Amy Yuen
Office
Munroe Hall 312
Tel
(802) 443-5621
Email
ayuen@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Spring Term 2024: Tuesday 11:30 - 1:00, Friday 11:00 - 12:30 and by appointment

Amy Yuen joined the Political Science faculty as an assistant professor in the fall of 2007. Dr. Yuen’s research uses game theoretic models, large-N statistical analyses and case studies to unravel the strategic behavior in a wide range of international political phenomena, particularly conflict between and within nations. Her dissertation work examines third party intervention in interstate conflicts. More recent research focuses on peacekeeping efforts to help resolve civil conflict. Why does peacekeeping fail? Rather than focusing on intervention capacity, Dr. Yuen considers the incentives facing belligerents and peacekeepers as an important factor in successfully settling conflict. Her newest project models behavior in the UN Security Council to examine when the Council decides to take up an issue and how the institution affects policy coordination.

Courses Taught

Course Description

Global Security Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025

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Course Description

International Politics
What causes conflict or cooperation among states? What can states and other international entities do to preserve global peace? These are among the issues addressed by the study of international politics. This course examines the forces that shape relations among states, and between states and international regimes. Key concepts include: the international system, power and the balance of power, international institutions, foreign policy, diplomacy, deterrence, war, and global economic issues. Both the fall and spring sections of this course emphasize rigorous analysis and set theoretical concepts against historical and contemporary case studies. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Frontiers in Political Science Research
Nothing is more controversial among political scientists than the topic of how to study politics. In this course, we consider a variety of advanced techniques for studying political phenomena, including statistical methods, game theory, institutional analysis, case study techniques, experiments, and agent-based modeling. We will work with concrete examples (drawn from major political science journals) of how scholars have used these techniques, and consider the ongoing philosophical controversies associated with each approach. Students will have the opportunity to conduct original research using a method and subject of their choosing. (Any political science courses) 3 hrs. lect.disc (Methods)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2023

Requirements

DED, SOC

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Course Description

International Politics and WMD
In this course we will examine the international ramifications of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons use. What is a weapon of mass destruction (WMD)? How have WMD changed the way states behave toward international conflicts and within international crises? How has the development of these weapons influenced the policies states have adopted in response? Beyond these questions, major course themes include the threats of proliferation and the highs and lows of weapons reduction initiatives. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (not open to students who have taken PSCI 1159) (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Game Theory for Political Science
How do candidates for political office choose their platforms? Why do some conflicts lead to war while others do not? What legislation will legislators introduce? These and many other compelling questions of political behavior often use game theory as a tool to study strategic, or interdependent, decision-making. Students will learn basic concepts of game theory and how to apply them to a range of political phenomena. To succeed, students need only a solid background in algebra. Students who have taken ECON 0280 cannot register for this course. (Any political science course) (formerly PSCI 0393) 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Methods)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

DED, SOC

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Course Description

International Political Economy
This course examines the politics of global economic relations, focusing principally on the advanced industrial states. How do governments and firms deal with the forces of globalization and interdependence? And what are the causes and consequences of their actions for the international system in turn? The course exposes students to both classic and contemporary thinking on free trade and protectionism, exchange rates and monetary systems, foreign direct investment and capital movements, regional integration, and the role of international institutions like the WTO. Readings will be drawn mainly from political science, as well as law and economics. 3 hrs. lect./disc./(International Relations and Foreign Policy)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

War and Peace
What causes conflicts between states and within countries? What factors facilitate or impede their resolution? In this course we will examine interstate and intrastate conflicts and the challenges faced in resolving them, from both practical and theoretical perspectives. Employing some of the most prominent theories on war, and more recent theories of bargaining, negotiation, and conflict, we will draw upon a range of case studies to illustrate and evaluate the theoretical dynamics of conflict and conflict resolution. (PSCI 0109 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Guns, Drugs, People: The Illicit Economy in the Global Perspective
In this course, we will focus on patterns of illegal activity in the international economy. Students will study phenomena such as illegal trade in arms, animals, and drugs, and the trafficking and smuggling of human beings. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the systematic analysis of the illicit global economy. Students will be taught to examine the causes of illicit markets, the actors involved ( entrepreneurs, consumers, governments), and how markets respond to efforts to combat them. The objective is for students to understand the phenomenon and its drivers, and to translate this understanding into a critical evaluation of current policy approaches. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Honors Thesis
(Approval required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Weapons of Mass Destruction
Technological development has brought human civilization to the point at which we can destroy ourselves in a matter of hours using weapons of mass destruction. What effects do these weapons have on political, and social behavior? Do WMDs deserve their own classification, or is human behavior consistent regardless of the weapon? We explore the technology, political theory and policy that has risen around the prospect of human annihilation. (not open to students who have taken PSCI 0242 or equivalent) (International Relations and Foreign Policy)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

CMP, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Data Science Across Disciplines
In this course, we will gain exposure to the entire data science pipeline—obtaining and cleaning large and messy data sets, exploring these data and creating engaging visualizations, and communicating insights from the data in a meaningful manner. During morning sessions, we will learn the tools and techniques required to explore new and exciting data sets. During afternoon sessions, students will work in small groups with one of several faculty members on domain-specific research projects in Geography, Political Science, Restorative Justice, or Healthcare. This course will use the R programming language. No prior experience with R is necessary.

PSCI 1230: How do candidates for U.S. national office raise money? From whom do they raise it? In this section we will explore these questions using Federal Election Commission data on individual campaign contributions to federal candidates. Our analysis using R will help us identify geographic patterns in the data, as well as variations in funds raised across types of candidates. We will discuss what implications these patterns may have for the health and functioning of democracy in the U.S.

INTD 1230A: Data is a powerful tool for improving health outcomes by making programmatic choices to support justice. In this afternoon section of Data Across the Disciplines, students will be working with Addison County Restorative Justice (ACRJ) on understanding patterns in the occurrence of driving under the influence. ACRJ has over 1,000 cases and would like to better understand their data and come up with ways to access information. We will explore how identity, geography, and support impact outcomes from DUI cases. Using statistical analysis and data visualizations, along with learning about ethical data practices, we will report our findings.

INTD 1230B: Let’s dive into the minutes and reports of local towns to develop an accessible news and history resource. Could this be a tool for small newspapers to track local news more easily? Can we map this fresh data for a new look across geographies? Do you want to help volunteer town officials make decisions and better wrangle with their town’s history and data?
In this course we will develop a focused database of documents produced by several municipal boards and commissions. We will engage in conversation with local officials, researchers, and journalists. This course aims to introduce students to making data from real world documents and the people that make them to generate useful information that is often open but frequently difficult to sift through.

GEOG 1230: In this section, students will use data science tools to explore the ways migration systems in the United States changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will draw on data collected from mobile phones recording each phone’s monthly place of residence at the census tract level. The dataset includes monthly observations from January 2019 through December 2021 allowing the analysis to compare migration systems pre-pandemic with those during the pandemic.

MATH/STAT 1230: Students will explore pediatric healthcare data to better understand the risks correlated with various childhood illnesses through an emphasis on the intuition behind statistical and machine learning techniques. We will practice making informed decisions from noisy data and the steps to go from messy data to a final report. Students will become proficient in R and gain an understanding of various statistical techniques.

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

Requirements

DED, SOC, WTR

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