As a professor at George Washington University’s Political Science Department and Elliott School of International Affairs, I offer a mixture of undergraduate and graduate courses in international relations and comparative politics, with a focus on international political economy, the political economy of development, and Latin American politics.

International Political Economy (PSC 2439)

With deepening globalization in recent years, the interplay between states and markets has become a central force in shaping international economic affairs. Globalization refers to a wide range of issues within trade, finance and development processes: including the growth and distribution of wealth, basic human security, and cultural norms. While globalization can clearly be a force for social and economic development, it also presents several risks to human security and well being, ranging from national-level job losses and financial contagion to a terrorist resurgence and global emissions spikes. This course focuses heavily on both globalization’s opportunities and challenges by examining the complexities of governing in an interdependent world.

Latin American Development (IAFF 2090)

This course introduces students to Latin America, a region of the world that has served as a virtual laboratory of capitalism and democracy over the last century. Ironically, as the United States struggles with the fallout from a severe financial crisis, including rising unemployment, a shrinking middle class, and growing social unrest, many Latin American nations appear to have stabilized economically and politically. Has Latin America found a viable third way compromise that embraces both market globalization and a strong state? Is Latin America’s turn toward prosperity a long-term, sustainable trend? What lurking vulnerabilities threaten Latin America moving forward?


Political Economy of Latin America (IAFF 3187)

This advanced upper-level seminar will focus on the politics of economic policymaking in Latin America, raising the following questions.  What were the political reasons for adopting each new development model? What were the political and economic obstacles to prosperity?  We will begin with a thorough review of Latin America’s successes and failures with “big policymaking ideas” from import-substitution industrialization, to the Washington Consensus, to a post-neoliberal emphasis on ‘growth with equity.’  Students will also compare and contrast country cases of development throughout the region over time, from market-oriented strategies in Chile and Mexico and heterodox experiments in Argentina and Brazil to today’s export-oriented commodity boom models in the Southern Cone and a new breed of leftist politics in Venezuela and Bolivia.


Advanced Theories of Political Economy (PSC 8453)

This course introduces doctoral students to the political analysis of economic policymaking. It covers the politics of international and comparative economics. From the domestic perspective, we focus on the preferences of economic actors and how institutions influence the way these preferences are channelled into policies. From the international perspective, we investigate the effects of international economic factors (globalization, finance, trade, debt, etc.) on domestic political processes. The goal of this class is to make students conversant in the dominant themes of modern political economy, preparing them to do original research in the subfield.

SBK photo

© Stephen B. Kaplan 2018