The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Amy Liu

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., Emory University

Amy Liu



ethnic politics, language policies, migration politics, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe


GOV 365L • Governments/Politics Se Asia

38535 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM MEZ 1.102
(also listed as ANS 361)

Unique: 38535/31675

GOV 365L/ANS 361: Governments/Politics SE Asia

Closing limit: 30

Flag: GC

TTH 8:00am-9:30am, MEZ 1.102




Students wishing to enroll in this class must have taken a foundational course in government or Asian studies. The course also assumes basic knowledge of world history and geography.


Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the politics of Southeast Asia. The course is divided into three parts. In the first part, we will study the democracies in the region – post-Suharto Indonesia, pre-National Front Malaysia, and post-Marcos Philippines – and how they compare to the United States. In the second part, we will learn about the different institutions employed by dictators to stay in power, whether it is the royal family (Brunei), the military (Suharto Indonesia), the party structure (National Front Malaysia), or personal charm (Sukarno Indonesia and Marcos Philippines). In the final part, we will examine whether democracies or dictatorships are better at facilitating economic development.


Grading Policy

Your final grade is composed of the following four parts:

  1. Weekly quizzes: 25%
  2. Midterm examination: 25%
  3. Final examination: 25%
  4. Short writing assignment or coding project: 25%



D.R. SarDesai. 2012. Southeast Asia: Past and Present. 7th Edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Note: Student Economy 7th Edition (2015) acceptable.



GOV 390L • Comparative Ethnic Politics

38730 • Fall 2016
Meets T 12:30PM-3:30PM BAT 1.104
(also listed as REE 387)

Unique: 38730

GOV 390L, Comparative Ethnic Politics

Closing limit: 12

T 12:30-3:30pm, BAT 1.104



Course Description

This graduate level course is designed to introduce students to ethnic politics. The readings will examine the politics of ethnicity (and race) in all major regions of the world – including North America. The course is divided into four parts. In the first part, we will study the concept of ethnicity: What determines membership into a particular ethnic group? How do we measure ethnic identification? In the second part, we will learn about the construction of ethnicity. What shapes ethnic identity? To what extent are identities the product of something exogenous – i.e., genetic – or the creation of political forces? In the third part, we will examine the consequences of these ethnic identities on attitudes, economic development, and social mobilization. In the last part, we will focus on ethnic conflict. What role does identity, democratization, and political institution play in exacerbating – or mitigating – ethnic conflict?


The objectives of this course are three-fold: first, to familiarize students to the ethnic politics literature; second, to teach students how to design and evaluate theoretically-oriented research; and third, to train students to carry out various types of writing assignments that political scientists are frequently required to perform.


Grading Policy

Your final grade is composed of the following four parts:

  1. Class participation: 25%
  2. Weekly abstracts and reviews: 25%
  3. Grant proposal: 25%
  4. Final paper: 25%

ANS 361 • Governments/Politics Se Asia

31034 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 8:00AM-9:00AM GAR 3.116

Selected topics in south and east Asian anthropology, economics, history, geography, government, art, music, and philosophy.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Asian Studies 320 and 361 may not both be counted unless the topics vary.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

GOV 324J • Govs/Polit Of Eastern Europe

37879 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM GAR 3.116
(also listed as REE 335)




Couse Description

In the past 100 years, the map for “Eastern Europe” has been redrawn more than a dozen times. This course examines the politics behind and the consequences of these border changes. We will begin with the collapse of two empires—the dual monarchy of Austro-Hungary and tsarist Russia—at the end of World War 1. We will then continue on through the Interwar period, World War 2, and the Cold War. We will give special attention to the institutional differences across these otherwise similar-in-ideology “communist states.” We will examine how these differences affected subsequent transitions and government policies toward minorities. We will conclude by looking at how the European Union has redrawn Eastern Europe by opening up borders and the implications of these opened borders.


The importance of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe politics cannot be overstated. To this end, we will study the Soviet Union/Russia briefly, but note that the primary emphasis in this course is on the region to the west of present-day Germany and to the east of present-day Russia. This would include Ukraine.


Grading Policy

  • Quizzes: 25%
  • Midterm Examination: 25%
  • Final Examination: 25%
  • Coding Assignment: 25%



  • Bunce, Valerie and Sharon L. Wolchik. 2011. Defeating Authoritarian Leaders in Postcommunist Countries. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Krenz, Maria. 2009. Made in Hungary: A Life Forged by History. Boulder, CO: Donner Publishing.
  • MacMillan, Margaret. 2003. Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World. Random House Trade Paperbacks.

GOV 391J • Statistical Anly In Pol Sci I

39115 • Fall 2014
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM BAT 5.102

-Prerequisites: none


-Course Description:  This is the first course in the graduate

sequence in  quantitative empirical analysis in the Government



At a fundamental level, this course lays the groundwork for answering the question “What can we learn about political systems and political processes from empirical observations?’’ In doing so, the relationship between theory and data (ie ‘’the real world’’) is explicated. It does so via quantitative political methodology- the application of statistical methods and reasoning to problems in political science. The primary goals of the course are two-fold: firstly to provide a conceptual and rigorous introduction to statistical inference and reasoning about uncertainty (that is: “how should we, as social scientists, think about estimating quantities of substantive interest based on limited information?’’) and secondly, to provide mathematical and statistical preparation for further courses in quantitative methods. The course will cover a fair amount of material, so it is important that students keep up with the material and readings. Do not hesitate to utilize the resources available, especially the professor (both in class and during office hours) and teaching assistant concerning any questions or concerns.


Text(s): There is no single textbook for the course. Rather, material is drawn from several sources (documented below). Lectures are meant to be self-contained. Readings are important to compliment (or even supplement) lectures. Course material is primarily drawn from the following:

  • • [LM] Richard J. Larsen and Morris L. Marx. An Introduction to Mathematical Statistics and Its Applications (Fifth Edition). Pearson/Prentice Hall. [Strongly recommended]
  • • [AF] Alan Agresti and Barbara Findlay. Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences (Third Edition).
  • • [Row] Derek Rowntree. Statistics Without Tears (2000) Penguin Publishing.



-Grading Policy:  Grades will be based on problem sets and examinations.

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External Links

  • Department of Government

    The University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st ST STOP A1800
    Batts Hall 2.116
    Austin, TX 78712-1704