “democratic consolidation,” focusing in particular on characteristics and theoretical causes of consolidation, such as political culture, civil society, and political institutions. Finally, the course studies what happens when consolidation fails, focusing on the concepts and causes of autocratic reversion, democratic backslide, populism, and illiberal democracy. The semester concludes with discussions of different examples of democratic backslide around the world, and what these cases suggest about the future prospects for liberal democracy.

A sample syllabus for this course can be found here: Democracy in Crisis Syllabus.