Over the last two years, popular uprisings against autocratic regimes swept across much of the Middle East. Protests have spread to Russia in the wake of corrupt parliamentary and presidential elections. Protesters are united in demanding not just to the ouster of autocratic regimes, but their replacement with democracy, rule of law, and economic and social improvement. This course is devoted to exploring the links between these ambitious goals -- the various components of political and economic development. We will examine, in particular, how and why democratic, economically developed states arise as well as how the rule of law can be established in places where historically rule has largely been through coercion and corruption. In other words, the central concerns of the course are: how do well-governed and prosperous states emerge and how are they sustained? What is the role of society once protesters go home? What is the role of the state in fostering development? How has (and how might) technology be used to foster positive change? What role, if any, should foreign states and the international community play in bringing about democracy? We will have daily guest speakers who have been directly involved in policy planning and implementation in the countries we examine.
Political Scientist Kathryn Stoner-Weiss, Director of the Susan Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies at Stanford, will lead this course with guest lectures from faculty and researchers affiliated with the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at the Freeman, Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Class will meet for lectures in the mornings with discussions to take place on what we have learned after lunch. There will be some assigned readings..