Global Disaster Politics


This course, “Global Disaster Politics,” is a graduate seminar, taught online every fall semester since 2012. The course typically has 9-15 students, the majority of whom are part of the department of political science’s Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program. The focus here is on so-called natural disasters. While a disaster can be defined as any event that overwhelms any entity’s capacities to respond, natural disasters are more often incorrectly perceived as being a-political. This course pushes back against this misperception. The course includes weekly ongoing discussion, which occurs via a community page on Google+. Once per week, we conduct a live videoconference via Google Hangouts, and students are required to participate in at least three of these during the semester. Finally, the students write a series of shorter (5-6 pages) analytical essays on specific prompts and must complete a major project on a topic of their own choosing.

Syllabus 4(2): 1–18