Teaching

My principal goal as a teacher is to foster students’ ability to think critically, construct a cogent argument, express their ideas orally and in writing, and conduct themselves professionally, which are the foundational skills students require to transition into productive careers. Accordingly, I encourage informed discussion of real-world issues, devise practical assignments, adopt dynamic pedagogical techniques, and build strong relationships with students.

Current courses:

POL 100 Introduction to Politics and Government

see recent student evaluations:

Jeram (POL 100 – spring 2019)

Jeram (POL 100 – fall 2017)

Jeram (POL 101W – spring 2017)

A common understanding of politics is “who gets what, when and how” (Laswell, 1936). Analyzing politics, then, requires us to delve into questions such as: where is political power located? How is political power legitimated? What are the sources of political conflict? Answers to these questions will help us understand why liberal democracy has become the prima facie system of governance in the world. The remainder of the course will take the form of a critical inquiry into liberal democracy: what is liberal democracy? How did it emerge? What institutions and ideas support it? What influence do ‘ordinary’ citizens have on its outputs? And finally, is liberal democracy under attack?

POL 200 – Investigation Politics: Research Design and Qualitative Methods

see recent student evaluations:

Jeram (POL 200 – summer 2019)

Jeram (POL 200 – fall 2018)

Jeram (POL 200 – summer 2018)

Jeram (POL 200 – fall 2017)

Obligatory methods courses are difficult for instructors and students alike. Most instructors end up teaching methods courses as “service” to the university and fear getting up in front of students who would rather be anywhere else. Students are not very enthusiastic about learning methods and many feel a high degree of anxiety during such courses. However, this course is likely to be one of the most valuable and rewarding courses you take during your degree for a number of reasons. First, mastery of the basic concepts and techniques that structure the production of knowledge in political science (and other social sciences) will make your future social science courses a breeze. Second, skills related to research design and methodology help students excel on important standardized tests, such as the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), which rely on testing student capacity to identify flawed arguments, causal inferences, and paradoxes. Finally, skills obtained in methods courses have been proven to make recent graduates more desirable on the job market and more capable of executing analytical tasks (Andersen and Harsell 2005).

POL 317 Migration, Identity & Citizenship

see recent student evaluations:

Jeram (POL 317 – spring 2017)

Jeram (POL 317 – spring 2018)

The United Nations estimates that, until 2050, over 2.2 million migrants will arrive in the Global North every year. This unprecedented level of migration poses many challenging questions for rich liberal democracies in North America, Europe, and Oceania: who shall be admitted? What should be the conditions of integration? How will “we” maintain our identity in the face of diversity? This course addresses how liberal democracies respond to these questions and explores why their responses are often very different. Wherever possible, the Canadian experience will be compared to that of other liberal democracies to both highlight the common challenges raised by immigration and identify how and why Canadian responses to them sometimes differ and converge with comparable cases.

Part I of the course examines the politics and policies relating to entry. Admissions policy is generally split into categories such as economic/high-skill, temporary labour recruitment, familial, and asylum. Part II focuses on the process of integration. Integration policies are primarily targeted at “legal” permanent immigrants (but this is not always true). The integration of immigrants takes place across several planes: work, social and political rights, and identity. Relevant topics include credential recognition, citizenship acquisition, and the balance between diversity and unity. Part III examines issues related to the “local turn” in immigration governance. Immigration and citizenship are thought to be core state competencies. Nevertheless, lower levels of government – regions and cities – have become increasingly involved in the selection and settlement of newcomers. Part IV takes us deeper into contemporary issue of anti-immigrant politics in the liberal state. The rise of far-right parties across Europe and restriction of religious symbols in countries such as France are symptoms of a growing unease with linguistic, cultural, and religious diversity. We explore the determinants and consequences of anti-diversity sentiment. New to the course this year is a lecture on media framing of immigration and its potential effects on public opinion and policy.

Please contact me to view a syllabus for any course.