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Governance and Diversity in Developing countries



Purpose: Students get acquainted with state of the art theory on the politics of ethnic and racial diversity. In several writing assignments they shall be guided in using the literature to design and conduct empirical research on a theme of their choice, related to the overall theme of the course.

Content: This course aims to introduce students into main themes and discussions in the literature on the politics of ethnic and racial diversity. Questions concerning ethnic diversity and conflict within national states are high on the political and administrative agenda around the world. Students who take this course will learn about the fundamental questions, possible solutions, and ongoing discussions concerning this issue. We shall focus on developing countries (in Africa and Asia) and see that their long experience with deep social and cultural divisions is instructive for current discussions about the same issues in “the West.” A leading theme throughout the seminar is the role of the state and politics in the construction of social and cultural “groups.” The course combines political philosophy, and empirical analysis of the politics of ethnic and racial group formation.

Methods of Instruction

Seminar: close reading, discussions, presentations, and “minilectures.” The seminar takes the form of a close reading, analysis and discussion of a series of texts. Work in the seminar is based on discussions of the literature and real world cases. Preparation is essential for participation in the class and for everyone’s learning experience. All the students need to read all texts in advance!


Two essays, (the first, between 1000 and 1500 words, is a research/paper proposal, the second, 5000 words, is a research paper) participation, and a presentation in class.
The final grade: essay 1. 20%; essay 2. 50 ; presentation 20; participation 10.

Study Material



Wednesday 4 September until 18 December, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 1A24