Each week's meeting begins with three student presentations, 15 minutes each, on the material of the two-week slot in which that presentation falls. (Thus, for instance, if you're presenting in Week 9, looking below in Schedule Details we see that your presentation will be related to the topic “Power and Legitimacy”.) [Class presentation schedule].
Presenters are invited to submit, by 1700h Friday ahead of their session, some readings they reckon might be useful for what they will say. After the presentations we will have a 15-minute break—just enough to grab a cup of coffee or tea. Then the instructor delivers a one-hour lecture that goes over some other related background material, using that to bring out some of the points that the presenters have themselves made. The sessions then ends with general discussion on the questions arising from the readings, the presentations, and the lecture. I give here some suggestions for how individual presentations might usefully go.
Active participation in the discussions is an integral part of the learning experience in this course. Students will be assessed on both quantity and quality of their interventions; reading the materials beforehand is therefore important. The participation that attracts the highest marks will be one that critically reflects on the readings but then also engages with the thread of the discussion generally.
Although we discuss large-scale international choices, still the end-result needs to be one that policy-makers and observers need to remember concretely and to take forwards in their work. Try to make our discussions thus. When discussing proposals and recommendations, be hard on ideas, not on people (least of all your fellow students!). Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and end up spending too much time on semantics, terminology, and abstract definitions. Try to get to something that works, and then improve from there as needed.