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    Governance, Policy and Society

    A New Learning Experience 

  • What Is Duke Immerse?

    "DukeImmerse is an unparalleled opportunity to join a collaborative learning environment and develop meaningful relationships with likeminded students and faculty."   – Nicole Daniels, Class of 2014

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    How Does it Work?

    DukeImmerse is a semester-long program in which students enroll in 4 courses that are linked together by a common theme. Students engage in close working relationships with their professors and with each other through small seminars, group projects, and individualized research assignments.


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    What does it include?

    Every Duke Immerse Program is comprised of:


    * A cluster of courses in which all program participants are enrolled — four integrated courses in a fall or spring semester

    * Focus on one or a few central themes and issues.

    * Close faculty and student interaction

    * Intense classroom and fieldwork learning experiences with the real world applications

    * Small enrollments — between seven and a dozen students each


    *Your transcript will look normal and will include four classes for the semester as if you were enrolled traditionally*

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    What is it like?

    DukeImmerse resembles first-year Focus program at Duke, except students take all four courses together, not just a subset. Programs may provide domestic and/or international off-campus experiences to enhance the curriculum.

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    Why Should you do it?

    * Duke Immerse is a great way to work closely with professors, and it is an excellent way to expand and extend the walls of the classroom to include directed fieldwork as part of the learning experience.


    * Duke Immerse enables you to meet and work with students with similar academic passions. The small class sizes, group travel, and prolonged working sessions often create tight knit communities that last even after the semester is over.


    * With the exception of a $1000.00 program fee all of the costs of DukeImmerse are covered by tuition and fees. Duke financial aid awards may be used to cover the program fee.


    * Duke Immerse is an amazing way to engage closely with professors! It is an excellent way to expand and extend the walls of the traditional classroom to include directed fieldwork as part of the learning experience.

  • What is Governance Policy and Society? 



    By the year 2050, it is estimated that some 7 billion people will be living in cities worldwide. This makes it imperative that we not only think about how best to plan and build urban centers in terms of physical features and infrastructure, but that we also pay attention to how inhabitants interact and coexist in these environments, and how politics and public policy can significantly affect these human interactions. There are numerous unresolved issues of social and economic justice that afflict both the post-Jim Crow American South and post-apartheid South Africa. Despite dramatic political change in both settings, persistent patterns of poverty and inequality remain. Is this due to some being left behind, or left out, or a combination of the two? Do those previously disadvantaged remain so, or have new waves of disadvantaged arisen? What has been the role of the state – federal, state, local? What should it be? Is representative government functionally impotent when it comes to advancing fundamental political and economic changes and fostering and ensuring social justice?

    What Classes You Will takE?

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    Comparative U.S. State Politics and Federalism

    (Political Science)



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    Political Development in the American South and South Africa

    (African & African American Studies, International Comparative Studies, Political Science)


    Public Policy will give major credit for this course


    Practicum in Urban Politics and Policy Research &Writing

    (African & African American Studies, Political Science, and Independent Study credit in other majors)




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    Comparative Urban Policy and Politics

    (African & African American Studies, International Comparative Studies, Political Science, Public Policy)

    *These classes meet the S, R, W, SS, CZ, EI & CCI Requirements*

  • Who Are we?

    Duke Immerse, Governance, Policy and Society 

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    Professor Kerry Haynie 

    A small tagline

    Kerry L. Haynie, Departments of Political Science and African and African American Studies at Duke University. Professor Haynie He is a specialist on race, ethnicity and gender in politics, state politics, urban politics, and the politics of the American South. He is the Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences, and the Co-Director of the Duke Council on Race and Ethnicity.

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    Professor Ralph Lawrence 

    Ralph B. Lawrence, Professor Emeritus of Government and Public Policy at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Duke University. Professor Lawrence’s primary research and teaching areas are in public policy and administration, comparative urban governance, regional development (Africa), and governance in South Africa. He is the founding Director of the postgraduate program in Policy and Development Studies, and the founding director of the Centre for Government and Policy Studies, both at the University of Kwazulu-Natal.


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      The Students

      Fall '15 Duke Immerse GPS Class

      The students in Duke Immerse GPS range from sophomores to seniors. Majors typically include but are not limited to Political Science, Public Policy, African-African American Studies and ICS. Class sizes range from five students to twelve. Due to the small size and intimate class schedule most Duke Immerse groups become very close throughout the semester. 

    • Where do we Study?

      During the Semester the class visits Charlotte and Durham NC,; Atlanta, GA; New Orleans, LA; and Pietermaritzburg and Durban South Africa to investigate how governance and policy influence urban sprawl and society.  In the classroom we read and discuss in detail a wide range of books on urban issues and trends to prepare us for our ventures to these locations.. In so doing, we encounter a variety of perspectives on our subject matter, including some from public policy, political science, political economy, history, sociology, anthropology, and urban and city planning.

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      Charlotte North Carolina

      Charlotte is the first stop in the GPS tour. Charlotte includes a walking history tour that examines the past a present city layout and how things have changed racially and spatially. 

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      ATLANTA Georgia 

      Atlanta is the second stop of the GPS tour. The visit includes project presentations, walking tours and good food!

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      New Orleans Louisiana 

      In New Orleans we examine redevelopment after Hurricane Katrina.

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      Pietermaritzburg & Durban South Africa

      Located on the Eastern coast, Pietermaritzburg & Durban are the final destination for Duke Immerse GPS. The trip lasts two weeks and students live and work at a local bed and breakfast in Pitermartizburg. The second part of the trip is in Durban SA on the coast (see left) where students stay in a hotel.

    • Oh What fun!

      In addition to taking classes and participating in educational experiences, Duke Immerse GPS offers great opportunities to have fun! After class and weekend exploits include:

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      Wildlife Safari in Tala Game Park, South Africa

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      Day trip to Howick Falls and local outdoor shopping markets!

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      Enjoy an active nightlife and quality time with classmates, professors and Professor Lawrence's family!

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      Enjoy great food from all over the world! Charlotte, Atlanta and South Africa are some of the most foodiest places! Our favorites included BBQ, Indian Food and Thai Cuisine!

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      Enjoy the amazing beaches in Durban!  Fall for us is the beginning of summer for them! Recreation includes beach days, surf lessons and an amazing boardwalk to explore. 

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      Site See! Visit local universities and government headquarters to meet the people who actually live, work and play in Durban SA.

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      Come see were Nelson Mandela was captured at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site Museum!