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Governance and Diversity in Developing countries



Objective 1: Students get acquainted with state of the art theory on the politics of ethnic and racial diversity.
Objective 2: 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.” Work in the seminar is based on discussions of the literature and real world cases. Preparation is essential for participation in class and for everyone’s learning experience. 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



Master students that started their studies in September 2014 can register for one seminar in uSis from 10 December 12.00 hrs until 17 December 12.00 hrs.

For Master students that start their studies in February 2015 registration is possible from Wednesday 14 January 2015 12.00 hrs until Friday 23 January 2015 12.00 hrs. Please send an email with your full name, student number and preference for three seminars to the institute secretariat ( You will receive an auto-reply with a confirmation that we have received your e-mail. You will be informed about the seminars for which you have been registered before February 1.

Please note that elective seminars have a maximum capacity of 20 students and placement is subject to availability. Registration is on a first come first served basis.


  • Thursday 5 February until Thursday 2 April, from 09:00-11:00 hours in 1A22

  • Thursday 9 April, from 09:00-11:00 hours, in SA37

  • Thursday 16 April, from 09:00-11:00 hours, in 5A41

  • Thursday 23 April, from 09:00-11:00 hours, in 5A41

  • Thursday 30 April, from 09:00-11:00 hours, in 1A22

  • Thursday 7 May, from 09:00-11:00 hours, in SA37

  • Thursday 21 May, from 09:00-11:00 hours, in 1A33

  • no lectures on 14 May