Stephen E. Van Holde began teaching at Kenyon in 1990. In the Department of Political Science, he teaches courses in environmental politics, comparative politics, international relations and the politics of science. He also regularly teaches in the international studies and environmental studies programs.

Van Holde is, with Lars Mjoset of the University of Oslo, co-editor of The Comparative Study of Conscription in the Armed Forces and currently is completing a book on the social, political and environmental impacts of consumerism and consumption in China and around the world. He also has written more widely in the fields of environmental politics and science and politics, authoring papers on topics such as the science and politics of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Van Holde has contributed substantially to the international studies program and the environmental studies program, serving on both their committees and, since 2016, as the director of international studies. In addition, he has taught in the Integrated Program in Humane Studies (IPHS). He has served the College as a member of Campus Senate, the chair of the Curricular Policy Committee and the committee that designed the environmental studies program.

During the 2003-04 and 2006-07 academic years, Van Holde was the Fei Yi-Ming Professor of Politics at the SAIS Johns Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He returned to China for several weeks in 2014 to lecture on consumption and to do additional research on the topic.

Education

1993 — Doctor of Philosophy from Cornell University

1986 — Master of Arts from Cornell University

1979 — Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College

Courses Recently Taught

The intention of this capstone seminar is to draw together and apply the concepts learned in earlier courses in the Environmental Studies Concentration. The focus of the course will be on case studies of natural-resource management, with specific topic areas to be determined. In this strongly interdisciplinary effort, we will explore ecological, economic, social and legal issues that influence how people exploit natural resources, and whether that exploitation is sustainable. Students will be expected to develop and communicate their understanding of the complex and inseparable relationships of human well-being, ecosystem services and environmental management. This course is required for the major. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: senior standing and environmental studies major or concentrator. Offered every spring.

This course is designed for sophomores who plan to major in international studies. It explores the evolution of modern international society by examining the roles of industrialization, capitalism, nationalism, individualism and other elements of modernity in propelling and directing the flow of wealth, people and ideas between different regions of the world. In addition to studying general political and economic changes, the course considers various local and personal perspectives, giving life to otherwise abstract forces and complicating attempts to construct a single overarching narrative of "modernization," "Westernization" or "development." Among the issues to be examined are the causes and effects of international economic disparities, migration, cultural tensions, and stresses on the environment. In surveying major viewpoints and illustrative cases within these themes, the course is meant to serve as an introduction to the international studies major, utilizing a variety of academic disciplines and providing a foundation for further study of relations between different nations and peoples of the world. As part of the course, students will complete a research paper related to the geographic area where they plan to go for their off-campus experience. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Offered every year.

This seminar will examine some of the problems inherent in cross-cultural comparison and will explore the ways in which a variety of disciplines grapple with these difficulties by investigating contemporary themes in international affairs. These themes will include some or all of the following: (1) ethnic conflict; (2) comparative perspectives on development; (3) religion and socioeconomic development; (4) contemporary environmental problems; (5) the ethics of armed intervention; (6) the emergence of a world popular culture and its consequences for national cultures; (7) the challenges of democratization and (8) perceptions of the United States, Americans and U.S. foreign policy abroad. Open only to international studies majors with senior standing. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Offered every year.

The Honors Program is designed to recognize and encourage exceptional scholarship and to allow able students to do more independent work than is otherwise feasible. The senior honors candidate works with members of the international studies faculty to prepare an extended essay on a topic of mutual interest, which is defended before an outside examiner in May. For more detailed information about honors in international studies, see the department chair. Students standing for honors must also take the senior seminar. Students enrolled in this course will be automatically added to INST 498Y for the spring semester. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Permission of instructor and department chair required.

The Honors Program is designed to recognize and encourage exceptional scholarship and to allow able students to do more independent work than is otherwise feasible. The senior honors candidate works with members of the international studies faculty to prepare an extended essay on a topic of mutual interest, which is defended before an outside examiner in May. For more detailed information about honors in international studies, see the department chair. Students standing for honors must also take the senior seminar. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Permission of instructor and department chair required.

This course covers a variety of issues in environmental politics, placing special emphasis on global problems, politics and policy. Topics will include population growth, consumption and consumerism, resource degradation, climate change and energy. We will examine environmental governance and the prospects for environmental activism in the coming century. Although the course examines environmental issues around the globe, we may focus on certain countries or regions in order to examine those issues in greater detail. Case studies and films will be used as appropriate to supplement lectures and discussions. This counts toward the comparative politics/international relations requirement for the major. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every year.

This course examines the relationship of science and politics from early modernity to the present and considers the probable course and character of that relationship in the future. Topics may include Galileo's conflict with the Church, the theory of evolution, social Darwinism and the origins and implications of nuclear weapons research. We will examine a number of contemporary controversies at the intersection of science and politics, including genetic testing and therapy, intelligence testing and the IQ debates, climate change and the debates surrounding the science and politics of AIDS. We will also examine the value neutrality of science, the politics of risk assessment and the proper role of scientists in shaping policy. This counts toward the seminar requirement for the major. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor. Offered every three to four years.