Course Notes

Fall 2015 Notes






Classes are about to start! This semester, you can find out more about my courses via the following websites (which are in the process of being updated this week). International Law: http://internationallaw.site.wesleyan.edu/ Africa in World Politics: http://africanworldpolitics.site.wesleyan.edu/ My office hours are tentatively scheduled for Tuesdays, 11 am – 12 noon, and by appointment. I will…

“Behavioral International Law”






Opinio Juris is hosting a discussion of the “behavioral” approach to international law, beginning with a post by Tomer Broude. As he begins to describe it, the behavioral research agenda aims to explore the characteristics of real decision-making processes of different types of actors, under different circumstances. This approach might be useful for some of…

Course Notes – IL & GEP: Equity and climate change governance






My students in both classes have been focusing on climate change governance this week. One of the key themes that emerges is the question of equity. Does fairness matter here? (A question I won’t directly address because it is a take-home exam question!). What are the politics of equity and how does that translate into…

Course Notes – IL: The Precautionary Principle






A couple of my students have engaged in a discussion on our course blog regarding the precautionary principle. One student noted some of the potential advantages to principle: In the U.S. (considering the increase in political chatter about domestic oil drilling) perhaps some of the uncertainties about byproducts from drilling fluids, fracking fluids, and accident/spill…

Course Notes – GEP: Big Dams!






China’s Three Gorges Dam may be a huge mistake, reports Business Insider. Criticisms of the project are by no means new, but the most recent statements that 100,000 people may still need to be moved in response to landslide risks around the dam have brought its downsides back into focus. Meanwhile, China continues to be…

Earth Day: lessons from a penguin






I found this via a Facebook post from my friend, Anna Schmidt. This is from Darryl Cunningham’s blog and book. Follow the link for the full story: http://darryl-cunningham.blogspot.com/search?q=Climate+change  

Course Notes – GEP: Game Theory






This is something at least some of my students will appreciate given our attention to game theory this term. Here is a PD game, with communication. Which just goes to show that communication doesn’t always make cooperation easy! Thanks to Nathan Palmer for sharing! [youtube\http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0qjK3TWZE8[/youtube]

GEP Course Notes: Oil in Africa






Drilling Africa’s Arctic | Thought Leader. The Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest Unesco World Heritage Site, is situated along the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda. It contains more species of mammals, reptiles and birds than any other protected area on the continent. It has an exceptional diversity of landscapes…

Africa Notes: Gay Rights and the Alien Tort Statute






Do African politicians have a reason to support gay rights? A recent conversation with some colleagues and the discovery of a post about “Gay Relief” on Ramblings of a Procastinator in Accra got me thinking again about the politics of homosexuality in Africa. In the blog post, Abena Serwaa writes: Contrary to what most people…