Teaching is an essential component of my academic work, as I approach it as an opportunity to revisit the fundamental puzzles of politics and to influence future scholars and professionals. Through my teaching, I aim to stimulate students’ intellectual curiosities, and to foster critical awareness and independent thinking. For additional details, please see my Teaching Philosophy.
- Authoritarian Politics (undergraduate), Spring 2018 & 2019
- Russian Politics under Vladimir Putin (undergraduate), Fall 2017 & 2018
Head Teaching Assistant
Head Teaching Assistant
- Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics (undergraduate) with Professor Andrew Mertha, Spring 2013
- Middle Eastern Politics (undergraduate) with Professor David Patel, Spring 2011
- Methods of Political Analysis II (graduate) with Professor Peter Enns, Spring 2011
- Introduction to International Relations (undergraduate) with Professor Peter Katzenstein, Fall 2010
- Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics (undergraduate) with Professor Kenneth Roberts, Spring 2010
- Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies (undergraduate) with Professor Sarah Kreps, Fall 2009
Saints Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia
- International Organizations (graduate) with Professor Tatjana Petrusevska, 2003-2008
Prospective Course Offerings
Comparative and International Politics
Sample Course Descriptions
For most of history, human societies have been ruled by dictators of one sort or another. Despite repeated tides of democratization, at least over 40 percent of the countries in the world today and half its population are still ruled by non-democracies. The aim of this course is to provide a critical understanding of the dynamics of contemporary authoritarianism and the sources of its resilience. First, the course will examine the key differences between democracy and autocracy, and among different types of autocracies. The second part will investigate the means by which contemporary autocracies stay in power. In addition to traditional tactics like repression, clientelism and propaganda, we will explore how autocracies adopted economic, nationalist and populist appeals, and nominally democratic institutions like parties, legislatures and elections, to sustain their rule. The third part will focus on societies ruled by dictatorships, as well as the forces behind the waves of democratization and authoritarian resurgence. It will look at popular opinion and mobilization in autocracies, the sources of resistance, and the dynamics of protests and rebellions that sometimes topple these regimes. Throughout the course, we will explore key case studies to examine how authoritarian systems work in practice. We will also survey key novels, films, journalistic accounts and documentaries to inform class discussions and analysis.
In 1939, Winston Churchill has famously characterized Russia as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. In the 75 years that followed, Russian politics has continued to defy expectations and conventional explanations. The collapse of the Soviet Communist dictatorship in 1991 in particular has caught most observers by surprise and has led Russia on a path of political and economic liberalization of an unprecedented scope. But despite the initial optimism, these processes produced an economic system characterized by crony capitalism and an electoral authoritarian regime. Why did Russia follow this particular trajectory? Why did Russia’s political and economic transition fail to produce the intended results? What are the factors that gave rise to and sustain Vladimir Putin’s system? And as Russia faces extraordinary turmoil again – marked by the protest wave in 2011-12, the country’s current economic crisis and the war in Ukraine – what lessons can we draw for the future? This course will provide an overview the key perspectives on these issues. The first part of the course will provide a concise overview of Russia’s historical background, the roots of the communist collapse, and the country’s subsequent trajectory. The second part of the course will look into the rise of the Putin regime, its key pillars, and its contradictions. The third part of the course will survey the impact of Putin’s regime on Russia’s economy, governance, identity politics and foreign relations, and conclude with a discussion of the scenarios for the future trajectory of Russia.