Teaching and Advising

I have focused my teaching and advising efforts at Berkeley on developing a vibrant graduate and undergraduate curriculum on comparative urban politics and maintaining the strength of Berkeley’s program in Latin American politics. At the same time, I have devoted significant energy to advising graduate students, serving on twenty-three dissertation committees since arriving at Berkeley. I received the campus-wide Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award in recognition of these efforts in 2015. Descriptions of my courses are included below. Please do not hesitate to contact me for a copy of any of the syllabi.


Political Science/ Global Metropolitan Studies 203: Urban and Subnational Politics in Developing Countries

Over half of the world’s population is now urban. This course considers the political and institutional environment in which efforts to address metropolitan problems are developed, the financial and institutional vehicles used to provide services of different types, and the role of political parties and other forms of political organization in the development and allocation of services. Emphasis will be placed upon fertile areas for research within the social sciences. Topics will include metropolitan institutions and political regime types, decentralization and multi-level governance, the rule of law and urban violence, civil society and popular mobilization, political party organization and mobilization strategies, public policy formulation, urban bureaucracies, corruption, the politics of urbanization, and the metropolitan political economy. Readings will be drawn primarily from Political Science, Sociology, Geography, and Economics.    

Global Metropolitan Studies 201: Advanced Seminar in Methods in Comparative Urban Studies

This course constitutes the core research seminar for the Designated Emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies.  It provides a structured setting for students to engage intensively with one another’s dissertation projects, and uses this as an opportunity to understand how research is undertaken in the various disciplines contributing to our understanding of urban and metropolitan processes.  Enrollment is limited to post-candidacy students in the designated emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies. 

Political Science 248a: Latin American Politics Field Seminar

This course offers a survey of the political science literature on Latin American politics.  The goal is to enhance students’ empirical knowledge of Latin American countries, to explore the central themes and issues that have animated the literature on Latin American politics, to encourage students to begin to think about how they might design and execute research that would contribute to scholarship on the region, and to prepare students to teach courses in Latin American politics.

Political Science 249c: Research Workshop in Latin American Politics


Political Science 139D/ City and Regional Planning 139D:  Urban and Subnational Politics in Developing Countries

Over half of the world's population is now urban. As urban populations swell, metropolitan areas in both the developed and the developing world struggle to provide basic services and address the negative externalities associated with rapid growth. Sanitation, transportation, pollution, energy services, and public safety typically fall to subnational governments. Yet local subnational institutions face difficulties as they tackle these challenges because development tends to spill over political boundaries and resources are limited. Such difficulties are particularly acute in the developing world due to tighter resource constraints, weak institutions, and the comparative severity of the underlying problems. Moreover, democratization and decentralization suggest that urban governance and service delivery may have become more democratic, but present challenges with respect to priority setting, coordination, and corruption.

Political Science 148A:  Latin American Politics

This course examines patterns of political and economic change in Latin America over the course of the twentieth century.  Readings focus on industrialization and the advent of populism, the collapse of democracy and the rise of bureaucratic authoritarian regimes during the 1960s and 1970s, democratization, democratic consolidation, as well as economic liberalization and its aftermath. Discussions frame the Latin American cases in terms of broader debates in comparative politics.