Orion Lewis

Assistant Professor of Political Science

 
 work(802) 443-5479
 fax802-443-3216
 Monday 1:30 - 3:00, Wednesday 1:30 - 3:00 and by appointment.
 Voter Hall 109

My research and teaching interests focus on the role of oppositional tactical choice and political communication strategies in mobilizing societal actors against authoritarian regimes. I am interested in three broad questions: first, how do domestic and international actors affect authoritarian stability? Secondly, in what ways do the communication strategies of domestic challengers influence authoritarian institutional change? Thirdly, what are the political and economic levers that states use to influence change in domestic political environments? Empirically, I have explored these issues from a global perspective as well as in the geographic focus of China and East Asia. My work on China—focused on explaining gradual information liberalization in a formally controlled system—has also been a catalyst for examining the role of political communication in authoritarian institutional change.

Specialties: institutions and institutional change, social mobilization, intra-state conflict, political communication, democratization and durable authoritarianism

Research Publications: www.researchgate.net/profile/Orion_Lewis

Professional Experience: www.linkedin.com/in/orion/

Commentary and News: www.twitter.com/orionalewis

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

IGST 0483 / PSCI 0483 - Rise of Asia and U.S. Policy      

The Rise of Asia and US Policy
In this course we will study what is arguably the most important strategic development of the 21st century: how the rise of Asia presents security challenges to the region and the United States. Drawing from international relations scholarship, the course will focus on foreign policy challenges and potential responses. These challenges include both traditional security and nontraditional areas such as water and the environment. We will integrate the analysis of these issues in South, East, and Southeast Asia with study of the policy process, in part through simulations and role-playing exercises. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CMP NOA SOC

Fall 2017

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IGST 0500 - EAS Independent Research      

East Asian Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

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IGST 0507 - Global Security Stds. Ind Proj      

Global Security Studies Independent Project
(Approval Only)

Fall 2019

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IGST 0702 - EUS Senior Thesis      

European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2016, Winter 2017, Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Winter 2020

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IGST 0703 - LAS Senior Thesis      

Latin American Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020

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IPEC 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020

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IPEC 0700 - Intl.Pol.&Economics SR. Thesis      

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020

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PSCI 0292 - Political Communication      

Political Communication
How are media and communications technology re-shaping politics? From a global comparative perspective—ranging from the United States to the Middle East and to Asia—this course will survey the historical development of communications, the role of media in shaping public opinion and behavior, the impact of new media, and the rise of transnational satellite TV. Conceptually, the course will assess the importance of communications for understanding authoritarianism, democracy, and foreign policy. We will develop general comparative frameworks for understanding the growing importance of communications in the information age, while clarifying the limitations of media for shaping polities. (This course is not open to students who have taken PSCI 0413) 3 hrs. lect. (Comparative Politics)/ AAL CMP SOC

Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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PSCI 0380 - Int'l Relations of East Asia      

International Relations of East Asia
Although the power of East Asian states makes the region central to US foreign policy and the study of international politics in general, most international relations theorists rely heavily upon European history and case studies. In this course, we will explore IR theory and East Asian politics in an attempt to enrich both. We will review major events in East Asia, explore advanced theoretical readings and their applications to the region, and finally, use these theories to understand issues like energy security, territorial disputes, and prospects for democratic development. (PSCI 0109) (PSCI 0109 or PSCI 0201) 3 hrs. lect/disc. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/ AAL NOA SOC

Fall 2015

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PSCI 0392 - Spec Ops Research Practicum      

Special Operations Research Practicum
The prevalence of civil conflict, asymmetric threats, and global counterterrorism have resulted in the dramatic growth of special operations, security cooperation, and peacebuilding in civil conflict environments. To what extent have we learned the lessons of the post 9/11 world, and to what extent is the global policy community prepared for the asymmetric, embedded, and culturally aware operations that characterize 21st century conflict? Examples will be drawn from around the globe and we will take a comparative approach to conflicts within and across regions, noting their impacts on institutions, policy processes, and human social systems. This course uses the ongoing development of the Special Operations Research Database (SORD) as a platform for learning about global counterterrorism and for students’ training in all phases of research methodology, including fieldwork interviewing techniques. 3 hrs. lect. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/ CMP SOC

Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019

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PSCI 0483 / IGST 0483 - Rise of Asia and U.S. Policy      

The Rise of Asia and US Policy
In this course we will study what is arguably the most important strategic development of the 21st century: how the rise of Asia presents security challenges to the region and the United States. Drawing from international relations scholarship, the course will focus on foreign policy challenges and potential responses. These challenges include both traditional security and nontraditional areas such as water and the environment. We will integrate the analysis of these issues in South, East, and Southeast Asia with study of the policy process, in part through simulations and role-playing exercises. 3 hrs. sem.
(Comparative Politics)/ AAL CMP NOA SOC

Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2019

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PSCI 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Projects
A program of independent work designed to meet the individual needs of advanced students. (Approval required)

Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020

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PSCI 0700 - Honors Thesis      

Honors Thesis
(Approval required)

Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020

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SUMR 1006 - Trade/Diplomacy/Dev. in China      

Trade, Diplomacy and Development in China
In this off-campus course we will conduct academic research to explore the topics of trade, diplomacy, and development in China. In the spring, students will work with the professors to develop projects before the program, including designing appropriate research methodology such as interviews, statistical analysis, and other methodologies. Next, in June, we will travel to China where top scholars will workshop our research ideas, and then travel to two research sites in teams consisting of a professor and a team of MIIS and Middlebury students. At each site, the team will conduct fieldwork using the methodologies developed on campus. Our hope is that students will select an area of interest that will become the focus of a final project continued into the next year as a senior thesis, masters thesis, or independent study. All publications from this fieldwork will list student names as either coauthors or research assistants. Students will be expected to adhere to all safety and health policies, and to engage in culturally sensitive practices. Some familiarity with Chinese political economy and language would be helpful, but we will have MIIS interpreters accompanying each team to help those without the necessary language skills.
In addition to the application form, interested students should also email the following information to olewis@<a href="http://<a href="http://middlebury.edu">middlebury.edu">middlebury.edu: an unofficial transcript; a short statement that includes major, minor(s), year abroad experiences (past or planned); and a two-page single-spaced essay (500 words) explaining why you would like to take the course, your goals for the experience, and the particular strengths, interests, and experiences you would bring to the course. Please submit the application materials to Professor Lewis (olewis@middlebury.edu). For additional information, please contact Professor Lewis (olewis@middlebury.edu), or Professor Liang (wliang@miis.edu). Application Deadline: February 26th.

Dates: June 7, 2016 – July 5, 2016
June 7-14 Beijing Orientation
June 14-July 5 Field Site (Beijing or Kunming)

Program Costs: $6,000 plus travel and personal expenses AAL Summer Study SOC

Summer Study 2016

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NPTG 8540 - Glbztn,Terrorism&GlblInsurgncy      

Globalization, Terrorism and Fourth Generation Warfare

How does globalization change the nature of terrorism and create a global counterinsurgency campaign, also known as fourth generation warfare? What are the connections between organizations, conflict regions, and the developed world?

This course will focus on the global aspects of counterterrorism and counter insurgency policy by focusing on a series of modules that disaggregates globalization processes:

1. migration, immigration and the movement of people,

2. international markets and financing,

3. global communications, and

4. the connections between international relations, foreign-policy, and extremist organizations.

Skill development focuses on policy evaluation and analysis, briefings and presentation, collaborative project management, and simulated negotiation and policy making.

Spring 2018 - MIIS

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NPTG 8560 - Spcl Ops& CT ResearchPracticum      

Special Operations and Global Counterterrorism Research Practicum

Global counterterrorism operations have coincided with the dramatic growth of special operations forces. As forces specifically designed for asymmetric, embedded and culturally aware operations, there is an important need for the policy community and the military to understand lessons learned and evaluate strategic and operational success across the ever-expanding range of special operations activity. This course will allow students to collaborate on a large-scale database that documents lessons learned and facilitates research. Students will work with their colleague, retired Chief Warrant Officer Charles Woodson to create the Special Operations Research database. Training will focus on qualitative and quantitative research methodology, the technology of filming and organizing a digital library, and collaborative project management. The primary deliverable, in addition to the database, will be an original policy analysis derived from the data collected.

Spring 2018 - MIIS, Fall 2018 - MIIS, Spring 2019 - MIIS, Fall 2019 - MIIS

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Program in International and Global Studies

Robert A. Jones '59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753