How would you describe a region? Which countries and actors are in and which are out? Why is it important? The course seeks to answer these questions by providing insights into existing and emerging dynamics of the Caucasian region. Features of political cultures, traditions of statehood and key domestic developments in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran, Georgia, as well as foreign policy priorities and interests of Russia, EU, USA will be discussed. The course will also reflect upon Armenia’s relations with these countries. It will also discuss different geopolitical interests pursued by major global stakeholders. The course consists of lectures, discussions and presentations.

The course introduces key themes in comparative political systems as they impact government, societies, and statist vs. non-statist countries. It focuses on political regimes and transitions; political instability and conflict; governance and its components; political demands, distribution and re-distribution of public inputs and outputs.  Methods consider rational choice, culture/history, game theory, rationality vs. human behavior, principal/agent; structure/agency; institutionalism and network theory.

This is an introductory course that will examine the history and recent developments in development of the discipline of public administration, mostly drawing from the US experience and American (management- and politics-based) understanding of the discipline. The course will also address characteristics of public administration in different countries, including Armenia. By the end of the class, you should be able to write a theoretically informed discussion/argument on issues and developments in public management, make an oral presentation of your argument and debate its merits, and evaluate the techniques of presentation and arguments advanced by other students during their presentations.