Graduate Course Descriptions

IAFF 6106 Nuclear Weapons

Nearly thirty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and over three decades after the end of the Cold War, we find ourselves in a world in which nuclear weapons are still with us. Why do we have nuclear weapons? Why do countries seek nuclear weapons and how do they get them? How are nuclear weapons used, both in times of peace and in times of conflict? How is the spread of nuclear weapons controlled? Will we ever live in a world free of nuclear weapons? This course is designed to provide students with a basic orientation to the technologies, policies, and politics to answer these and other questions. We will examine the underlying technologies of the nuclear fuel cycle, production and accounting of nuclear weapons-usable fissile material, and the life cycle of nuclear weapons. We will discuss nuclear strategy and deterrence, particularly in how they relate to nuclear force planning and operations and the prospect of nuclear terrorism. Efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons through nonproliferation, cooperative threat reduction, nuclear forensics, and counterproliferation are compared in the broader effort to control and reduce nuclear weapons through diplomacy and the means of verifying arms control and reduction agreements.

 

IAFF 6108 International Development Policy

This course will examine the scope and nature of international development and the challenges currently facing development organizations.  We will consider how development theory have evolved since Bretton Woods and the Marshall Plan and how it is reflected in the operational policies of donors.  We will then turn to the methods and tools that characterize the work of principal donors, from needs assessment and project design to evaluation.  The effectiveness of development assistance will be an important theme of this course; we will examine how the mixed results of development efforts have brought methods and concepts into question and consider how agencies are responding to this challenge.  We will also consider the impact of COVID-19 on development operations and accomplishments and the extent to which the COVID crisis has triggered a new approach/rethinking in development. Research assignments will familiarize students with the profiles of prominent donors and with the process of defining and responding to a specific development opportunity within the operating framework of one of those donors.

 

IAFF 6118 Leadership & International Affairs

The course will focus on the leadership challenges that Elliott School graduates are certain to confront in their professional lives. The course will begin with a consideration of case studies of famous international leaders, and how concepts of leadership have changed over time. Part II of the course will then move into examining the skill sets required of successful leaders at all levels of career development, drawing on examples and case studies from international settings. Part III of the course will look at the exercise of those skills in different institutional settings, including inside the US government, across diverse cultural boundaries, and in the leading of NGOs, international organizations and key governments. Case studies will also figure prominently. Part IV will look at tomorrow’s challenges for international leaders and includes the development of a personal leadership plan by each student.

 

IAFF 6118 Gender and Security

This course begins with an overview of the gender and security agenda. We will assess key factors and actors that shape gender and security dynamics, and we will analyze the development of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) movement. The core of the course is an issue-by-issue examination of important real-world problems. This includes both traditional security issues (armed conflict, terrorism, the roles of women and LGBTQ people in military organizations) and human security concerns (development, environmental challenges, humanitarian emergencies and pandemics, human rights and governance). The focus is on current and emerging real-world problems. The course concludes with a look to the future.

 

IAFF 6118 Applied Qualitative Methods

This class introduces students to qualitative research, with a focus on the main methods of collecting qualitative data—surveys, interviews and focus groups, participant observation, and archival/document research—plus digital fieldwork* including, but not limited to, its use as an alternative to ‘being there’ in person. Based on time and student interests, additional topics may include qualitative data analysis methods, research designs, ethics, funding, and navigating Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements. Students will learn through "how-to" readings and reflective articles by practitioners, as well as guest presentations and the instructor’s own experiences. Students will gain hands-on practice by working collaboratively in small groups and learning from their peers’ experiences as we explore a timely, globally relevant topic selected by the instructor. For their final project, each student will write a research proposal on a topic of their choice and present it to the class. Students are encouraged to use this proposal to refine ideas for capstone projects, dissertations, journal articles, or other projects. *At least one class meeting will be held online, using Zoom, during our regularly scheduled class time.

 

IAFF 6118 Research Methods in Global Gender Issues

This course reviews mixed methods research with a focus on gender equality and social inclusion issues in the context of international development. In social and economic development, choosing which information to collect and which techniques are best for doing so are important steps. Students in this course will study and practice basic research methods using a feminist approach. By taking this course, students will become better prepared to collect data, review others' research, and analyze and report on local conditions and attitudes affecting global gender equality and social inclusion. This course is not a substitute for a quantitative, statistical, or qualitative methods requirement, nor are those courses prerequisites for this. Also, while this course complements others in the GW Global Gender Program, it can be taken independently: any student interested in learning about and discussing research as it affects projects and task orders aimed at development is welcome.

 

IAFF 6118 Global Justice

Within the domestic context, we often ask ourselves questions about justice: Is a proposed law fair? What would be a just tax policy? As a citizen, how should I engage in the politics of my country? What values—freedom? equality? democracy?—should our political and social institutions promote or embody? In this class, we will address these kinds of questions as they arise in the global context: What would make the world order just? What principles and values should guide states’ foreign policy? How should individuals and other non-state actors engage in global politics? What do we owe to people in other countries? We will read political theory scholarship on global justice from a variety of different perspectives, and use the ideas therein to analyze real-world political issues such as poverty, humanitarian intervention, the refugee crisis, and globalization. By the end of the term, you will be able to make coherent, informed arguments of your own (both orally and in writing) related to (some of) the major ethical debates surrounding global politics today.

 

IAFF 6118 International Law and the Use of Force

The use of force is one of the key focal points at which international law and politics intersect.  This course provides an overview of the evolving norms on the legality of war, theories of just war, and the laws of war and wars of aggression, as well as important case studies including the use of force for humanitarian intervention and emerging issues in cyber-security, space law, and automated weapons. Readings will emphasize both the legal and political aspects of the use of force in the contemporary international system, including current uses of force such as the war in Ukraine.  The class will examine questions such as: What are the consequences of using force without regard for the law? Is international law adequate to reflect the needs of contemporary politics? Is there a uniform understanding of the meaning of “force” in the international system?  Students will discuss and understand the difficult issues involved in using force both effectively and legitimately given the increasing real-time coverage of politics and war around the globe, and examine the consequences of the expansion of actors on the international stage in which even private individuals can have major impacts.

 

IAFF 6118 Global Electricity Markets

This course teaches students about the structure and operation of the power grid and electricity markets. The class will discuss electric grid models, infrastructure, costs, operation, and environmental aspects of power technologies. Students will learn about electric energy, capacity, ancillary markets and how electricity is priced. The role of electric transmission and the challenges of integrating renewables and carbon pricing into the grid will also be covered. Retail electric utility regulation will also be covered along with buying and selling renewable power. Students will be able to explore their country or regional interests through a course paper.

 

IAFF 6118 Wartime Governance Challenges in Afghanistan

The course will provide an Afghan perspective on critical issues facing Afghanistan’s post-9/11 political order. Against the backdrop of Afghanistan’s historical and indigenous social change efforts, internal political divisions, and active insurgency, students will be exposed to the country’s post-2001 trajectory of ambitious, internationally sponsored reconstruction and state-building. Students will assess and understand the challenges of wartime governance.

 

IAFF 6118 The U.N.: Policy and Impact

States are the central actors in international relations. They are motivated and driven by their national security interests. In this context, international institutions matter in part because they facilitate international security and peace through their specialized agencies. This course (3 credits) – The UN: Policies and Impact –, open to all graduate students, fulfills a core requirement of the MAIA degree program. The course provides the opportunity to research and integrate knowledge about the purpose, values, and policies and missions of the UN (and its specialized agencies), and to examine the significance of their collective power. Students will challenge established knowledge and expand insights into international politics and security. Furthermore, the course will study the roles of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and some regional organizations to assess how they enhance or limit UN policies and actions. Ultimately, students will critically analyze the relevance and significance of the international institutions for a sustainable international peace as great power competition (USA, China, and Russia) becomes dominant due to policy failures.

 

IAFF 6138 Achieving Sustainable Development

How can we achieve sustainable development? Our graduate seminar will investigate this question by first examining challenges to sustainability from a local to a global scale. Grounded in the UN’s Agenda 2030, we will identify the potential and limitations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to support a change in development implementation. With a focus on rural development, we will identify the complexities of livelihoods and analyze novel, holistic approaches to development. Taking into account consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, the war in Ukraine, and persistent gender inequality, we will ground our discussions using case studies of existing and new projects and initiatives. We will also draw on exchanges with experts, with the ultimate goal of sharpening your skill sets to contribute towards sustainable development from the household to the policy levels. By the end of the course, you should be empowered to  become a change maker towards sustainable development in your career in the public or private sector.

 

IAFF 6138 Bottom-Up Development

From William Easterly to Dambisa Moyo, and from Jeffrey Sachs to Paul Collier, development thinkers have expressed both considerable frustration with policies, programs, strategies and institutions charged with alleviating poverty, as well as the need to focus additional resources on or reformed actions toward populations at the ‘bottom.’ Despite the analyses and fretting, and resultant actions, hundreds of millions, if not more than a billion, of the earth’s population remains tragically poor, somehow managing to survive on $2.00 a day or less. This graduate seminar takes these analyses, frustrations and unsatisfactory results as a starting point to delve into prospects for more effective poverty alleviation through the application of ‘bottom-up’ approaches. After briefly examining failings of foreign aid from both grassroots and top-down perspectives, the focus turns to bottom-up approaches, casting an eye on evolutionary aspects, critical components, and current applications globally, with an emphasis on efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean. Subsequently, attention is placed on how poor people manage to survive, and in some cases get ahead, with few resources, before turning to an examination of several increasingly noted mechanisms responding to poor people’s needs for assistance to improve their economic standing. The seminar closes with consideration of the pros and cons of these mechanisms and approaches, and their prospects for achieving poverty alleviation from the bottom-up.

 

IAFF 6138 Humanitarian Governance and Policy 

In this course we examine humanitarian governance, coordination and policy, focusing on the knowledge and skills required by practitioners to formulate humanitarian policy and coordinate humanitarian response.  The course begins by introducing students to the global humanitarian system and providing an overview of the main actors, their roles and mandates; the types and levels of humanitarian crisis; and the main standards, principles and legal frameworks for humanitarian assistance. The course continues by considering key factors that affect program design and implementation including politics, humanitarian access, funding, security, risk management and mitigation, and coordination. We also discuss strategies for humanitarian diplomacy, disaster risk reduction, and coordination across the humanitarian, security and development sectors. Students will engage these topics and dilemmas through course lectures and readings; case studies of current humanitarian crises; guest lectures from practitioners working on humanitarian policy and coordination in U.N. agencies, USAID, and NGOs; and applied learning.

 

IAFF 6138 Monitoring & Evaluation for Foreign Assistance Programs

Nearly half of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — lives on less than $2.50 a day.  For over five decades, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other donors have been providing much needed development assistance to countries world-wide.  The assistance from donors ranges from food assistance to health care to governance to education.  How effective is that assistance? How do you show whether a program is improving people’s lives? What can you do to prevent a $100 million program from becoming a resounding failure? In this entry-level course, you will explore key approaches to measure the results of global development assistance and critically consider evaluation methodologies to determine whether this assistance is working to meet the needs of recipients. In addition, you will be able to determine how to learn from success and failure, apply and integrate approaches from other disciplines, use data as part of management practices,  and suggest adaptations to improve program implementation. Throughout this course, you will develop your own Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Plan for a real-world program; these kinds of MEL Plans are now a standard requirement in most international development programs. 

 

IAFF 6138 Strategic Environmental Management

While many in the business, government, and non-profit sectors view environmental protection as a threat to competitiveness, others see win-win opportunities. This course provides students with graduate level knowledge and real life case examples that will allow them to design profitable corporate environmental management strategies. After taking this course, students will be able to:1. Formulate profitable corporate environmental management strategies. 2. Evaluate the effectiveness of green differentiation advantage strategies.3. Explain how corporate environmental strategies are affected by: stakeholder pressures, distinctive country contexts, and variations in business-level characteristics. And 4. Explain the opportunities/challenges of climate change trends for businesses.

 

IAFF 6141 International Science and Technology Policy

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the policy issues related to the support, use, management, and regulation of science and technology.  It addresses US domestic as well as international issues, is concerned with governmental policies as well as non-governmental decisions, and it is focused on both the economics and politics of science and technology issues.

In today’s world, scientific discoveries and technological innovations influence almost every aspect of human existence.  Many changes induced by these innovations have been extremely positive, bringing advances in health, communications, material wealth, and quality of life.  At the same time, Science and Technology have helped create apparently intractable problems, including new risks to human health, pollution of the natural environment, and the existence of weapons capable of mass destruction.  Given all of these impacts, making effective and fair choices regarding technologically complex issues is one of the most challenging tasks of modern governance.

 

IAFF 6145 US Space Policy

U.S. Space Policy - This course will address international space policy issues facing the United States and place them in context with broader technological advances and the changing strategic environment. The course will address current bureaucratic and regulatory issues facing U.S. space programs with regard to dual-use technologies, including export controls, spectrum management, and licensing of commercial remote sensing systems. Conflicts over dual-use technologies, such as space launch, remote sensing, satellite navigation, and communications, will be examined for their implications for a range of national interests. The course will also address strategic choices facing other nations in space activities, including dependence on U.S., European, and Russian space capabilities, developing indigenous space programs, and use of commercial space capabilities.

 

IAFF 6158 Economics of Technological Change and Innovation

This course provides an overview of important issues related to technological change and innovation that have attracted the attention of economists up to the present time. Among all social sciences, economics may be argued to have taken the longest and broadest interest in technological advancement and innovation.

The specific assumptions and methodolo­gies of mainstream economic analysis have, however, been vigorously criticized more recently for failing to deal with the sources of technological advancement. Criticism has basically coalesced on two fronts. First, it is argued that mainstream economics has not paid adequate attention to the institutional setup supporting innovation and economic growth. Second, it is argued that an overly mechanistic approach has failed to take into account the evolutionary processes involved in scientific and technological advancement. The course attempts to provide a balanced view, taking into account both mainstream and neo-institutional/evolutionary approaches as well as expanding to the appraisal of the sources of new technolo­gy.

 

IAFF 6171 Introduction to Conflict Resolution

This course provides students with an introduction to the field of conflict analysis and resolution. It will introduce students to the major concepts and issues currently animating the field, explore the main strategies for responding to armed conflicts, and practice basic techniques for conducting conflict assessments. This course considers the “upper end” of the armed conflict spectrum, focusing on inter-state armed conflicts, contemporary civil wars, and other forms of organized violence. At the end of the course students should be acquainted with the nature of conflict resolution as a distinct theoretical and applied field of study and be familiar with major approaches to war prevention, mitigation, settlement, and post-war reconstruction projects. It will be useful for anyone with an interest in conflict resolution and management, including professionals in the fields of diplomacy, journalism, development assistance, humanitarian aid or international peacekeeping who wish to develop their knowledge of this important area. The course will connect theory to practice through discussion, policy analysis, research, and case study review of real events.

 

IAFF 6186 Transitional Justice

This course focuses on a dynamic set of multidisciplinary practices to help societies transform themselves after a period of human rights abuses due to conflict or authoritarian regimes. While definitions of TJ may vary, they all encompass the political, legal, and moral dilemmas about how to confront and redress the legacy of these violations and achieve a transition. The origins of Transitional Justice (TJ) can be traced back to the Nuremberg trials.

This course will put students at the heart of these often tricky, but exhilarating debates. And it is not all about law anymore. Instead, the field has expanded recently in three significant ways: it has moved to embrace a larger number of disciplines, transcending its initial legal focus; it has broadened its goals; and more recently, its mechanisms have been used to address historical injustices such as slavery in the United States, or, forced Aboriginal assimilation in Canada.

The purpose of this course is to: (i) examine and analyze TJ mechanisms including trials, amnesties, truth commissions, reparations, memorialization and institutional reforms; (ii) investigate normative and political debates raised by TJ processes; (iii) assess the effects and reach of TJ processes; (iv) look at real case studies from a variety of countries in most regions of the world that have experienced massive violations of human rights; and, (v) develop a critical understanding of the potential and limitations of the field.

 

IAFF 6186 Cyberspace, Conflict, and War

This course examines the relationship between information technology, conflict, and war. After introducing key concepts, capabilities, and actors in cyberspace, the course will examine the relationship between information technology and various aspects of domestic and international conflict and war. These include cyberwar, deterrence and compellence, offense and defense in cyber conflict, cyber conflict and escalation, espionage, conventional military operations, nuclear weapons, political subversion, mobilization and repression, civil war, and the laws of armed conflict, among others. These various aspects of cyberspace and conflict will be highlighted through in-depth examinations of key academic and policy debates as well as crucial contemporary case studies. Through this course, students will gain a thorough understanding of how information technology is shaping domestic and international conflict.

 

IAFF 6186 Cyber Threats and Policy

This seminar provides an overview of current issues surrounding cyber conflict. The seminar explores issues facing policymakers on the global stage through the lens of cyber conflict. Using cyberspace as the point of reference, this seminar explores state actors, non-state actors, state and global responses to cyber aggression, international relations focusing on cyberwar, ethics, and policy. Further, the seminar explores modern-day threat actors, their actions, and implications on national policy as it pertains to cybersecurity, attribution, privacy, and the law. The role of the private sector is analyzed in the context of national defense. The seminar concludes with an examination of the potential impact of hybrid threats and emerging technologies on US policy. The seminar is not intended to be a technical course, rather it seeks to examine political and security-related implications of cyber conflict as they pertain to the national-level policymaker.

 

IAFF 6186 The Analysis of Military Operations

For better or for worse, the military is the primary tool with which the United States engages the rest of the world. And yet, to average civilian citizens—including most foreign policy professionals—it is shrouded in mystery, with a byzantine bureaucracy, impenetrable jargon, an alphabet soup of acronyms, complex technologies, and often engaging in mind-bendingly complicated operations thousands of miles from American shores. This course cuts through this fog by introducing students to what militaries are, what technologies they make use of, and, most importantly, how they operate in peace and at war. It begins by providing students with the vocabulary necessary to discuss defense and military issues, covering the basics of military organizations and technologies. It then introduces the basic tools for the analysis of conventional military operations, followed by the application of these analytical tools to land, maritime, air, and joint operations. The course then covers a series of important hypothetical military contingencies, including in Cold War Europe, the defense of the Baltics, the Taiwan Straits, and others. We also cover the analysis of “non-traditional” military operations, such as counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and various forms of humanitarian intervention. The course ends with a look forward, considering how changes in the balance of power and emerging technologies will likely influence conventional military operations in the years ahead. Through this course, students will gain, not only the fluency to comfortably debate and discuss military issues, but, more crucially, a set of skills with which to systematically analyze military operations and strategies (note: no military experience or specialized knowledge of military issues is assumed or required).

 

IAFF 6186 Emerging Threats

This course surveys emerging risks and challenges that threaten human, national and global security. It does so by paying special attention to a range of issues where scientific and technological innovation play a major role. Topics covered include how to think about the concepts of risk and securitization; revolutions in military affairs; the challenges of nuclear security and terrorism; conflict in cyberspace; the uses and consequences of robotics, drones and autonomous weapons systems; military developments in biotechnology; artificial intelligence; as well as security challenges related to demography, urbanization, public health, the environment, outer space, and quantum computing. For each issue, the course examines the politics of scientific and technological evolution by identifying the key drivers of change; the nature of threats at the local, national, and global levels; and how existing security policies should be reformed in response. A technical background is not required but will enhance one’s understanding.

 

IAFF 6186 International Organized Crime

International Organized Crime is a graduate-level seminar, focused on developing broad critical skills and knowledge around IOC and the aspects and issues that intersect with the topic. Transnational crime will be a defining issue of the 21st century for policymakers – as defining as the Cold War was for the 20th century and colonialism was for the 19th. This course will involve extensive reading, research, and writing. It will also include vigorous group discussions on the assigned readings/topic. Certain portions of what we will discuss, and encounter are rich enough to warrant a dedicated course – such as illicit trafficking, money laundering, or corruption. We will examine a variety of international organized criminal groups and their illicit activities. This survey will provide a solid basis for further, more in-depth study of these attributes, functions, and entities. It will consist of academic writings, broad overview lectures, specific student presentations, and contemporary readings of the issues we are studying.

 

IAFF 6186 The Chinese Military

This course focuses on the military component of China's comprehensive national power, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). We begin with an overview of Chinese national security objectives, the role of military forces   in securing those objectives, the missions Chinese leaders assign the PLA, and the military operational capabilities Chinese leaders view as necessary to accomplish those missions. Next we take a quick tour of the history of the PLA, with emphasis on the decades since the start of China’s reform era in 1979 and the ongoing effort to generate military capabilities commensurate with China’s ambitions as a rising global power. We then examine the PLA in more detail, including organization, force structure, operational capabilities, specific missions, modernization objectives, the PLA’s role in national security policy-making, and relations between military officers and civilian authorities. We will take a brief look at the other components of China’s armed forces and security services, and close with an examination of alternative futures for Chinese military power.

 

IAFF 6186 Political Violence and Terrorism

What motivates individuals to engage in suicide terrorism? Why do some violent national movements succeed or fail? Why do some political movements decide to use terrorism and others do not? This course covers the causes, conduct, and consequences of political violence and terrorism, explores why the impacts of terrorism outweigh the material significance of actual attacks, and surveys methods and theories of countering terrorism and violent extremism. In the process, the course covers the definition of terrorism and terrorism types, it explores variation both in time and space, and shows perspectives from both practitioners and researchers of terrorism. In studying political violence, the course surveys some advanced analytic methods used in political science and intelligence analysis, including forecasting and structured analytic techniques.

 

IAFF 6186 Civil Wars in World Politics

This course examines the interplay between contemporary civil wars and world politics, exploring the causes and consequences of these interactions. Students will apply concepts from international relations theory to analyze key questions concerning civil wars. For example, when do civil wars begin? How are they fought? Who intervenes in civil wars? Why do civil wars last so long? What are the consequences for international peace and stability? The objective of this course is to acquire the tools and techniques to critically analyze these conflicts and to understand the different foreign policy challenges they entail.

 

IAFF 6186 Cybersecurity

This course will provide an overview of current issues in the realm of cybersecurity, focusing on cybersecurity strategy, threats, conflict and policy. We will begin with an understanding of the power inherent in cyberspace and consider the policy issues facing the civilian, military, intelligence and private business sectors in dealing with offensive and defensive cyber activity. Through the use of case studies and tabletop exercises, we will examine previous and ongoing cyber conflicts to understand their impacts on international relations. We will analyze the roles of several different types of actors in cybersecurity including state actors, non-state actors such as criminal and terror groups and private sector responses. This course will also examine the issue of cyber deterrence, and the unique aspects of offensive and defensive cyber activities by all cyber actors.

A technical background is not required and basic aspects of cyber operations will be discussed in the introductory class sessions.

 

IAFF 6186 Insurgency and Counterinsurgency

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency - This course provides students with an introduction to insurgency and counterinsurgency. It is intended to provide a solid foundation for further inquiry into related topics such as irregular warfare, security and development, stabilization and peace building, responses to terrorism, and conflict resolution. The course examines the multidisciplinary nature of insurgencies, and will introduce students to the major concepts and issues of the topic, explore the main types of insurgencies, and explore in depth a number of strategic cases of counterinsurgency to help students understand the complexity and the variety of this form of warfare in the modern world. The course provides key frameworks for analysis for the study of insurgency and will explore possible solutions to a number of current conflicts.

 

IAFF 6186 Nuclear Proliferation and Nonproliferation

This course focuses on the state of scholarly and policy-relevant analysis of nuclear proliferation and nonproliferation and the state of communication between researchers and policy practitioners working in this field.  The goals of this course are:  1) to familiarize students with the scholarly and policy-relevant literature on why states seek or do not seek nuclear weapons; 2) to familiarize students with the range of policy options used and discussed to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation; 3) to prepare students to make informed judgments about appropriate circumstances for the use of and expectations of the effectiveness of these tools to meet nonproliferation objectives; and 4) to prepare students to contribute to the scholarly and/or policy-relevant understanding of nuclear proliferation and nonproliferation.  After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:  1) identify and contextualize leading explanations of and methods for predicting nuclear proliferation and nonproliferation; 2) identify and describe policy options for the prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation; 3) use theoretical, historical, and technical tools to develop, compare, and evaluate the use of these policy tools generally and for specific cases; 4) articulate how their ideas and arguments about nuclear proliferation and nonproliferation fit into and hold potential for contributing to the wider expert understanding of these topics.

 

IAFF 6186 US Grand Strategy

This course examines U.S. grand strategy, meaning the politico-military continuum of means and ends that the state employs to achieve security. The course first analyzes the concept of grand strategy: what it means, how it’s achieved and when it fails. The course then turns to causes of grand strategy—the international conditions, technological developments, geographic circumstances, domestic actors and ideological beliefs that shape strategic options. Finally, to make these concepts more concrete, the course examines U.S. grand strategy at two pivotal points in recent U.S. history: the early Cold War, when the United States introduced nuclear missiles into the military, and today.

 

IAFF 6198 Macroeconomic Policies: A Case Study Approach

The course makes use of macroeconomic theory and international practice to analyze real world macroeconomic policy-making. We will develop a simple and flexible macroeconomic framework within which a number of policy issues will be examined, including: evaluating monetary, exchange rate, and fiscal policies in different economic contexts; identifying economic and financial vulnerabilities; analyzing policy spillovers between countries; and designing economic policies for countries in or near crisis. In this context, we will also consider the macroeconomic impact of the COVID crisis as well as the war in Ukraine and its broader geopolitical implications, and consider how these events affect macroeconomic policy-making. Relevant country cases will be presented and discussed in class. Students will also make group presentations on country case studies.

 

IAFF 6198 Trade and International Policymaking

The architecture of the international trading order has evolved over time from a “shallow” integration regime (main focus on border measures such as tariffs and quotas) to one of “deep” integration (broader economic integration that regulates behavior of governments far behind the border).  While deeper trade integration arguably yields economic benefits, it oftentimes affects trade-adjacent policy areas, such as labor, migration, environment, public health, national security, data privacy, competition or investment.  Not infrequently the international trading order thereby brushes up against these trade-adjacent fields because of competing values and policy imperatives, thus creating conflict within a country or between the country and its trading partners.

This advanced seminar in international trade deals with issues on the interface of international trade and other arenas of national and international policymaking – so-called “trade…and” topics.  It discusses areas of friction, co-existence, and synergy between the international trading order and various “trade…and” topics from an international economic, legal, and policy perspective.  The course aims at developing concrete policy options for the United States that are compliant with international treaty obligations, improve international relations with trading partners and allies, and consider US social, economic and national security interests.

 

IAFF 6208 Public Diplomacy

This course examines the expanding public dimension of modern diplomacy. It builds on global interest in public diplomacy in the 21st century’s diplomatic environment. We will explore how diplomats and political leaders communicate in a world of rapid globalization, new diplomatic actors, complex policy issues, digital technologies, increased risk, and uncertain boundaries between foreign and domestic. This seminar is designed to help public diplomacy concentrators deepen their knowledge and serve the interdisciplinary interests of students in global communication, international relations, and media studies.

 

IAFF 6213 Leadership Capstone

This course is intended for MIPP students only.

 

IAFF 6216 Economic Tools for Global Policy

In this course, MIPP Online students will analyze economic issues and concrete economic policy problems. This course examines questions such as: How does economic policy affect technology and immigration - and vice versa? What are the implications of various trade policies on the global economy? How has globalization and rapid spread of high-tech communication influenced the US economy?

 

IAFF 6222 U.S. Foreign Policy 

Over the last two decades, as the United States and its partners have militarized foreign policy, development assistance has been “securitized” and deployed to solve a range of national security problems, from improving governance in failing states, to countering violent extremism and insurgencies, to promoting democracy.  This seminar explores to what extent can and should development be used in these ways, what is the impact of doing so on political order, and has this shift away from supporting longer-term economic growth led to new challenges for both governments and international organizations? 

The first part of the course examines the theory and practice of using development to achieve short-term political and security goals.  The second part of the course examines how the United States and other nations have attempted to address conflict and its drivers through civilian-military approaches in a number of countries.  Students will develop recommendations for addressing real-life policy problems while engaging in online discussions and developing briefing memos. 

 

IAFF 6308 International Relations of South Asia

This course will analytically consider the national security calculations and foreign policy perspectives of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, and their impact regionally and beyond, including increasing uncertainty in India-China relations and growing competition in the Indian Ocean   

 

IAFF 6318 Korea-Japan Relations

Few modern-day nations have as tangled and contested a relationship as the two Koreas and Japan. While these regions are linked by close diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties, the complex and often fraught history between the peninsula and the archipelago has led to tensions and controversies in recent years. This course explores this relationship from ancient times to the present day. Topics include the early cultural and mythical links between the two regions, Japan’s controversial colonial occupation of Korea, and the modern-day legacies of WWII that manifest in protests, textbooks, and charged political rhetoric. In addition to understanding how historical disputes impact contemporary Korea-Japan relations, this course will allow students to assess and critique governmental policies and rhetoric related to the history of the region as well as conduct a substantial research project of their own choosing.

 

IAFF 6318 Women in Asia

This course examines the social, cultural, political, and economic roles of women in Asia in a comparative context, both in terms of historical development (from the mid-19th century to the present) and within different Asian societies. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the class will investigate the place of women in the family and in society, their relationships with one another and with men, and their relationship to politics and the state. By doing so, it will seek to identify major social and institutional constraints on Asian women for expanding their role in their respective societies and to explore both ideas and specific measures to narrow the existing gender gaps in these societies. Emphasis will be placed on China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea, but other countries in Southeast and South Asia will also be examined.

 

IAFF 6321 Colloquium: Europe and Eurasia

Europe and Eurasia play a crucial role in contemporary world affairs. This is currently being highlighted by the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, which has potential ramifications not only for Europe itself, but for the international system as a whole. This course integrates analysis of current developments in Europe and Eurasia, including their transatlantic and global implications, with an examination of their roots in the past, going back to 1945. The course covers great power politics since the Cold War, energy security, transatlantic relations, NATO, the EU, former Yugoslavia, Germany, and Russia and the former Soviet Union, including the Russo-Ukrainian War. In addition to seminars, the course entails group work, debates, and simulation exercises. Two shorter papers and a research paper allow students to explore topics of particular interest to them in greater detail.

 

IAFF 6338 Politics of Post-Soviet Eurasia

This course is a seminar on comparative politics and state building in the post-Soviet successor states. The eleven states in this region (Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan) inherited a similar institutional legacy that in turn has structured their attempts to consolidate new approaches to political and economic institution building, popular mobilization, and identity construction. Despite this shared legacy, the states of post-Soviet Eurasia have pursued a range of strategies for everything from privatization to foreign relations. During the Fall 2022 semester, we will focus on the consequences of the Russian war on Ukraine and what that conflict means for Eurasia as well as the rest of the world. We will cover a wide range of topics including the impact on civil society, the media (including social media), and energy politics.

 

IAFF 6388 Nationalism in Europe

This is a class on the causes and the political effects of nationalism in Europe. The first part of the course is designed to provide you with an understanding of the most prominent explanations of the emergence and spread of nationalism, and the background knowledge and tools with which to evaluate them. We will study the transition from Empires to nation-states. We will also focus on developments in the "periphery of Europe." The second part of the course focuses on the effects of nation-building on state policies toward non-core groups and diasporas, patterns of political violence, and political identities.  The third part of the course deals with contemporary challenges: populism, nativism, immigrant incorporation, the prospects of a European supranational identity, contemporary self-determination movements, and Gendered dimensions of nationalism. We will cover cases across Europe and from different time periods. You will learn how to formulate research questions, develop arguments, and evaluate hypotheses.

 

IAFF 6341 Latin American & Hemispheric Studies Program Cornerstone

This course is intended for LAHSP students only.

 

IAFF 6357 Latin American & Hemispheric Studies Pre-Capstone Workshop

This course is intended for LAHSP students only.

 

IAFF 3187 Security in the Americas

This course will explore the rapidly changing, often confusing panorama of contemporary defense, civil-military relations, and citizen security in Latin America and the Caribbean. Students will consider frames that have guided security policies from the late Cold War to the present, with most emphasis on recent years. These include great-power competition, counter-terrorism, counter-drug and counter-organized crime policies, “ungoverned spaces,” and emerging concerns about climate, migration, and corruption. Students will consider these frames amid the present backdrop of expanding authoritarian populism, rising social protest, politicization and blurring of military and police roles, and a decline in U.S. engagement. The course will explore security models and experiences, from “Plan Colombia” and ”mano dura” strategies to those coming from civil society and the Inter-American human rights system, some of which take an expansive view of the “security sector” and its reform.

 

IAFF 6358 Feminist Movements in Latin America

This course examines feminist movements in Latin America, focusing on topics that provide an intellectual narrative to the construction of gender in Latin America. Organized within an intersectional and interdisciplinary framework, we will built upon an introduction to gender analysis, and use it to discuss topics such as the political participation of women; feminicide/femicide; reproductive rights; ethics of care and domestic labor; and queer rights.

 

IAFF 6361 Middle East Studies Cornerstone

This course is intended for MES graduate students only.

 

IAFF 6377 Middle East Studies Capstone

This course is intended for MES graduate students only.

 

IAFF 6378 Iran in the Middle East

Iran has long played a critical role in the international relations of the Middle East –historically one of the most tumultuous regions in the world.  In this graduate course, we will critically discuss Iran's foreign and security policies, against the backdrop of its controversial nuclear program and its contentious relations with other regional players, especially Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Israel. The aim of this course is to familiarize students with goals, characteristics, and evolution of Iran’s regional policies and the daunting challenges it faces.

 

IAFF 6378 China in the Middle East

China is an increasingly influential actor across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This course examines the pillars of Sino-MENA engagement and explores the economic, political, and sociocultural implications of growing Chinese involvement in the region. Students must consider these implications across various levels: government-to-government, firm-to-firm, and people-to-people. The course proceeds along two-week-long thematic modules consisting of regional and country case studies, while weekly classes focus on readings addressing key topics impacting Sino-MENA relations. This course structure enables students to situate major themes and concepts within specific geographic and institutional contexts. Students must submit a longer comparative analysis incorporating two or more country case studies as part of the review section at the end of the course. Beyond providing a scholarly foundation for better understanding Sino-MENA relations, the course offers students the opportunity to engage directly with academics and policymakers involved in this expanding and important field of study.

 

IAFF 6385 Rising China in Africa

This course looks at the totality of the China-Africa relationship historically, currently, and into the future.  It is based on research for a book that I co-authored with Josh Eisenman published in 2012 by the University of Pennsylvania Press and titled China and Africa: A Century of Engagement and a second book that focuses on the China-Africa political and security relationship that will appear in 2022.  The course covers both North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.  It draws on a significant number of specialized readings from academic, policy, and journalistic accounts.  Students write two 10-12 page research papers, give one oral presentation, and are expected to participate in discussions of the required reading.

 

IAFF 6385 Transnational Security Threats in Africa

This course examines contemporary transnational security threats in Africa, including violent extremism; trafficking of narcotics and wildlife; human trafficking and smuggling; maritime insecurity; and corruption and money laundering. discussions will center on the political, economic, and social contexts out of which these threats arise, and the local, regional, and global factors that fuel or facilitate them. Students will assess responses to these threats by African governments, regional organizations, and international actors, and consider what new capacities and approaches will be required to effectively combat them.

 

IAFF 6378 The Politics of the Gulf

This course examines the evolving politics and international relations of the Gulf region, with an eye to illuminating the current moment of uncertainty in US-Gulf ties.  It adopts a multifaceted approach, grounding these relations in 1) changing geopolitical contexts (the Cold War, the War on Terror); 2) transitions in global markets (Decarbonization); and 3) internal political dynamics within the Gulf states themselves (the Arab Spring).  Students will draw upon new texts and ideas as they debate the US impact on and posture towards Gulf monarchies that are becoming more assertive and more adaptive within an increasingly multipolar region.

 

IAFF 6502 Negotiation Skills

This course helps students hone in those aspects of their negotiating style that stand in the way of maximizing their negotiation outcomes. It is based on classic Interest-Based negotiations theory with a focus on practical application and self-reflection. It is a highly interactive course composed almost entirely of a series of group exercises with varying degrees of complexity and then debriefing of students' performance. Therefore, there will be minimal presentation of concepts. Students are expected to read the book and other assigned materials uploaded onto the course's Blackboard page BEFORE the first class. Regardless of whether the course is given online or in person, students are expected to come ready with copies of their worksheets and exercises to work with.   In addition to the assigned book, we will be using proprietary materials from the Harvard Law School Program On Negotiations in class. Students will therefore need to purchase their copies of the exercises for $6 total. Unfortunately, these exercises cannot be purchased by students independently since each team will get a different set of confidential instructions depending on which team they end up joining.

 

IAFF 6502 Mediation

Third-parties are increasingly being used by people in conflict, both domestically and internationally, to help them resolve their differences. Whether providing a space for belligerents to reach a peace agreement, facilitating a contentious public policy debate on Capitol Hill, or helping departments work more effectively together, this interactive skills-building course will teach you how to harness conflictual energy and transform it into collaboration.

Mediation is an impartial, voluntary and confidential process that facilitates problem-solving and helps parties to a conflict develop solutions that meet everyone’s needs. In this highly experiential course, students will be introduced to the basic principles of mediation; learn how to engage the parties in a conflict and set up the mediation space; how to listen and gather information by disaggregating positional statements; framing and listing problems to resolve; brainstorming and developing solutions; and writing an agreement


IAFF 6502 Formal Briefing

This skills course will give students a foundation in giving formal briefings in a safe and supportive workshop environment.  Students will be encouraged to try different approaches in developing a personal briefing style and to develop foundational skills in public speaking through mini exercises and in-class performance of a draft and final briefing. Students will also be introduced to the various types of briefings, to include considerations in the virtual environment,  how to structure and organize each, how to communicate effectively with different audiences and venues, how to work with colleagues in developing and presenting materials especially on complex policy matters requiring a balancing of many different factors leading up to the actual presentation and delivery, and the elements of proper delivery through a learn-by-doing approach to developing a personal briefing style that will continue to evolve over the course of their careers.

 

IAFF 6502 Writing for International Policymakers

Clear, concise and persuasive analytic writing is an essential skill for international affairs professionals. Effective analysis for policymakers succinctly assesses matters in ways that provide information, context, and insight and makes useful recommendations. Key characteristics include focus, relevance, brevity, and readability.  This course will involve short written assignments, as well as group discussions and peer critiques, aimed at developing the writing and analytic skills necessary to support, inform, and influence policymakers and implement policy.

 

IAFF 6502 Cross Cultural Communications

This is a graduate-level skill course designed to help you better understand and analyze the dynamics of communication across continents.   This is a unique time to delve into CCC principles and practices because the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants, persistent conflicts and wars, are changing the way the world is communicating across cultural barriers, and also and more importantly, these events and developments  are hence posing new CCC challenges not seen before.  The latter will most certainly change the way people from different cultures relate to one another in their quest to enhance collective cooperation and coordination to confront new threats and vulnerabilities whether at a personal or mass level.  Furthermore, my CCC graduate seminar is designed to give you, the students and global citizens and future leaders, unique skills to manage and manage and resolve conflicts whether personal, private, or public.  This course/seminar will utilize my academic and professional international security and foreign policy experience to enhance your CCC skills in more ways than one.

 

IAFF 6502 Global Communications

This course explores the elements of effective communication for a global audience. Topics include: Rhetorical strategies for written or oral communications; understanding bias and how to leverage it to advance your communication objectives; examining disinformation and how it is used online; the changing nature and future of news in the digital environment; and strategic communications plans and visual organizers.

 

IAFF 6502 Courageous Leadership and Change

Uncertain times call for courageous and adaptive leadership. Global systems are failing. Human rights violations are prevalent. People continue to face discrimination. Poverty is spreading. Nationalism is on the rise. And domestic violence thrives worldwide. The list goes on. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless, or to feel outrage at how big the “mess” really is and how little progress is being made.

This high-impact skill course is designed to equip current and emerging leaders with the mindset, frameworks and tools to navigate the uncertainty and politics of change in order to solve pressing social, environmental and developmental issues. This course draws on real-life examples of current global issues to help leaders better understand how to navigate challenges and maximize their impact. Students will learn how to challenge assumptions, explore new mental models and develop the grit needed to sustain the political and social pressures of creating change. 

 

IAFF 6503 Ethical Decision Making 

This course will introduce students to the 13 ethical dilemmas. This requires an exploration of ethical issues in a rational, pragmatic, responsible, and decisive manner. The objective is to prepare students to effectively resolve the myriad of ethical challenges they will face in their personal and professional lives. The foundation for being able to do so is critical thinking. Critical thinking is the ability to address issues from both sides, to evaluate the best arguments of each side, and to arrive at a conclusion based on a systematic analysis of those arguments. Critical thinking requires students to discover biases, viewpoints, and perspectives that affect the accuracy and persuasiveness of oral or written arguments, and to uncover reasoning errors or logical fallacies. Accordingly, effective use of critical thinking skills allows one to defend viewpoints, evaluate issues, analyze new information, and reach ethical conclusions – exactly what today’s environment demands from leaders. 

Responding to ethical dilemmas is difficult and complicated. Once students are aware of the complexity of various issues, they will have a greater tendency to be more deliberate in their decision-making and therefore more intentional in their results. Students will evaluate, individually and collectively, dozens of real-life scenarios that require them to make hard choices in ambiguous situations. The course seeks to enhance students' confidence and competence in contributing to ethically-challenging decisions on a range of national and international issues.

 

IAFF 6503 Leadership and Teamwork

This course explores the dynamics of team building, communication, and leadership that will increase managerial and leadership effectiveness. It is designed to empower participants to discover their preferred leadership style within a green and global context, emphasizing networking and servant leadership. Creating and sustaining a team involves a portfolio of skills which are particularly critical in a post-pandemic, horizontal and project-based environment, but also in traditional organizational hierarchies. In a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world, leaders must learn the tools of emotional intelligence and mindfulness, and develop a centered lens through which they can focus their contribution in global public service. Students will learn how to apply effective decision-making and problem-solving skills in teams; manage and resolve conflicts with appropriate communication skills; and identify and evaluate their own assumptions and behaviors related to leadership and group dynamics in organizations.

 

IAFF 6503 The Role of Defense Contracting

This course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the role of government contracting in National Security and its role in ensuring military superiority.  It will benefit students interested in entering government service or the defense and national security consulting/manufacturing world.   Students will learn about the development of requirements for critical space, land, sea, air, and cyber assets and understand how industry translates these requirements into military assets and capabilities.  They will gain practical insight on how to analyze, shape and bid on solicitations within the Department of Defense and associated entities.  There will also be a simulation of how industry works to help the DoD meet current and emerging threats in the current European security environment.  In addition, they will learn about the often-hidden external considerations such as congressional pressures and inter-service rivalries that play a role in influencing the selection of a particular contractor.

 

IAFF 6504 Int Proficiency - Russian  

Intermediate Proficiency Russian is intended to improve the students’ skills in Russian (speaking, listening, reading and writing) through different activities - students’ interviewing each other, working in discussion groups, watching Russian TV news program, listening to the news in Russian, reading newspaper articles from Russian press or Internet, doing translation exercises on the vocabulary studied and the grammar reviewed, performing dialogues etc.

 

IAFF 6504  Int Proficiency - French

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional French language skills for international affairs students.

 

 IAFF 6504  Int Proficiency – Spanish

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Spanish language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6504  Int Proficiency – Arabic

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Arabic language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6504  Int Proficiency – Chinese

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Chinese language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6898 Capstone Workshop

First part of two-semester sequence that addresses a concrete policy problem or issue in international affairs. In small teams, students refine the policy question of the capstone project, develop a research strategy, select appropriate research methods, and begin research. Continued in IAFF 6899.

 

IAFF 6899 Capstone Course

Second part of a two-semester sequence. Completion of the capstone sequence by conduct of the group's research, completion of the capstone report, and oral presentation of research findings and recommendations. Prerequisite: IAFF 6898.

IAFF 6138 Development Project Implementation

Congratulations, your development project has been funded! This graduate seminar takes you through the process of implementing a development project from kick-off to exit. Combining theory and practice in weekly case study settings, you will learn how to navigate and overcome implementation challenges, such as making sense of conflicting monitoring data, managing donor expectations, and achieving project sustainability. Through experiential learning approaches, you ultimately will build crucial skillsets for a future career in development.

 

IAFF 6138 Social Enterprise & Development

The concept of social entrepreneurship is gaining increasing traction within the international development sector. Social enterprises are being promoted as the means to make growth strategies more inclusive and social service delivery more accessible. For its proponents, social entrepreneurship is at the vanguard of creating efficient and sustainable models for addressing major challenges ranging from empowering marginalized communities to contending with the threat of climate change. Social entrepreneurship, with its aims of simultaneously creating economic and social value has its critics too. These critics point to the inherent difficulties in using a market based approach to addressing structural inequalities. As the traditional lines blur among nonprofits, government and business, it is critical that students of international development understand the opportunities and challenges facing social entrepreneurship. This course will equip students to understand and assess the range of current approaches being used to harness the potential of social entrepreneurship in developing countries around the world.  The class will be in seminar format, and students will be expected to participate actively in class discussions.

 

IAFF 6138 Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption in International Development 

 President Biden made anti-corruption and rule of law top priorities of his administration. For the first time, the U.S. government will have a government-wide anti-corruption strategy. Weak rule of law and rampant corruption undermine national security and hamper development of market economies and democracies. Foreign policy, national security and foreign assistance experts understand the destabilizing role of corruption and come up with solutions that counter corruption. In this class we will explore corruption as a mobilizing force for change in fragile societies and how anti-corruption activities and thinking can be integrated into sound development approaches.  Weakness of the rule of law undermines effectiveness of democratic institutions and threatens democratic transitions in developing countries.  Students will explore the nexus between the rule of law and anti-corruption and learn how foreign assistance and foreign policy professionals integrate these concepts into their work. This class will work on honing a practical understanding of the rule of law, good governance and anti-corruption and the ways to design foreign assistance programs in different development contexts. We will cover various geographic regions and students will prepare a research paper on a country of their choice.

 

IAFF 6163 Transnational Security

The objective of this course is to develop higher-order thinking and knowledge of transnational security issues. It is designed to provide a better understanding of the characteristics and causes of issues that threaten human society across geographical, political, commercial and societal boundaries. Many of the Challenges we analyze require multilateral solutions. Some of these challenges have roots in non-traditional security.  

Many topics have sufficient breadth and depth to warrant a dedicated course. This survey course will be particularly helpful in providing a solid basis for further study and specialization within the Elliott School.

 

IAFF 6186 Insurgency and Counterinsurgency

This course provides students with an introduction to insurgency and counterinsurgency. It is intended to provide a solid foundation for further inquiry into related topics such as irregular warfare, security and development, stabilization and peace building, responses to terrorism, and conflict resolution. The course examines the multidisciplinary nature of insurgencies, and will introduce students to the major concepts and issues of the topic, explore the main types of insurgencies, and explore in depth a number of strategic cases of counterinsurgency to help students understand the complexity and the variety of this form of warfare in the modern world. The course provides key frameworks for analysis for the study of insurgency and will explore possible solutions to a number of current conflicts.

 

IAFF 6186 Who Will Rule the 21st Century?

Today, we are witnessing a period of even greater American economic travails, greater national debt relative to the size of the economy, and the concern that less friendly powers—especially China and Russia—may be poised to benefit from the relative decline of the United States in specific and the West in general.  The Sanders and Trump phenomena of 2016 are perhaps the most dramatic manifestations of these concerns—and the election of Donald Trump as president could be the most consequential manifestation of such anxieties since the beginning of the Cold War, or at least the end of the Vietnam War.  But beyond immediate electoral changes, what do these shifting economic realities, as well as broader changes in global demographics and developments in technology, bode for the future of American power and ultimately the security of this country and its allies?

This course, informed by both historical and technical perspectives, will wrestle with such broad questions about the architecture of the international power system.  It will consider the relative decline of the United States and many of its major western allies that many consider to be already underway, and only likely to accelerate.  It will examine the promise of the rising powers, together with the structural constraints and other impediments that they will have to face themselves as they seek greater stature, clout, and prosperity in the 21st century.  It will also consider plausible war scenarios and other threats to civilization and the planet.

 

IAFF 6186 Emerging Threats

This course surveys emerging risks and challenges that threaten human, national and global security. It does so by paying special attention to a range of military and non-military issues where science and technology play a major role. Topics covered include how to think about the concepts of risk and securitization; revolutions in military affairs and "grey zone" conflict; the challenges of nuclear security and terrorism; conflict in cyberspace; the uses and consequences of robotics, drones and autonomous weapons systems; military developments in biotechnology; artificial intelligence; as well as non-military issues related to demography, urbanization, public health, the environment, and outer space. For each issue, the course examines the politics of scientific and technological evolution by identifying the key drivers of change; the nature of threats at the local, national, and global levels; and how existing security policies should be reformed in response. A technical background is not required but will enhance one’s understanding.

 

IAFF 6186 Cybersecurity

This course will provide an overview of current issues in the realm of cybersecurity, focusing on cybersecurity strategy, threats, conflict and policy. We will begin with an understanding of the power inherent in cyberspace and consider the policy issues facing the civilian, military, intelligence and private business sectors in dealing with offensive and defensive cyber activity. Through the use of case studies, we will examine previous and ongoing cyber conflicts to understand their impacts on international relations. We will analyze the roles of several different types of actors in cybersecurity including state actors, non-state actors such as criminal and terror groups and private sector responses. This course will also examine the issue of cyber deterrence, and the unique aspects of offensive and defensive cyber activities by all cyber actors.

A technical background is not required and basic aspects of cyber operations will be discussed in the introductory class sessions.

 

IAFF 6186: U.S. National Security

This seminar is designed as a graduate survey course to examine the national interests, institutions, actors, and processes involved in the making of U.S. national security. In particular, this course examines the challenges and issues confronting U.S. policymakers in the national security domain using a combination of lectures, videos, practical assignments, and a crisis simulation. The course content includes conceptual definitions of national security, policymaking processes and debates, national security institutions and organizations, relationships between foreign, economic and defense policy issues, as well as civil-military relations. While the course presumes familiarity with American politics and U.S. history, in-depth discussion into these topics will occur and students are encouraged to keep up on relevant world events by reading legitimate news sources to facilitate discussion and their assessment of US national security policy. By the end of the semester, students should be able to critically engage, understand, articulate and explain ideas and arguments about the U.S. national security process and the complexity of American strategic interests and decision-making processes. 

 

IAFF 6186: Transnational Security & Corruption

This class focuses particularly on the relationship between corruption and transnational security challenges. It examines the sources, processes and outcomes related to corrupt activities and how these enable the emergence and strength of criminal actors, as well as the growth of illegal activities that pose serious threats to the security of states, and the stability of the international system. The class explores these dynamics in regards to issues such as money laundering, tax evasion, environmental crime, drug trafficking, global health, and international terrorism, among others. 

We will address questions such as why does public corruption continue to afflict countries in the modern world? What are the factors that help explain the existence of, and fluctuations in the levels of corruption in different contexts? What role can key economic agents play in driving and/or as curbing corruption? How are legal definitions established, and what interests intervene in this process? And what, if any, are the best policy options to address this latent issue?

 

IAFF 6186 Military Power & Effectiveness

What explains victory and defeat in war? Answering this question is vitally important to the course of history and the survival of nations. It is also important to affairs beyond war, like the outcomes of international negotiations, alliance structures, and the preservation of peace. Traditionally, this question has been estimated by simply determining who had the most soldiers and resources. However, some militaries, like the Mongols in the 13th Century or the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s, have frequently bested militaries with more soldiers and resources. What explains this variation? Violence, or the threatened use of violence, is often the primary currency in the international arena. Understanding military power and effectiveness is vitally important for anyone seeking to understand the affairs of states in the international arena.

This course is an overview of military operations and strategy and the ways in which war and politics intersect to determine outcomes. This course will survey the fields of study in political science, military strategy, and policy analysis that illuminate this interaction: military effectiveness, Civil-military relations, military tactics and logistics, and foreign policy, among others. This course then explores innovation in military affairs and the limits of the application of military force in international relations.

 

IAFF 6186 International Organized Crime

International Organized Crime is a graduate-level seminar, focused on developing broad critical skills and knowledge around IOC and the aspects and issues that intersect with the topic. Transnational crime will be a defining issue of the 21st century for policymakers – as defining as the Cold War was for the 20th century and colonialism was for the 19th. This course will involve extensive reading, research, and writing. It will also include vigorous group discussions on the assigned readings/topic. Certain portions of what we will discuss, and encounter are rich enough to warrant a dedicated course – such as illicit trafficking, money laundering, or corruption. We will examine a variety of international organized criminal groups and their illicit activities. This survey will provide a solid basis for further, more in-depth study of these attributes, functions, and entities. It will consist of academic writings, broad overview lectures, specific student presentations, and contemporary readings of the issues we are studying.

 

IAFF 6186 Economic Tools for Global Policy

In this course, MIPP Online students will analyze economic issues and concrete economic policy problems. This course examines questions such as: How does economic policy affect technology and immigration - and vice versa? What are the implications of various trade policies on the global economy? How has globalization and rapid spread of high-tech communication influenced the US economy?

 

IAFF 6358 Racial & Ethnic Politics in Latin America

This course explores the changing and complex interactions between racial and ethnic politics and hegemonic power in Latin America. It begins with a historic background and it asks questions such as: what are the strengths, weaknesses, and strategies of afro-descendent and ethnic social movements? Why do they succeed or fail? Why are they strong or weak in different countries? Why do we have successful indigenous political parties in Bolivia and Ecuador but not in Peru and Guatemala, nor successful black movements in Colombia and Brazil?

By examining questions such as these, located at the intersection of ethnic and racial movements and social and political power, the course aims not only at explaining the nature of the link but also at addressing the question of what type of activism and legal-institutional changes are more likely to advance the cause of diversity and inclusion in Latin America.

 

IAFF 6385 Peace and Conflict in Africa

This course uses an inter/multidisciplinary approach to explore the cultural, social, and political factors that have contributed to a majority of the African conflicts in the last century. Focusing on topics such as colonial and post-colonial impacts on nation building, ethnic and religious identities, economic development, gender and sexuality, diaspora and transnationalism, and international and traditional conflict resolution methods, this course offers a complex picture that highlights the different factors that have contributed to the radicalization and extremists views that have led to mass atrocities and genocides. Most importantly, this course engages with the idea of 'peace' and what peace has looked like or should look like in the context of Africa. It also explores the shortcomings and failure of our international system when addressing African conflicts. 

 

IAFF 6502 Analyzing U.S. Foreign Assistance

Why does the U.S. give foreign assistance? How much does it cost?  What does the U.S. spend foreign assistance on?  This course will explore these questions and cover the way the federal budget process is supposed to work and the way it actually does work, with a specific focus on the U.S. foreign assistance budget implemented by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development. 

The course is a graduate level, project-based class where students will have the opportunity to develop and justify their own proposal for foreign assistance resources for a country that they choose. This course will give students highly sought after hands-on, practical experience.  For students interested in careers at the Department of State, USAID, or non-profit organizations that implement U.S. foreign assistance, this will be a great course taught by Cyndee Pelt and Homa Hassan, who have extensive international development experience.  Professors Pelt and Hassan have served in the past three Administrations in various capacities both in Washington D.C. and overseas at the State Department and USAID – together they have over thirty years of experience working on U.S. foreign assistance programs.

 

IAFF 6502 Deconstructing Disinformation

A functional democracy requires the public to trust the information they rely on to make decisions. While numerous types of problematic information – including disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda – have always existed, networked technologies make it easier for media manipulators to spread inaccurate, misleading, and hateful information. In 2018, thirteen Russians were indicted for waging a three-year disinformation campaign to disrupt American democracy. Non-state actors also sought to incite partisanship and strategically suppress participation in the 2016 election. Extremist groups and partially automated accounts (“bots”) run by foreign state groups both propagated false rumors and conspiracies after a school shooting to shape the political reaction. The stock market lost over $130B in 2013 when a false tweet claimed that Barack Obama was injured in an explosion. And researchers are now confirming common sense about such damaging gossip: false information spreads faster than the truth. This course will use domestic and international case studies to critically examine the key components of disinformation. It will then analyze potential interventions by governments, technology companies, and civil society organizations. In addition to deconstructing the problem of disinformation and critically analyzing potential solutions, students will learn how to conduct scenario planning exercises.

 

IAFF 6502 Development and HA Funding

This course will provide an introduction to international development and humanitarian assistance (HA) funding streams, donors, and agendas. An emphasis will be placed on USAID grant and contract management. Students will learn basic grant and contract management skills and common compliance issues that implementers face. Special attention will be given to the analysis of USAID humanitarian assistance grants and development contracts. Students will simulate how to respond to different scenarios that impact development and humanitarian projects and funding. The course will also provide an overview of the systems and regulations that govern donor grants and contracts.

 

IAFF 6502 Formal Briefing (Instructor: Molly Bauch)

Of the many modes of communication in Washington, perhaps the most common is the formal briefing – presentation of information in a predefined setting and a given audience, for the purposes of achieving an outcome or an action (a sale, awareness, policy support, decision endorsement, etc.). Many people give presentations; few well. The art and science of formal briefing centers on storytelling – designing and delivering narratives, tailored to an audience that inspire, resonate, and compel. Mastering the art of formal briefing affects credibility, influences professional advancement, and powers persuasive deal making.  Over three sessions of four hours each, we’ll cover the essence of designing, developing, and delivering TED-talk level presentations that cut to the ‘so what, why should we care’ chase and set you apart as a persuasive, effective speaker.

 

IAFF 6502 Leadership and Teamwork

This course explores the dynamics of teambuilding, communication, and leadership that will increase managerial and leadership effectiveness.  Topics include: communication and conflict, decision-making and problem-solving, group dynamics, consensus, team building, and leadership.   Students participate in experiential exercises that provide them with the opportunity to learn critical skills needed to improve teamwork and be effective organizational members.   Students will learn how to apply effective decision making and problem-solving skills in teams; manage and resolve conflicts with the appropriate communication skills; identify and evaluate their own assumptions and behaviors related to leadership and group dynamics in organizations; apply the principles of the BART system (Boundaries, Authority, Role, and Task) to understand and improve team and organizational effectiveness; and integrate and apply their understanding of teamwork and leadership in varied personal and professional contexts.  

 

IAFF 6503 Non-Violent Communication (NVC) and Structural Change: supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

In an age of virulent civic discourse, avoiding conversations about dominance, systems, power, race, gender, or sexual identity is no longer an option. When emotions surface and stakes are high, this course will equip students with the tools to respond in a way that draws people into a conversation using Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and brings about systemic changes to support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

NVC is a set of ideas and practices based on the empathic and relational nature of human beings that can also be used to impact institutional policies. In the second part of the course, students will apply NVC to systems change and look at practical processes that can be put in place to open access, increase agency, and foster a sense of belonging for all.

 

IAFF 6503 Negotiation Skills

This course helps students hone in those aspects of their negotiating style that stand in the way of maximizing their negotiation outcomes. It is based on classic Interest-Based negotiations theory with a focus on practical application and self-reflection. It is a highly interactive course composed almost entirely of a series of group exercises with varying degrees of complexity and then debriefing of students' performance. Therefore, there will be minimal presentation of concepts. Students are expected to read the book and other assigned materials uploaded onto the course's Blackboard page BEFORE the first class. Regardless of whether the course is given online or in person, students are expected to come ready with copies of their worksheets and exercises to work with.   In addition to the assigned book, we will be using proprietary materials from the Harvard Law School Program On Negotiations in class. Students will therefore need to purchase their copies of the exercises for $6 total. Unfortunately, these exercises cannot be purchased by students independently since each team will get a different set of confidential instructions depending on which team they end up joining.

 

IAFF 6503 International Supply Chain Fundamentals

This course will introduce students to the fundamental operations of global supply chains across manufacturing, digital, commodity and service industries.  Through readings and recent case studies students will learn the essential components of supply chains; evolution of supply chains; wholly owned versus unrelated supply chains and the stakeholders in supply chains.   In addition to building a foundation in supply chain operations, each case study will demonstrate the supply chain's relevance to current policy issues in security, green energy transition, trade, area studies and international relations. 

Upon completion students will be able to research/map a supply chain, interpret articles and news sources about supply chains and assess their relevance to geopolitical events and policy. No prior business or economics background is necessary.

 

IAFF 6503 Cross-Cultural Communication 

This is a graduate-level skill course designed to help you better understand and analyze the dynamics of communication across continents.   This is a unique time to delve into CCC principles and practices because COVID-19 and its variants and persistent conflicts and wars are changing the way the world is communicating across cultural barriers, and also and more importantly, these events and developments  are hence posing new CCC challenges not seen before.  The latter will most certainly change the way people from different cultures relate to one another in their quest to enhance collective cooperation and coordination to confront new threats and vulnerabilities whether at a personal or mass level.  Furthermore, my CCC graduate seminar is designed to give you, the students and global citizens and future leaders, unique skills to manage and manage and resolve conflicts whether personal, private, or public.  This course/seminar will utilize my academic and professional international security and foreign policy experience to enhance your CCC skills in more ways than one. 

 

IAFF 6503 Political Risk Analysis 

Political risk – broadly understood as the possibility of politically related uncertainty affecting an objective – has the potential to shape outcomes along a spectrum of domains. This specific type of risk emanates from various sources and is increasingly becoming recognized as an essential consideration for entities with interests (commercial or otherwise) in the international sphere. Political risk is often an ambiguous subject that can be analyzed using various methods. 

As such, this course takes a multi-disciplinary approach drawing from international relations theory, economics, risk management, intelligence, and strategic communications and applies it to relevant, real-world problems. Emphasis is placed on strategies that measure and mitigate political risk in a range of environments at the macro and micro levels. This course connects theory, research, practice, and empirical evidence in order to address the complexities of political risk analysis and it draws on academic literature while also focusing on the development of practical knowledge and skills that are applicable to both the public and private sector.

 

IAFF 6504 Intermediate Conversation - Russian 

Intermediate Proficiency Russian is intended to improve the students’ skills in Russian (speaking, listening, reading and writing) through different activities - students’ interviewing each other, working in discussion groups, watching Russian TV news program, listening to the news in Russian, reading newspaper articles from Russian press or Internet, doing translation exercises on the vocabulary studied and the grammar reviewed, performing dialogues etc.

 

IAFF 6504 Int Proficiency - Arabic

This course is meant to develop Arabic language proficiency. The course will introduce the students to various Arabic media sources and will engage them in conversations on hot topics of the day that relate to the Arab world. It also allows for comparisons in coverage provided by Arabic news sources with western media. Every class will open up with a discussion of recent news being featured in the Arab world and proceed with discussing articles and news clips in breakout sessions that allow the student to advance their language fluency. The course will tackle all aspects of Arabic language proficiency including writing, oral presentation, and listening comprehension.

 

IAFF 6504 Intermediate Conversation - French

The primary objective of IAFF 6504 is to develop professional language skills for international affairs students and to train students to read and discuss international and cultural issues in French. The emphasis of the course is on reading comprehension and conversation skills. This course uses current news and international issues in French as a basis for training students to read magazine and newspaper articles, to watch and to understand the French news from a French TV channel as well as to discuss topics in French. Class time will be devoted to reading, discussion and vocabulary building activities.

 

IAFF 6504 Intermediate Conversation - Spanish

Students with intermediate-level proficiency may take these courses to improve their language ability and to prepare for the language proficiency examination that will take place at the end of the course. In order to enroll in these courses, students must first take the online diagnostic test in the corresponding language and achieve a score in at least the intermediate-level range.

The course is based on the premise that linguistic competence and cultural knowledge are equally necessary in order to advance in your acquisition of the language. Thus, it aims to increase your overall Spanish language proficiency as well as your cross-cultural competence and awareness, i.e. your ability to critically understand, reflect on, and analyze political, social, and cultural events and manifestations of Spanish speaking societies, and to relate them to your own society and culture.

 

IAFF 6504 Intermediate Conversation - Chinese

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Chinese language skills for international affairs students and others who desire to improve their Chinese proficiency at the specified level and beyond, depending upon the participants.

 

IAFF 6378 Sharia and State in Egypt

The course would consider the interaction of the structures of a modern state with the Islamic legal heritage: How does a complex state with an array of bureaucratic and legal structures to cover education, resource allocation, criminal law, family life, etc--but also a state that proclaims Islam the official religion and the principles of the Islamic sharia as the main source of legislation--handle religion? The course would examine the questions raised comparatively and then focus specifically on the Egyptian experience. Parts would be conducted in conjunction with a similar class at AUC through teleconferencing and zoom.  Joint parts would involve small group interaction, including a week-long simulation at the end in which students from the two institutions form teams to draft suggested reforms to Egypt's family law, the area where the most contentious debates about religion and state focus.

IAFF 6108 International Development Policy

This course examines the scope and nature of international development assistance and the challenges currently facing development agencies. It surveys development theory since Bretton Woods and the Marshall Plan and considers how changes have been reflected in the operational strategies of leading bilateral and multilateral donors. Then the focus of the course will shift to the methods and tools that characterize the work of principal donors, from needs assessment and project design to evaluation. The effectiveness of development assistance will be an important theme of this course, in particular how mixed results have brought methods and concepts into question and how agencies are responding to this challenge.

 

IAFF 6118 Nuclear Security Policy

This graduate seminar course introduces students to major themes and debates in the contemporary study of nuclear security, from a wide array of perspectives, including historical, theoretical, practical, and international. It provides students with the technical and conceptual tools needed to understand the role nuclear weapons play in international politics. It includes a historical overview of the nuclear age, including a discussion on the evolution of nuclear strategy and the introduction of a new nuclear lexicon, the global nuclear arms race, and the development of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The course covers a wide range of contemporary nuclear challenges, including nuclear security/terrorism, non-state actor nuclear challenges, Iran, DPRK, and the role of nuclear weapons in international politics, paying particular attention to future U.S.-Russia/U.S.-China relations, and India-Pakistan-China relations. 

 

IAFF 6118 Data Analytics for International Affairs

This course provides a foundational overview of data analytics in the social sciences. Students will be introduced to concepts in data, statistics, and research methodology. The course will then explore how to use and interpret descriptive statistics; how to measure, categorize, and evaluate variables; where to find data for analysis; and how to critically evaluate quantitative research. Students will learn how to conduct basic analyses using the R programming language. 

Analytical thinking is essential to evidence-based policymaking. This class will teach you how to critically evaluate arguments based in data, as well as run your own basic analyses to develop well-informed policies. This course is quantitative in nature but does not require advanced mathematical knowledge or programming skills. However, the course necessitates the time, effort, drive, and initiative associated with acquiring a new hard skill.

 

IAFF 6118 The Ethics of Foreign Aid

This class will explore the ethical issues surrounding foreign aid. We will address questions such as: Are individuals in wealthier countries morally obligated to give resources to people in poorer countries, and if so, how much? Sometimes aid comes in the form of "development assistance" with political conditions attached. Are wealthy countries and international financial institutions ever morally justified in attaching these conditions? If so, when, and what kinds of conditions is it morally permissible for them to attach? How should we evaluate the morality of NGO aid programs that provide valuable goods and services, but also become complicit in wrongdoing within the communities they aim to help and/or make those communities dependent on foreign aid?

 

IAFF 6118 Global Energy Markets

This course will explain how global energy markets work and influence energy prices, energy infrastructure investments, and international affairs. Students will quickly learn that energy markets are far from static. The course will cover the physical and financial markets of oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, coal, liquefied natural gas, natural gas liquids, petrochemicals, and electricity will be covered in-depth. The course will also discuss how seasonal and long-term changes like climate change, Covid-19, and geopolitics affect energy prices of fuels and metals in global and regional energy markets.

 

Students will learn the differences between physical and financial energy markets and the interplay between each concerning prices. The instructor will also discuss forward transactions and how energy derivatives (futures, options, and swaps) can hedge physical energy prices and manage market volatility. Energy traders, exchanges, price discovery, liquidity, market manipulation will also be covered. Students will pursue their interests in energy markets at the regional or country level through group presentations and individual papers.

 

IAFF 6118 Special Topics in Intl Affairs International Law

This course will cover the fundamental underpinnings of international law, with a focus on Public International Law, and address specialized topics ranging from environmental law to the law of war. At the end of the course, students should be conversant with the international legal order and have a strong understanding of the law’s applicability to international issues.

 

IAFF 6122 Development Policy & Practice

This course is restricted to students in the International Development Studies Program. It focuses on the practice and policy of international development and is tailored toward preparing students for their Capstone applied research projects with international development organizations. By the end of the course, you will have developed your own development project proposal. Throughout, we will be considering what types of approaches make the most sense in different circumstances, what constraints exist, and how to be ethical, adaptable, and responsive in our work. In the first half of the course, topics covered include the project cycle, gender, social inclusion, ethics, and developing theories of change. In each case, we will be both learning the mechanics of these processes while also critically analyzing them. We will also be considering complexity in development, the role of civil society organizations and investigative journalism in advancing positive change, and the forms that US international development assistance takes. In the second half, the course interjects a review of the architecture of international development, including foundational agreements guiding development practice. We will build upon the practice of the first half by including exercises in developing logical frameworks, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation, as well as exposing ourselves to examples of development policy implementation by non-traditional donors. The course will end with an opportunity to pitch your project to your colleagues for feedback prior to submitting your final assignment.

This course is intended for first year IDS students only.

 

IAFF 6138 Democracy & Governance Development

Does democracy matter? Promoting democracy, human rights and governance has been one of the highest priorities for international development agencies like USAID since the 1990s; the US budget for democracy assistance is now more than $2 billion/year. At the same time, the global wave of democratization peaked in about 2010; since then there has been a steady increase in the number of authoritarian regimes and their influence around the world. This course examines  the origins, manifestations and implications of this authoritarian shift for developing countries and development agencies, with an emphasis on developing practical professional skills that prepare students for careers in development agencies and international organizations. Lectures and readings will be based on current issues in development and democracy assistance; with assignments focusing on the design of programs in various sectors of democracy assistance. Guest lecturers currently working in relevant private, public and non-profit organizations will be featured in approximately half of the class sessions.

 

IAFF 6138 Gender and Development

This graduate-level seminar will begin by examining the evolution of theoretical approaches regarding gender and development and the debates that have emerged over how to promote gender equity and rights across the gender spectrum. We will then consider some of the key issues in the field of gender and development and the challenges and successes that development practitioners have experienced in addressing gender inequalities. Throughout the course, we will seek to identify general patterns and lessons with broader applications as well as to recognize differences within and between societies. We will use a combination of academic sources, international development reports, and other materials produced by development practitioners to ground our discussions and study how organizations have sought to implement gender-sensitive approaches to development. The assignments are practical and relevant to professional work in the field of gender and development.

 

IAFF 6138 Private Sector Development

Almost every government in the world would now say that: “the private sector is the engine of growth”.  Yet in some countries, the private sector thrives, while in others it struggles in a poor enabling environment.  Some private sectors contribute vibrantly to social objectives, while in other countries increases in inequality seem to be accompanying private sector development. So what does it take to encourage effective and ethical private sector development in developing countries?  What can governments and development partners do to encourage such development, and what mistakes from past lessons should they avoid?  Can foreign investment make a positive contribution to growth and public revenues and can it support the expansion of social services as well as economic development?  What should governments do with accumulated assets from a previous era dominated by state-led strategies – privatization, sales of shares, management contracts?  Is the history in this area encouraging or alarming?

 

This course aims to equip students to analyze these issues and become current with the range of current approaches being pursued.  The class will be in seminar format, avoiding lectures as much as possible, and students will be expected to participate actively in class.  Significant amounts of group work will take place in class.

 

IAFF 6138 Gender & Economic Development

This course examines contemporary economic development and its ties to gender. Within economic development, gender and other categories of identity such as ethnic group, disability status, age, and educational level link both to inequalities and responses to them. To study gender and economic development, this course will explore: workforce opportunity, resource access, policy funding, asset ownership, care work distribution, and trade liberalization as well as related policy and decision-making. Students in this course become familiar with recent analyses of the relationships between gender and economic development from a range of sources and disciplines, as well as the relationship of economic to social development. Students also learn to provide their own recommendations concerning policies, programming, and practice.

 

IAFF 6138 International Development Management and Tools

International Development Management: Processes and Tools is designed to socialize students into international development management. It gives students opportunities to learn and apply skills and tools specifically developed for international development. It will challenge the origins and definitions of international development. The course investigates key theories, perspectives and approaches, and provides students with training in specific international development management tools and processes through team projects with international development organizations.

 

IAFF 6138 Violence, Gender, & Humanitarian Assistance

This course examines the issues, challenges, policies, and interventions related to one of the most complex protection concerns in humanitarian settings, gender-based violence. Students will develop a practical understanding of the scope of violence that women and girls face in conflict and disasters and explore programmatic interventions to prevent and respond to such violence across sectors. This course will also address trends in gender and humanitarian settings including evidence-based interventions, policy initiatives, and the role of global feminist and women’s movements in emergency work.

 

IAFF 6138 Localizing Humanitarian Action

In 2016, the United Nation’s Grand Bargain articulated a vision that humanitarian action should be “as local as possible, as international as necessary.” Localization refers to putting local actors and crisis- and conflict-affected populations at the center of humanitarian action. Localization is a cross-cutting issue that affects humanitarian policy, coordination and financing, and practices such as accountability, capacity-building and participation in humanitarian action. Despite a stated commitment to the goal of localization, institutional, political, and practical factors hinder its full policy implementation. In this course, we will examine the multi-dimensional nature of localization, analyze factors that impede its full realization, unpack assumptions and biases about local actors and localized response, and explore the effectiveness of localization in cases where localized aid delivery has been piloted. Our approach will be to examine humanitarian action from the bottom-up, by considering the roles, responsibilities, and effectiveness of local actors, such as refugee-led organizations, and regional actors such as Africa CDC and area-based humanitarian coordination hubs. Students will work on a research project that analyzes and assesses how localization has been implemented in COVID-19 responses.

 

IAFF 6139 IDS Capstone

The Capstone Project provides an opportunity for second-year students in the International Development Studies Program to undertake research related to a specific problem faced by a development organization. During the spring semester, capstone teams plan their research, implement it, analyze the results, do a public presentation of their work at the Elliott School, and submit deliverables to the capstone client as well as a final paper to their capstone professor.

 

Over the course of the spring, each team will need to complete any unfinished work from the fall, including the completion of the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the work to be done for their client.  In addition, the teams will need to plan, implement, and write up their research.  The professors will develop a regular schedule with each group to be updated on the team’s progress (in person and by email) and also to provide feedback.  In particular, professors will work with teams to ensure that they have a viable research plan and methodology and that they implement the plan and methodology accordingly.  By the end of the semester, all groups will have completed the equivalent of an international development consultancy for an organization engaged in the field.

This course is intended for graduating International Development Studies MA students only. Registration restricted to graduate students only. See department for meeting time and location.

 

IAFF 6143 Science and Technology Policy Analysis Seminar

Many of the most important and salient policy decisions taken by governments—whether for war or peace, whether they address everyday needs or long-term global grand challenges—involve science and technology. S&T is at the heart of debates regarding climate change; immunization against diseases such as COVID-19, measles, and rubella; decisions involving nuclear weapons; space exploration; cybersecurity and the generation and diffusion of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and gene-editing technologies like CRISPR; the widespread use of robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and advanced energy storage technologies; the internet of things (IoT); advanced manufacturing and the oncoming of the 4th industrial revolution (I4.0); energy policy and the transition to a carbon neutral economy; and many more. The second in the sequence of required core courses for the ISTP program, this seminar course offers the opportunity to go deeper and ask more probing questions about select contemporary policy topics like those listed above. The course will take an international perspective and provide opportunities for comparative analysis across both developed market economies and emerging economies.

IAFF 6141 is a prerequisite for this course.

 

IAFF 6146 Introduction to Space Law

There are five international treaties specifically on space law. Most advanced space-faring nations have complex national laws and regulations implementing the various obligations under those treaties. However, space exploration, use, and exploitation is rapidly changing with the advent of technological capability spreading quickly among all nations and often involving the private sector alongside the more traditional governmental uses of space. Space is risky and complicated and the law is only slowly catching up to handle new problems. This course will develop a comprehensive understanding of the international treaties as well as exploring the evolving legal issues of new government and commercial initiatives such as using the Moon’s resources, advanced telecommunications, servicing spacecraft, placing weapons in space, and the threats of serious accidents in orbit. 

 

IAFF 6153 Science, Technology, and National Security Policy

A broad, complex, and multidimensional set of factors contribute to the ability of states to use science and technology to advance their national security. This course examines how effectively states, and the United States in particular, develop policies designed to translate science and technology into strategic advantage. To assess these factors, the course addresses a range of issues including innovation, revolutions in military affairs, globalization and international economic integration, technology transfer and export controls, changing global security dynamics, and the impact of emerging technologies on defense industries and military power.

While there is general agreement on the fundamental contributions of science and technology to national security, the field of security studies still lacks a coherent and foundational body of literature that addresses these interrelationships in a systematic and comprehensive way.

 

Our analysis begins with the interwar period, considering how effectively the great powers adapted to rapidly changing technology and assessing analytical frameworks for addressing these issues. The course subsequently addresses many of the key historic and current science, technology, and national security policy issues including science and technology in World War II, developing thermonuclear weapons, missile and satellite technology, airpower, counterproliferation, robotics, cyberpower, and governance of science and technology. Because there is no accepted canon of literature in this field, your readings for this course are quite wide-ranging and will require your focused attention and active engagement to synthesize.

 

IAFF 6158 Space Economics

This course is aimed at developing an understanding of the economic theory and practical issues underlying public, private, and international space programs and ventures. It covers the entire spectrum of investments from R&D to commercial operations in space as well as terrestrial uses of space applications. The focus is on using analytical tools that non-economists working in policy positions should know in order to be able to evaluate economic analyses and make informed and balanced judgments on economic aspects of space ventures.

 

IAFF 6158 Issues in Space Policy

This course will address international space policy issues facing the United States and provides an overview of common tools (e.g., orbital mechanics, cost estimation, regulation) used in space policy making and implementation.  The course will address current policy and regulatory issues facing U.S. space programs with regard to dual-use technologies, including export controls, spectrum management, and licensing of commercial remote sensing systems.  The course will involve student team presentations of important space functions such as space launch, remote sensing, environmental monitoring, missile warning, satellite navigation, and communications.  Short problem sets (requiring basic algebra) will be used to illustrate the physics of the space environment.  The class will conclude with a group exercise involving the interaction of diplomatic, intelligence, military, and economic interests in a hypothetical space conflict.

 

IAFF 6162 Security Policy Analysis

This core course for Security Policy Studies (SPS) MA students is designed to analyze, assess, and make astute judgments about contemporary security policies. It examines how social scientific concepts, methods and analytic techniques are used to identify and prioritize security threats, risks, and challenges, and develop effective responses to them. During the course, students will analyze:  how security policies are formulated, including how policy options are developed and how to choose between them; how data and research influences security policy, or not; how policies are implemented, including how to identify and evaluate the effectiveness of different policy tools; and  frameworks for thinking about the ethical dimensions of security policies. The course surveys these issues across nine important dimensions of security policy concerning strategy, military power, nuclear stability, armed conflict, gender dynamics, political instability, political economy, environmental change, and cyberspace. It also introduces students to some important techniques for conducting security policy analysis, including net assessment, systems analysis and operations research, nuclear stability analysis, conflict analysis, scorecard diplomacy, counterfactual analysis, forecasting, network analysis, scenario analysis, and temporal network analysis. The course ends by discussing how some of these techniques could be useful for designing a Global Capstone project (IAFF 6898/6899, https://elliott.gwu.edu/global-capstone).

This course is intended for first-year Security Policy Studies graduate students only. Also register for one discussion section: IAFF 6162.30-.35.

 

IAFF 6163 Transnational Security

This course focuses on transnational security issues and considers how many of these myriad challenges constitute threats to global peace and security. The combined effects of such transnational security issues as drug, weapons, and human trafficking, piracy, acts of terrorism, infectious diseases, and deliberate environmental destruction, along with such critical enablers as corruption, and money movements, are not strangers on the world stage. What is new is their global reach and destructive potential. As a result, these issues have made policy makers consider different conceptions of security and, at times, to move beyond sole considerations of state sovereignty into the realm of human security.

 

IAFF 6169 Homeland Security

The mission of the course is to develop a better understanding of the present and future direction of the domestic and international aspects of securing a nation from current and developing threats, both man-made and natural. The course develops an understanding of operational, diplomatic, and technical strategies and policies, including those of other nations and of international organizations and groups such as the United Nations, the European Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.  The course investigates such efforts as the Proliferation Security Initiative and other arms control and weapons control agreements, treaties, and organizations. At the national level the course will address the role of the Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Council, and the whole of government in securing national borders, countering illicit trafficking in weapons, precursors and people which may constitute a threat. The course will examine the threats from foreign terrorist organizations (FTO), homegrown violent extremists (HVE), and domestic violent extremists (DVE) and the roles of foreign and domestic intelligence organizations and law enforcement.  The implications of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and synthetic biology in both the threat landscape and deterrence, disruption, and defeat options will also be assessed.

The course encourages debate and examines the roles and complexity of risk-based decision making, and the balance between privacy and security and related laws and authorities in both in the United States and abroad.

 

IAFF 6171 Intro to Conflict Resolution

Conflict is an integral part of who we are as people. It can be destructive as seen in countries like Rwanda, Mali, Venezuela, Haiti, and South Africa, but it can also be constructive by creating spaces for social and political changes. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand the drivers of conflict and the mechanisms to resolve them. In this course, students will examine different approaches to analyzing the root causes, dynamics, and consequences of conflict, and subsequently, design interventions with the aim of resolving conflicts. We will approach this topic through both theory and practice; the theories will allow us to contextualize our studies within the larger debates and driving questions in the field, while the practice will allow us to ground our studies in real-life examples to ensure that our ideas are practical and implementable.

 

IAFF 6173 Security and Development (Cormier)

What is the impact of war on society and how can outsiders work together to help communities and states build back better? Fragility is multi-dimensional; a myriad of challenges emerge during conflict and in the immediate aftermath and solutions must be equally holistic to be effective. Transitional states are crowded places as local, regional, and international actors rush in to help, profit, gain influence, and or spoil reform efforts. With distinct values, capabilities, and perspectives, these external inputs must be balanced with and adjusted for local realities, capacities, and aspirations. Through this course, you will learn and apply a set of practical tools to develop international development interventions that first and foremost do no harm and at their best achieve sustainable, demand-driven impact that positively transforms the lives of those who have lived with war. Equipped with field-based case studies, a real world professional experience, and practitioner critique; you’ll have a credible basis for pursuing a career in a transitional environment.

 

IAFF 6186 Great Power Competition

This course examines the past, present, and future of how the most powerful states in the international system—the great powers—compete and cooperate in international relations. It begins by introducing different ways of defining and measuring relative power, and covers the key theoretical models of great power competition. It then examines various facets of great power competition, including its relationship to geography, technology, economics, ideology, ideas and identity, and the global “periphery.” The course also examines the foreign and national security policies of individual great powers in detail, including those of the United States, the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and a number of near- or potential-great powers, such as India, Japan, and European states. The course closes by looking forward to some emerging present and future challenges in great power competition. Through this course, students will gain a thorough understanding of how the great powers protect their security and pursue their interests in international politics.

 

IAFF 6186 Cyberspace, Conflict, & War

This course examines the relationship between cyber technology, conflict, and war. After introducing key concepts regarding cyber technology, strategy, and policy, the course will examine the relationship between information technology and various aspects of domestic and international conflict and war. These include offense and defense in cyberspace, cyber conflict and escalation, deterrence and compellence, espionage, conventional military operations, nuclear weapons, popular mobilization and repression, and terrorism, among others. These various aspects of cyberspace and conflict will be highlighted through in-depth examinations of key academic and policy debates as well as crucial contemporary case studies. Through this course, students will gain a thorough understanding of how cyber technology is shaping domestic and international conflict.

 

IAFF 6186 Emerging Threats

This course surveys emerging risks and challenges that threaten human, national and global security. It does so by paying special attention to a range of military and non-military issues where science and technology play a major role. Topics covered include how to think about the concepts of risk and securitization; revolutions in military affairs and hybrid warfare; the challenges of nuclear security and terrorism; conflict in cyberspace; the uses and consequences of robotics, drones and autonomous weapons systems; military developments in biotechnology; artificial intelligence; as well as non-military issues related to demography, urbanization, public health, the environment, and outer space. For each issue, the course examines the politics of scientific and technological evolution by identifying the key drivers of change; the nature of threats at the local, national, and global levels; and how existing security policies should be reformed in response. A technical background is not required but will enhance one’s understanding.

 

IAFF 6186 Illicit Finance & Security

Transnational illicit non-state actors, corrupt state officials, and governments conducting illicit activity all exploit the international financial system to move and hide funds, raise revenue, or procure and pay for goods. The illicit dimension of the globalization of finance has sparked states and international organizations to develop systemic regulatory frameworks and expand and refine the use of targeted sanctions. This course will examine the operations, mechanisms, and vulnerabilities of illicit financial networks and U.S. and multilateral efforts to counter them, highlighting the key role of the private sector in contributing to the success or failure of financial measures. The course will also examine the use of finance as a foreign policy tool in support of security interests such as resolving conflict or influencing decision making.

 

IAFF 6186 U.S. Grand Strategy

What should the United States do in the world? How has it, and how should it? This course examines U.S. grand strategy, meaning the economic, diplomatic and politico-military means that the state can employ to pursue its principal interests. The course first assesses the components of grand strategy: what are US interests, the means to achieve them, and the challenges to doing so. It then analyzes recent US grand strategies—the Cold War and 4 subsequent US administrations (Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump). Finally, the course evaluates three principal options as the basis for grand strategic debates today. Whatever your passion or specialty in global affairs, this course gives both the framework within which it will be pursued, and the trade-offs that will have to be considered. It's the big picture.

 

IAFF 6186 Insurgency & Counterinsurgency

This course provides students with an introduction to the nature of insurgency, some key historical examples of how insurgencies were defeated, and analytical frameworks and tools for understanding and countering insurgencies. It is intended to provide a solid foundation for further inquiry into related topics such as irregular warfare, security and development, stabilization and peacebuilding, responses to terrorism, and conflict resolution. The course examines the multidisciplinary nature of insurgencies, and introduces students to the major concepts and issues of the topic, explores the main types of insurgencies, and analyzes in depth a number of strategic cases of counterinsurgency to help students understand the complexity and the variety of this form of warfare in the modern world. The course provides key frameworks for analysis for the study of insurgency and explores possible solutions to a number of current conflicts.

 

IAFF 6186 Countering Violent Extremism

Violent extremism is not a new phenomenon, but it has grown to become a serious threat to international peace and security over the past two decades. The attack on the US Capitol on June 6th, 2021, made it abundantly clear that the threat has long been an American problem as well. By promoting, supporting, or committing acts which may lead to terrorism, violent extremism and leads to terrorism in driven political aims and often seeks to defend an ideology by advocating racial, national, ethnic, or religious supremacy while opposing core democratic principles and values. Prof. Alistair Millar’s course focuses on governmental and nongovernmental efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism. It provides students with an introduction to a burgeoning academic literature. The course charts the evolution of these efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism (P/CVE), particularly over the past fifteen years or so. This course also offers an opportunity to critically examine and discuss domestic and international P/CVE policies and programs around the world. The course will be useful for anyone with an interest in counterterrorism and/or preventing violent conflict, as well as a wide array of disciplines and issues including diplomacy, development assistance, peacebuilding, criminology, psychology, sociology, and political science. The course will connect theory to practice through discussion, research, and examinations of several case studies throughout the semester.

 

IAFF 6186 Nuclear Strategy

With the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons receded into the background of international politics. A quarter century later, Russian revanchism, expansionist Chinese claims, and North Korea’s expanding nuclear arsenal have raised the salience of nuclear weapons in US defense policy.

 

This course provides an advanced survey of nuclear deterrence theory and practice. It begins with the basics of nuclear weapons design and effects, and fundamental nuclear strategy. Second, the course surveys major developments in nuclear strategy, including assured retaliation, flexible response, the evolving technology of the late Cold War, nuclear ethics, and finally contemporary nuclear force structure and deterrence policy. Third, the class will examine contemporary theory for deterring aggression and nuclear use, including the integration of nuclear and nonnuclear forces, arms control, counterforce planning, and debates about whether and how the United States should reduce its reliance on nuclear forces in the future. Last, the course will examine the nuclear policies of Russia, China, and North Korea and US policies for deterring each.

 

Because the course covers academic deterrence theory, primary policy documents, and empirical readings about policy and practice, the reading requirements are high.

 

IAFF 6186 Future Crimes

This graduate course seeks to understand the interplay of Internet technology and criminal activity. While offline violent crime is usually linked to cities, and more specifically, to definite spaces in cities, future crimes in our online space reach all of us everywhere, even if we don’t do anything, simply because we are connected (and interconnected) online. Technology is a double-edged sword: as much good as it brings, it can also create unprecedented possibilities for crimes — many of which may be new and un-thought.

Given the freshness of this phenomenon, this course will seek to identify the relevant questions rather than give definitive answers. As such, it will profit from the fact that many of the ‘students’ may actually be the most knowledgeable in terms of niche aspects of the Internet, its access, and its social media applications. This means that students will have ample opportunity to use their ‘wired’ minds to be creative and innovative — perhaps sharing aspects of their online experiences to enrich the class and enlighten their fellow class members.

Some of the questions that the course will explore and refine include: Are our current understanding and existing theories of crime and crime prevention approaches, appropriate to deal with the new wave of future crimes linked to technology? Will technology increase crime exponentially, mirroring the famous ‘Moore’s Law’ of advances in computing capability? What type of crimes are we, and might we, end up dealing with as a society? Are our current legal and justice systems in the United States capable of dealing with these new crimes? Has the Internet revolution already created the path for irreversible crimes? 

Most of the topics that we discuss will be approached in an interdisciplinary manner, to stimulate students’ broader interests, as well as their analytical skills. 

 

IAFF 6186 Maritime Security and Threats

The aim of this course is to develop awareness and higher-order thinking of national and international security related issues involving the maritime sector.  This course examines the economic significance of the world’s oceans and the global supply chain as it pertains to maritime security and threats, including piracy, smuggling, natural resources, maritime critical infrastructure, disasters, terror and cyber-attacks.  Students will analyze how economic prosperity depends on the safe and efficient transportation of raw material and goods, and the impact of supply disruptions caused by natural or man-made events.  The course is designed to introduce students to international law, national security strategies, and policies used to claim and compete for natural resources in highly disputed waters and control important sea lines of communication.

 

Maritime security is a global issue built into every thread of our daily existence.  The ocean is the dominant physical feature on earth covering more than 70% of its surface.  Less than 20% of the seabed has been mapped and less than 5% explored.  It is the world’s largest habitat, influences weather and climate, and provides sustenance.  Trade by sea connected the world for thousands of years and modern day shipping supported, if not created, globalization.  The ocean and humans are inescapably interconnected with the majority of the world’s population living within 200 miles of the ocean.  The high seas belong to no one and its sheer expanse is difficult to govern and police.  Threats from state and non-state actors create a persistent risk for economic and societal disruptions.  National and international strategies to mitigate risk involves complex relationships spanning governments, agencies, non-government organizations, and private industry.

 

The course is a comprehensive investigation of the challenges and threats to the security and sustainability of all things on, in, and under the ocean.  Topics covered have sufficient breadth to warrant individual study and more in-depth research.  This is a multi-disciplinary course and proper introduction on subjects that are interrelated with shared impact and consequences for the future.

 

IAFF 6186 Military Power & Effectiveness

In international relations theory, military power is often argued to be the primary determinant of international outcomes. But what is military power? Traditional realist theory treats it as an amalgam of several indicators of states’ aggregate power, such as population size, industrial might, and number of troops and weapons. Newer realist theories add factors such as the offense-defense balance, determined by variables like military technology and geography. Yet there are many cases where the materially stronger or better armed side did not prevail. The reversal in the outcomes of insurgency wars over time—from the stronger side winning about 90 percent of the time in the mid-nineteenth century, to the stronger side failing to win 75 percent of the time since 1975—should be enough to convince skeptics that victory (to paraphrase Napoleon) does not always go to the big battalions.

This course explores what makes the militaries of some states highly proficient fighting machines, whereas others seemingly cannot execute the simplest tasks. Although the effectiveness of navies and air forces could also be examined, the focus of this class (following the bulk of the literature) is on ground forces. We will examine their usage in conventional operations as well as non-conventional ones such as counterinsurgency and special operations.

 

IAFF 6186 Cybersecurity

This course will provide an overview of current issues in the realm of cybersecurity, focusing on cybersecurity strategy, threats, conflict and policy. We will begin with an understanding of the power inherent in cyberspace and consider the policy issues facing the civilian, military, intelligence and private business sectors in dealing with offensive and defensive cyber activity. Through the use of case studies, we will examine previous and ongoing cyber conflicts to understand their impacts on international relations. We will analyze the roles of several different types of actors in cybersecurity including state actors, non-state actors such as criminal and terror groups and private sector responses. This course will also examine the issue of cyber deterrence, and the unique aspects of offensive and defensive cyber activities by all cyber actors.

A technical background is not required and basic aspects of cyber operations will be discussed in the introductory class sessions.

 

IAFF 6186 U.S. National Security

This course examines the problems and issues confronting American national security policymakers using a combination of empirical information and conceptual analysis. The course content includes conceptual definitions of national security, policymaking processes and debates, national security institutions and organizations, relationships between foreign, economic and defense policy, and civil-military relations. The course presumes familiarity with American politics and U.S. history and encourages students to keep up on relevant world events by reading legitimate news sources. At the end of the semester, students should be able to critically engage, understand, articulate and explain ideas and arguments about the U.S. national security process and the complexity of American strategic interests and decision-making processes.

 

IAFF 6186 International Peacekeeping

This course analyzes contemporary international peace operations, including those conducted by the United Nations and regional organizations such as the African Union and European Union. It examines the political and organizational dynamics shaping these operations, as well as some of the major contemporary debates about them. Part 1 explores several fundamental questions about peace operations: What are they? What are they for? Who conducts them? How should they be evaluated? Part 2 then addresses the main policy debates shaping contemporary peace operations around the world. Topics covered include force generation, the role of regional security organizations and private security companies, gender issues, policing, use of force, civilian protection, organized crime and partnership peacekeeping. The course will enable students to critically assess these operations and to develop a realistic empathy for the constraints that confront decisionmakers in complex environments characterized by uncertainty and limited resources.

 

IAFF 6198 The Economics of U.S.-China Trade

The U.S. and China are the world’s two largest economies and have had a complex economic relationship for decades. While mutual dependence and competition have been defined this relationship since the late 1970s, new economic tensions, decoupling initiatives, and the pandemic have introduced even greater strains in recent years.

 

This course will provide students with an understanding of core issues underlying this consequential and dynamic relationship, focusing on developments within the Chinese economy that have affected bilateral trade, investment, and competitiveness conditions. Emphasis will be placed on developments that have unfolded in the past four decades, starting with the China’s 1978 economic reforms and concluding with contemporary trade tensions. This course will encourage students to craft original positions by applying their course learnings, knowledge of international trade, and research and writing skills to contemporary U.S.-China trade issues. It will also provide students the opportunity to critically evaluate the literature and policy positions, draft original policy briefings, and debate issues that are likely to impact future U.S.-China trade conditions.

Students must have taken ECON 6283 or have permission from the instructor.

 

IAFF 6198 Rising Market Powers and 21st Century Globalization

This course introduces undergraduate and graduate students to the political economy of policymaking at the intersection of global markets and foreign affairs. The majority of economic growth is now occurring in countries that are not historically wealthy high-income democracies, and where many of the textbook assumptions regarding how markets function often do not hold. Focusing on rising market powers, including China, Brazil, India, and Russia, the course examines how their unique approaches to global markets and economic governance will shape the global geopolitical competitive landscape moving forward. By surveying historic waves of globalization and development strategies, this course will offer students the tools to evaluate how states influence market dynamics, industrialization, and globalization in the contemporary world. The goal of this class is to make students conversant in the dominant themes of modern political economy, preparing them to do original research and analysis in the development subfield. It will also provide students with a substantive knowledge of the history of economic development, including a contextual knowledge for the role of institutions, ideas, and political leaders in forging national economic policies in a financially and commercially interdependent world.

 

IAFF 6198 Macroeconomic Policies: A Case Study Approach

The course makes use of macroeconomic theory and international practice to analyze real world policy questions and country cases. We will develop a simple and flexible macroeconomic framework within which a number of policy issues will be examined, including: evaluating monetary, exchange rate, and fiscal policies in different economic contexts; identifying economic and financial vulnerabilities; analyzing policy spillovers between countries; and designing economic policies for countries in or near crisis. We will also consider the macroeconomic impact of the ongoing COVID crisis and its implications for macroeconomic policies going forward. Relevant country cases will be presented and discussed in class. Students will also make group presentations on country case studies.

 

IAFF 6208 Communication and Modern Diplomacy

This course examines the expanding public dimension of modern diplomacy.  We will explore how diplomats and political leaders communicate in a world of rapid globalization, new diplomatic actors, complex policy issues, digital technologies, increased risk, and uncertain boundaries between foreign and domestic.  During the semester, we will also discuss behind the scenes diplomacy of internal government foreign policy communications, meetings with foreign diplomats and leaders, and negotiations. This seminar is designed to serve the interdisciplinary interests of students in global communication, international relations, and media studies.

 

IAFF 6212 Strategy and Leadership

The MIPP Strategy and Leadership course focuses on major issues in international affairs confronting policymakers in the United States and around the world, and it explores the evolving nature of international leadership in the twenty-first century. We examine the diverse ways in which power is exercised on the international stage not only by large organizations such as nation states and transnational corporations, but also by “micro-powers” including activists, insurgents, and entrepreneurs who are shaking up the global order. Through discussions with academic and policy experts, the seminar intends to integrate insights from the participants’ other coursework as well as the participants’ own diverse experience and knowledge.

The course also explores lateral leadership – a leadership approach that is critical for managing expert, networked teams on complex problems that require adaptation and learning. That is, it is an emerging leadership style for the current century where power is diffused and global challenges are complex and transnational. Students will put into practice horizontal leadership by researching and designing a policy proposal, submitting class exercises, and presenting their final class project.

This course is the first section in a two-course MIPP leadership sequence. The second semester will focus on implementing the strategic leadership project that addresses a critical issue in a student’s professional field, using lateral leadership skills to build alliances and buy-in. Where the first semester emphasizes the fundamentals of theories of leadership and how to design leadership studies, the second semester emphasizes the skills needed to pursue and put into effect a full project proposal.

 

IAFF 6213 Leadership Capstone

The MIPP Leadership Capstone is the second course in the two-semester MIPP leadership program, building on IAFF 6212 Strategy and Leadership. This two-semester sequence explores the evolving nature of international leadership in the twenty-first century, focusing on horizontal leadership – a leadership approach that is critical for managing expert, networked teams on complex problems that require adaptation and learning. That is, it is an emerging leadership style for the current century where power is diffused and global challenges are complex and transnational.

In the Leadership Capstone, students practice horizontal leadership skills by researching and designing an individual leadership project that addresses a critical issue in their professional field, using lateral leadership skills to build alliances and buy-in. While the first semester of the program focused on strategic thinking and team leadership skills, the second semester emphasizes the development of skills in research, program design and evaluation, coalition building, proposal writing, and oral presentation.

 

IAFF 6222 Advanced Data Analytics

In this course, students will further their knowledge and understanding of how to use advanced statistical analyses to test theories and hypotheses in the field of international affairs.  This course builds on basic linear regression models to include an introduction to various multivariate models that require added specifications and considerations.  Such models include maximum likelihood models, logit and Probit models for binary dependent variables, event count models, survival models, and an introduction to time series.

By the end of the course, students will be able to adequately describe how and when to use these models, and produce a research paper that employs one of these models to test theories found in the study of international affairs.

 

IAFF 6222 International Security Politics

This course is an introduction to the dynamic and deeply important field of international security.  The purpose is to provide you with an overview of the theoretical and policy debates in the field of international security.  During the course, we will examine a variety of contemporary security issues to gain an understanding of these threats and their impact on international security in the 21st century.

 

EHS 6227 Introduction to Human Health in Space

With the development of commercial space-capable manned launch systems, human access to outer space is becoming more broadly available for research, commercial and recreation purposes.  As access expands, feasibility of new and proposed ventures should be assessed from the lens of human productivity (and survival). This course introduces aerospace medicine concepts relevant to human spaceflight, in the context of next generation human space exploration.   We will discuss human physiology and the effects of the space environment on human health and performance, review current areas of research relevant to human performance in space, and explore the gaps between current capabilities and exploration mission systems requirements.  No prior medical background is required. Taught by Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Claudia Ranniger.

 

IAFF 6318 Current Issues in East Asia

This course will focus on several interlinked current major issues in East Asia, which due to their contingent nature are difficult to incorporate into regular curricular offerings. The course will examine how US policy towards four key players in the region, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China, has evolved during  the past 20-some years, and how interactions with the other players is affecting these policies.

US policymakers responsible for these countries and diplomats from these countries will be invited as guest speaker to the class in order to elaborate on a current issue facing their respective bureaus.  Students will then be asked to develop responses to these requests, and present approaches to resolve these issues through their papers and class presentations.

The course will examine the policy questions against the background of some of the overarching themes. These often don’t drive the debates on the issues of the day, but are important in the understanding of the background and the broader perspective.  1) Taiwan’s transition to democracy and its implications for today.  2) Japan’s rise as a responsible stakeholder, and its uneasy historical relations with some of its neighbors.  3) The tension between South Korea’s emergence as a regional power and its quest for unification. 4) China’s rise and its implications for the East Asia region as a whole.  

 

IAFF 6338 Transatlantic Relations

This graduate seminar examines the origins of the transatlantic alliance and key institutions; the role of interests and values; the impact of political, economic and security changes since the end of the Cold War; and the prospects for cooperation on the global challenges the transatlantic community faces in the 21st century. For decades after World War II, the alliance between Europe and North America was critical to global security, prosperity, and expanding democracy.  With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the transatlantic agenda shifted to a broad range of global challenges from climate change to violent extremism.  Since then, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, China's growing global influence, and electoral victories by populist leaders in the United States and Europe have renewed questions about the fate of the transatlantic alliance.  This seminar will analyze challenges and opportunities for cooperation and prospects for the future from a policy perspective and develop skills to write persuasively to influence policy debates.

 

IAFF 6338 Ukraine and Georgia between Russia and the West

The annexation of Crimea and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War has regional and global ramifications, as did the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. The course examines these conflicts and places them in the wider context of Russian-Western relations, relations between Russia and its neighbors, and the relations between the West and Ukraine and Georgia. The policies of the relevant parties are analyzed against the backdrop of processes and issues such as global and regional security orders, the continuing turmoil after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, NATO and EU enlargement, the “post-Soviet” countries’ aspirations to define their national identities and roles in a wider European security order, Russia’s changing foreign policy, energy security, and domestic politics (including issues such as democratization, corruption, and the rule of law). The course combines a historical perspective with application of International Relations theory on issues such as national security decision-making. The course focuses on the time period since the end of the Cold War and discusses future scenarios.

 

IAFF 6338 Central Asia: Regional Environment and Domestic Evolutions

This class offers an introduction to today’s Central Asia by looking at how the broader region—the five post-Soviet republics, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Xinjiang—has been developing both domestically and on the international scene. While focusing mostly on the post-Soviet space, it will tackle the issue of the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the future of Uyghurs under Chinese domination. The class will explore the region’s status as a backyard of the new Russia-China condominium and the place left for the US in this configuration. Central Asia illustrates the rise of a post-U.S. unilateral order dominated by Beijing and Moscow but also featuring regional powers such as Turkey or the Emirates. The class will then turn to analyze both the challenges of economic development for low- to middle-income countries and the long-term environmental, water-related, and climate-related transformations. It will also discuss political (authoritarian mechanisms, regime changes and social contestations, and rise of populism and nationalism) and societal evolutions, especially in relation to Islam/Islamism.

 

IAFF 6338 Populism and Illiberalism in the Broader Europe and in the United States

This course introduces students to the rise of populist and illiberal movements in the broader Europe and the US. It comprehensively explores the multifaceted challenges faced by liberal democracies today, such as global democratic backsliding; the rise of authoritarian leaders; the electoral successes of far-right parties and movements; the emergence of illiberal governance and its political economy; the role of gender issues; and the central place of social media in spreading disinformation, hate speech, and conspiracy theories. Students will develop skills in reading and analyzing quantitative and qualitative research at the intersection of the social sciences and international affairs, and will enhance their ability to identify the structural changes that challenge democratic institutions.

 

IAFF 6358 Latin American Geopolitics and Geoeconomics

This course will analyze the geopolitics and geoeconomics in Latin America. At the intersection of both lies geopolitics as an instrument to promote economic goals and geoeconomics as a tool to advance geopolitical goals. Both seek to alter the balance of power and influence of the countries in the international arena. How has this interaction evolved as domestic politics underwent turmoil and the international arena drastic changes?  What are the implications for the future? The course will consist of lectures, student presentations, talks by guest speakers, and research work. By the end of the semester, students will have a solid grasp of facts, concepts, and trends and develop critical analytical skills.

 

IAFF 6358 Human Rights Systems: Interamerican, UN & EU

This course will examine the origins, structure and functions of the United Nations human rights system and the main regional human rights systems (the Inter-American and the European systems). It will focus on their work in protecting and promoting human rights and their respective procedures, effectiveness, and challenges. Special attention will be given to the legal instruments and to analyzing how human rights standards and diplomatic practices have evolved and have been institutionalized in international relations. The course will also focus on the political conditions under which these systems developed and how they have led to a reinterpretation of the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention.

The objective of the course is to enable students to understand human rights systems and their different procedures and remedies. Students should be able to identify the legal instruments for each system and to analyze their application and their effectiveness in protecting human rights.

 

IAFF 6358 Economic Development in Latin America

This course will examine the economic development of Latin America, with special emphasis on why it displays some distinctive characteristics and a weaker economic performance in recent history. Starting with broad foundations of economic growth, the course will approach the growth contribution of the region’s natural resource base, factors underlying low productivity increases, macroeconomic instability, income inequality, and the shape of its economic integration with the rest of the world. The course then examines the regional sub-par macroeconomic performance in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the end of the super-cycle of commodity prices. Finally, the course deals with the consequences of the evolving global economic order on Latin America’s development and policies appropriate to boost inclusive growth in the region. Besides understanding how Latin America fell behind other regions in terms of inclusive growth, the course wants to provide students with tools to approach those and other related issues.

 

IAFF 6378 Religion & Society in the Middle East

Religion intersects deeply with social and political life in the Middle East, but in ways that vary considerably over time and place. In this course we will consider the relationship between religion on the one hand and law, social life, political regimes, political participation, authority, and public and policy debates on the other. There will be a strong intra-regional comparative focus but also an attempt to draw comparisons with other regions.

 

IAFF 6378 Arabic for International Affairs

This course is designed to enable students of international affairs to pursue successful careers in the Foreign Service, government, private or international agencies, as well as in fields such as politics, economics, media, business and finance. The course is designed to help students develop their communicative abilities and expand knowledge about Arabic for international affairs, customs, traditions and ways of life, to the extent that they will be able to perform tasks that a native speaker carries out in formal and informal situations. This course is for students at the high-Intermediate level and focuses on conversation skills, speaking, listening, writing, reading comprehension, continued vocabulary acquisition and terminology related to international affairs.

 

IAFF 6378 Oil: Industry, Economy, Society

Petroleum is one of the largest and most controversial industries worldwide, and affects the fortunes of companies and nations. Many of the largest firms in the world are in petroleum.  This course takes a multidisciplinary approach (primarily political economy and management) to oil and its effects on business, nation-states, and the world economy. The first half of the course adopts a top-down viewpoint, examining the global oil environment. The second half is more bottom-up, using cases to grapple with issues such as governance, transparency, and security.  The course is conducted in a mixture of seminar and lecture formats. A group proposal, paper, and presentation, as well as active class participation are expected, and constitute over half the assessment.

 

IAFF 6385: Security in the Horn of Africa

This course examines the complex political and security landscape of the greater Horn of Africa, including Sudan and South Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia. It will explore crises but also opportunities. Students will assess the policy choices confronting African governments, regional organizations, and international actors as well as the role of civil society as countries face critical transitions and threats ranging from internal conflict to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

IAFF 6502 Formal Briefing

This course explores the why, what, and how of creating and presenting information to an audience. It will start with why briefings are an important mode of expression, and why storytelling is the single most important consideration in conceptual design.

 

IAFF 6502 Public Speaking

Many aspects of daily life involve public speaking. Whether you are giving a toast at a social event or making a presentation before a professional audience, good public speaking skills are important, and can help you to make the right impression and further your career. This course will provide students the opportunity to learn (1) how to structure and organize a speech, (2) the elements of proper delivery, (3) the various speech types, (4) how to use visual aids, (5) how to encourage audience participation, and (6) how to identify topics. Students will present several speeches on different topics.

 

IAFF 6502 Negotiation Skills

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, communication across cultures becomes critical to understanding the globalized workplace. This course will examine practical approaches to understanding culture and effective communication strategies through scholarly work, discussion, interaction, and presentation.

This course helps students hone in those aspects of their negotiating style that stand in the way of maximizing their negotiation outcomes. It is based on classic Interest-Based negotiations theory with a focus on practical application and self-reflection. It is a highly interactive course composed almost entirely of a series of group exercises with varying degrees of complexity and then debriefing of those exercises. Presentation of materials will be minimal while the bulk of the work in class will be in applying the theories and principles that students have studied before coming to class. It is therefore not suited for blended or hybrid learning.  In addition to the assigned book, we will be using proprietary materials from the Harvard Law School Program On Negotiations in class. Students will therefore need to pay $6 in class for these materials. 

 

IAFF 6502 Principles of Financial Statement Analysis

This is a one credit skills course designed to provide an introduction to the analysis and interpretation of corporate financial statements for ESIA graduate students.  The course is tailored to the needs of each class so it can best benefit students with little to no economic or business experience or study as well as those with practical study or experience that wish to hone or refresh their skills.  Emphasis will be given to placing financial information and its analysis within an actual market context.  Students will learn basic financial analysis tools and apply them on real world examples and will work in teams on a focused course-long project in an area of interest within the context of a simulated business environment.  Attention will be given to the analysis of multinational corporations and the financial performance of businesses in an international context as well as current topics and issues in finance of interest to the students. 

 

IAFF 6502 Public Opinion/Sentiment Analysis

The goals of the course are to make students conversant in survey research, better consumers of public opinion data and gain the ability to use survey data in their work—all without having to become a statistician! This course will offer specific examples of how public opinion data has been used to inform policymakers. This is followed by a comparison of the validity of traditional survey research methods versus the more newly arrived social media sentiment analysis. It will provide an overview of the different methods of data collection as well as an introduction to sampling and questionnaire design and quality control measures. Students will then be exposed to how data is interpreted and used to form the backbone of pithy and cogent analyses. The course will conclude with an exercise in which students will review a data set and draft a policy memo based on a particular theme.

 

IAFF 6502 Writing for International Practitioners

Complex problems, rapidly changing conditions, and unexpected obstacles require national and international security decision-makers to respond in real-time. Their ability to make informed decisions depends on the timely delivery of clear and concise written products to inform and influence their thinking. Successful writers create a foundation for decision and action by efficiently providing context and logically presenting evidence. Effective policy writing anticipate a leader's needs and identify challenges, present options, and uncover opportunities. If you are considering a career in national and international security policy, this course will provide you with the tools to produce efficient and effective written communication. We will use short written assignments, exercises, and tailored feedback to hone the skills of accuracy, brevity, and clarity. Specific skills include the ability to start with your bottom line, explain complex information, assess confusing and conflicting sources, develop recommendations, and write with proper syntax and grammar.

 

IAFF 6502 Introduction to R

This course will help you familiarize yourself with the R programming language and RStudio integrated development environment (IDE). R is a free tool primarily used for statistical analysis. R is open source and benefits from several contributions (“packages” or “libraries”) made by independent researchers. Statistical analysis is critical for effective, evidence-based policy making, and R counts itself among the highly sought-after skills in the policy realm. In this class you will learn the fundamentals needed to create effective R scripts, run basic analyses, and troubleshoot (or debug) your code. You will also acquire the tools necessary to further develop your R skills to attain advanced-level programming knowledge.

 

IAFF 6502 Role of the Embassy in Foreign Policy

United States foreign policy abroad is conducted abroad through the U.S. diplomatic mission in a given country, usually an embassy headed by an ambassador and staffed with officials from a variety of U.S. Government agencies.  This course is designed to familiarize students with the structure of the embassy, its authorities, and its activities in support of U.S. interests.  They will develop their understanding through a role-playing model in which each student will assume the role of one member of the Embassy team with the instructor playing the role of the ambassador and the class dealing with hypothetical issues based on real events in the professor’s experience.

 

IAFF 6502 Research Design for International Affairs

This course introduces students to a step-by-step approach to evaluating, producing and managing policy-relevant research in international affairs.  Students practice key skills, such as how to survey existing knowledge, formulate research questions, choose analytical methods, and plan research projects.  When deployed as part of a systematic approach, these skills help students produce quality course papers and complete superior capstone projects or theses.  More importantly, a systematic approach to research will help them manage research throughout their professional careers.  By the end of the course, students will demonstrate a grasp of research design by delivering a proposal for a research project.

 

IAFF 6502 Communicating Global Policy Issues

This course is designed to help students improve their communications, media and advocacy skills. Knowing how to convey compelling messages to targeted US audiences is key to strengthening America’s global leadership in the US and around the world. This hands-on communications, media and message training “PowerTalk” workshop will help students become more effective spokespeople and advocates with the media, policymakers, engaged public and other key stakeholders. Learn communications and media techniques, including: preparing a basic communications and advocacy strategy; developing and delivering effective messages; preparing for media interviews and briefings; anticipating and managing difficult questions and situations; using stories, visuals and facts for maximum effect; and avoiding common pitfalls. Students will also explore the basics of how to amplify their message via social media, strategic partnerships, influentials, and other best practices.

 

IAFF 6503 Alternative Analysis: Red Team

Members of both the 9/11 Commission and the WMD Commission expressed concerns that the U.S. intelligence community lacks imagination, does not "think outside the box," or challenge prevailing assumptions when analyzing threats to national security. Alternative analysis—often referred to as "red cell" or "red team”—uses various analytical methodologies to provide a more complete picture of issues than traditional analysis alone. Students will also be introduced to various methods or war gaming formats in which red teaming is applied. Students will be required to apply a variety of techniques used in red teaming and participate in a multi-sided war game.

 

IAFF 6503 Formal Briefing

This course explores the why, what, and how of creating and presenting information to an audience. It will start with why briefings are an important mode of expression, and why storytelling is the single most important consideration in conceptual design.

 

IAFF 6503 Developing Effective Proposals

The course will provide students with the nuts and bolts of developing effective, winning proposals, including overview and management of the proposal development process, including project design and field assessments, analyzing a procurement opportunity, preparing a technical proposal and budget, developing a monitoring and evaluation plan, and planning project staffing. The course will explore ways to work in partnership with local organizations, stakeholders, and the project’s ultimate beneficiaries. Team work is an essential aspect of developing successful proposals. Practitioners will gain a better understanding of ways to create better development projects, anticipate challenges, work with a variety of stakeholders, and address challenges effectively.

 

IAFF 6503 Negotiation Skills

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, communication across cultures becomes critical to understanding the globalized workplace. This course will examine practical approaches to understanding culture and effective communication strategies through scholarly work, discussion, interaction, and presentation.

This course helps students hone in those aspects of their negotiating style that stand in the way of maximizing their negotiation outcomes. It is based on classic Interest-Based negotiations theory with a focus on practical application and self-reflection. It is a highly interactive course composed almost entirely of a series of group exercises with varying degrees of complexity and then debriefing of those exercises. Presentation of materials will be minimal while the bulk of the work in class will be in applying the theories and principles that students have studied before coming to class. It is therefore not suited for blended or hybrid learning.  In addition to the assigned book, we will be using proprietary materials from the Harvard Law School Program On Negotiations in class. Students will therefore need to pay $6 in class for these materials. 

 

IAFF 6503 Writing for International Policymakers

This course will involve short written assignments, as well as presentations and discussion, aimed at developing the writing and analytic skills necessary to support, inform, and influence policymakers.  The emphasis will be on clear, concise and persuasive analytic writing. Students will write policy memos, press statements, talking points, prepared Qs & As, a Radio Address, and an Op-Ed. 

 

IAFF 6503 Structured Analytic Techniques

This course introduces students to qualitative structured analytic techniques that they will be able to use across disciplines to help solve analytic problems. This course shows students how to use these techniques to approach analytic challenges and produce useful, insightful analysis. In numerous hands-on exercises, students practice specific skills to help them overcome mindsets, organize information, diagnose problems, explore different ways of thinking, and avoid surprise.

 

IAFF 6504 Intermediate Proficiency in French Language

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional French language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6504 Int Proficiency - Russian

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Russian language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6504 Int Proficiency - Arabic

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Arabic language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6504 Int Proficiency - Spanish

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Spanish language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6504 Int Proficiency - Chinese

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Chinese language skills for international affairs students.

IAFF 6101 International Affairs Cornerstone

This course covers political, economic, and social theories of international relations and their applications to practice.

Registration is restricted to graduate students in International Affairs, Global Communication, and International Policy and Practice programs only. This course is intended for first-year graduate students only. Also register for one discussion section.

 

IAFF 6102 Global Gender Policy

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining the development of global policy aimed at achieving gender equality. The course provides an overview of the concept of gender equality, its capture in global policy and approaches to advancing implementation of select thematic areas of gender equality policy at global and country levels. Participants will gain knowledge of the genealogy of the current architecture of global gender equality policy, learn to critique policy approaches taken to advance gender equality and become familiar with the various strategies and tools used to advance implementation of these policies. Discussion of thematic policy areas includes formal economy employment, international security policy, education, health, violence against women, and responses to humanitarian crises.

 

IAFF 6106 Nuclear Weapons

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and over two decades after the end of the Cold War, we find ourselves in a world in which nuclear weapons are still with us. Why do we have nuclear weapons? Why do countries seek nuclear weapons and how do they get them? How are nuclear weapons used, both in times of peace and in times of conflict? How is the spread of nuclear weapons controlled? Will we ever live in a world free of nuclear weapons? This course is designed to provide students with a basic orientation to the technologies, policies, and politics to answer these and other questions. We will examine the underlying technologies of the nuclear fuel cycle, production and accounting of nuclear weapons-usable fissile material, and the life cycle of nuclear weapons. We will discuss nuclear strategy and deterrence, particularly in how they relate to nuclear force planning and operations and the prospect of nuclear terrorism. Efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons through nonproliferation, cooperative threat reduction, nuclear forensics, and counterproliferation are compared in the broader effort to control and reduce nuclear weapons through diplomacy and the means of verifying arms control and reduction agreements. Finally, we consider the prospects for moving to a world free of nuclear weapons.

 

IAFF 6108 International Development Policy

This course examines the scope and nature of international development assistance and the challenges currently facing development agencies. It surveys development theory since Bretton Woods and the Marshall Plan and considers how changes have been reflected in the operational strategies of leading bilateral and multilateral donors. Then the focus of the course will shift to the methods and tools that characterize the work of principal donors, from needs assessment and project design to evaluation. The effectiveness of development assistance will be an important theme of this course, in particular how mixed results have brought methods and concepts into question and how agencies are responding to this challenge.

 

IAFF 6118 Reinventing the United Nations

There is broad agreement that, despite more than twenty years of concerted reform efforts, the United Nations – including the many agencies that comprise what is known as the UN system – is not meeting expectations in areas critical to the management of global affairs. The course seeks to increase participants’ knowledge of the web of international organizations created over the past 70 years for the purpose of managing a widening range of global issues. In addition, the intent is to enable participants to gain a practical understanding of what is required to design competent organizations capable of managing the global challenges of the 21st century. The two principal course projects – the group presentations and the final policy paper – are designed to encourage participants to consider these issues from the perspective of the policymaker and the foreign policy practitioner.

 

IAFF 6118 Leadership & International Affairs

The course will focus on the leadership challenges that Elliott School graduates are certain to confront in their professional lives. The course will begin with a consideration of case studies of famous international leaders, and how concepts of leadership have changed over time. Part II of the course will then move into examining the skill sets required of successful leaders at all levels of career development, drawing on examples and case studies from international settings. Part III of the course will look at the exercise of those skills in different institutional settings, including inside the US government, across diverse cultural boundaries, and in the leading of NGOs, international organizations and key governments. Case studies will also figure prominently. Part IV will look at tomorrow’s challenges for international leaders and includes the development of a personal leadership plan by each student.

 

IAFF 6118 Managing the World’s Water

Water has been at the center of development of societies since the dawn of civilization. Over the millennia humankind has succeeded in utilizing water services to irrigate farmlands, serve large urban centers with convenient services and greening of deserts.  In the past hundred years we have been paying increased attention to the costs of inaction of respecting the water cycle; with pollution, floods and landslides causing hugely expensive losses of life and property in developed and developing countries alike. The course's learning objectives and outcomes include: Learning about water concepts, institutions, and policies; Applying these to understand water management challenges for the resource, services and ecosystem dimensions; And being in a position to take an informed position on the ongoing debates on adaptation challenges of climate change.

 

IAFF 6118 Applied Qualitative Methods

This class introduces students to the main methods of qualitative research: interviewing, taking oral histories, running focus groups, doing surveys, and participant observation. Students will also discuss the ethics of qualitative research, looking at some studies that have been criticized as unethical (the infamous Stanford prison experiment, an undercover study of gay sexual practices, and a deceptive study of undergraduate dorm culture, for example). Students will spend part of the semester conducting their own research projects, which they will present to the class. Students will learn about qualitative research through "how-to" readings, reflective articles by practitioners, guest presentations, and by practicing the techniques we read about. From time to time the instructor will share his own research materials and discuss dilemmas he faced in his research.

 

IAFF 6118 Research Methods in Global Gender Issues

This course surveys mixed research methods with a focus on gender issues in the context of international development. Choosing which methods to use to collect information, and deciding what about gender is most relevant to improve conditions for both men and women as well as to assess development interventions are important elements of planning, policy, and projects. This course explores research techniques pertinent to gender mainstreaming and integration in particular, and international development in general. The objective is to provide an overview of theories and methods relevant to conducting research concerning development projects and programs. The course will encourage an exploration and critical examination of specific research skills and approaches.

 

IAFF 6118 Global Justice

Within the domestic context, we often ask ourselves questions about justice: Is a proposed law fair? What would be a just tax policy? As a citizen, how should I engage in the politics of my country? What values—freedom? equality? democracy?—should our political and social institutions promote or embody? In this class, we will address these kinds of questions as they arise in the global context: What would make the world order just? What principles and values should guide states’ foreign policy? How should individuals and other non-state actors engage in global politics? What do we owe to people in other countries? We will read political theory scholarship on global justice from a variety of different perspectives, and use the ideas therein to analyze real-world political issues such as poverty, humanitarian intervention, the refugee crisis, and globalization. By the end of the term, you will be able to make coherent, informed arguments of your own (both orally and in writing) related to (some of) the major ethical debates surrounding global politics today.

 

IAFF 6118 International Law and the Use of Force

The use of force is one of the major focal points at which international law and politics intersect.  This course provides an overview of various approaches to the legality of war, theories of just war, and humanitarian law, as well as important case studies including humanitarian intervention and emerging issues in cyber-security and automated weapons. Readings will emphasize both the legal and political aspects of the use of force in the contemporary international system. We will examine questions such as: What are the consequences of using force without regard for the legal basis of the decision? Is international law inadequate to reflect the needs of contemporary politics? Is “force” even understood uniformly in the international system? By the end of the course, students should have a good understanding of the difficult issues involved in using force both effectively and legitimately today given the increasing transparency of global politics and the trend towards institutionalized responses.

 

IAFF 6118 International Law

This course will cover the fundamental underpinnings of international law, with a focus on Public International Law, and address specialized topics ranging from environmental law to the law of war. At the end of the course, students should be conversant with the international legal order and have a strong understanding of the law’s applicability to international issues.

 

IAFF 6118 Global Electricity Markets

This course teaches students about the structure and operation of the global electricity markets and regulatory institutions. The class will discuss infrastructure, costs, operation, and environmental aspects of existing power technologies in existing bilateral markets and new electricity markets created by restructuring and privatization efforts in Argentina, the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Students will learn about the electric energy, capacity, and ancillary markets and the challenges of integrating renewable into the grid. Topics covered will include cost models for power generation, transmission, and distribution and the rate of return regulation for electric utilities. Students will learn how electricity is priced using locational marginal pricing and about transmission congestion affects prices and how to use financial transmission rights to manage risk in electricity markets. Students will be able to explore regional and country issues by making group presentations and course papers; graduate students are required to do a more comprehensive paper or project.

 

 

 

IAFF 6121 Cornerstone Seminar: IDS

This course is intended for 1st year International Development Studies students only.

 

IAFF 6137 Development Studies Pre-Capstone Workshop

This course is intended for 2nd year International Development Studies students only.

 

IAFF 6138 Humanitarian Governance & Policy

We currently face a growing number of disasters and emergencies around the world and unprecedented levels of humanitarian need exacerbated by dozens of highly violent, protracted conflicts, the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change. From flash flooding and forest fires to civil wars, these crises cause widespread devastation, migration flows, mass human suffering, and economic disaster. Humanitarian action seeks to save lives, preserve human dignity and minimize suffering resulting from conflict, natural phenomena, and epidemics. 

This course examines humanitarian governance, coordination and policy, focusing on the knowledge and skills required by practitioners to formulate humanitarian policy and coordinate humanitarian response. Humanitarian response is extraordinarily complex and involves many actors, including local groups, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), such as United Nations agencies, which seek to respond simultaneously to natural disasters (e.g. earthquakes and hurricanes) and/or complex emergencies (e.g. war and other violent conflicts). As such, policymakers and practitioners need to understand the landscape of the humanitarian field, assess mandates and capacities, and analyze the political implications of responses in designing and implementing humanitarian policy.

The course begins by introducing students to the global humanitarian system and providing an overview of the main actors, their roles and mandates; the types and levels of humanitarian crisis; and the main standards, principles and legal frameworks for humanitarian assistance. The course continues by considering key issues in the implementation of humanitarian assistance, including political considerations, diplomacy and early warning systems, and operational challenges such as negotiating access, timely response; funding; coordination and cooperation across scales; and the relationship between humanitarian assistance, peace and development. Students will engage these topics and dilemmas through course lectures and readings; case studies of current humanitarian crises; guest lectures from practitioners working on humanitarian policy and coordination in U.N. agencies, USAID, and NGOs; and applied learning.

 

IAFF 6138 Civil Society & Development

Since the end of the Cold War, academics, international development practitioners, and national policymakers have expended a great amount of energy and resources studying and promulgating the idea and practice of civil society. Civil society, of course, is not a new phenomenon. Religious groups, economic cooperatives and associating for interest or protection stretch back into ancient history. The Enlightenment gave civic organizing a place alongside government in early discussions of democracy and inalienable rights. The end of the Cold War and increased prevalence of international terrorism has ensured that the concept of democracy promotion and support of civil society organizations and activities remains high on both the international development and national security agendas. This course will equip students with theoretical, practical and operational perspectives on the concept of civil society and what it means in the context of international development. By the end of the course, students should be able to broadly define and describe a civil society framework, particularly how it relates to national and international democratic development. They should also be able to evaluate a country’s civil society sector as well as individual civil society organizations (CSOs), identify appropriate interventions and be in a position to evaluate their impact both negatively and positively towards strengthening civic activity and organizations.

 

IAFF 6138 Agriculture & Sustainable Development

What is agriculture’s contribution towards sustainable development and the UN’s Agenda 2030? Our graduate seminar will investigate this question by first examining the Green Revolution and its uneven impact across the developing world. We will then focus on agricultural development policies and projects in Africa, where the majority of the population continues to secure their livelihoods from the agricultural sector. Throughout the course, we will move beyond a singular focus on productivity and competing approaches of agricultural development - e.g. biotechnology and organic agriculture - in order to analyze agriculture’s multiple pathways towards sustainable development. Taking into account consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and persistent gender inequality, we will ground our discussions using case studies of existing or planned projects and initiatives, with the ultimate goal of sharpening your skill sets to contribute towards sustainable agricultural development from the household to the policy levels. The course includes the opportunity to work with both the United Nations Foundation as well as the International Institute of Sustainable Development. We will also take advantage of the outdoors as much as possible.

 

IAFF 6138 Human Trafficking

This course will examine the global problem of human trafficking, a complex socio-economic, political, human rights, and law enforcement issue that affects individuals and communities in nearly all countries of the world. Countries can be an origin, transit, and/or destination for trafficked and exploited individuals. Vulnerabilities such as statelessness, poverty, the lack of economic opportunities, globalization, weak national laws and policies, displacement, strict migration policies, corruption, gender-based violence, and discrimination – among others – create conditions that allow traffickers/exploiters to take advantage of individuals and keep them in situations of forced labor and/or commercial sexual exploitation. Combating human trafficking requires a wide spectrum of activities usually referred to as the “4 Ps” – prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership, along with “4 Rs” – rescue, raid, rehabilitation, and reintegration.

 

IAFF 6138 Monitoring & Evaluation for Foreign Assistance Programs

Increasing focus continues to be placed on effective, rigorous monitoring and evaluation of U.S. foreign assistance efforts. Implementers of foreign assistance programs are required to identify robust and refined criteria to monitor and evaluate their work, with overall efforts under increasing scrutiny by policymakers. However, there is still a vibrant discussion on how best to monitor and evaluate many aspects of foreign assistance work, and the field of monitoring and evaluation is currently being shaped by debates over research design, methodology, and use. This course will explore the basic concepts and theories behind monitoring and evaluation and the tools/techniques used for measuring assistance programs. Throughout the course, we will explore various thematic questions: How can change be measured in complex systems? How should indicators of change be selected? How can evaluators strike a balance between learning and accountability? What makes for valid evaluation design, and are randomized control trials the ‘gold standard’ of foreign assistance evaluation? Can causality be isolated? How can evaluation findings be used?

 

IAFF 6138 Anti-Corruption Strategies in International Development

Corruption may be the biggest business in the world today, involving as much as $3 trillion/year, or 5% of the total global economy. Much of this vast amount of money is - directly or indirectly - extracted from developing countries. Instead of being used to improve health care and education, build roads, provide security or meet other keenly-felt needs, it enriches predatory domestic elites, and enables the continuing rise of repressive authoritarian regimes. In this class students will learn about the range of efforts by states, multilateral organizations, civil society and bilateral donors to curb and counteract corruption, with the goal of assessing which approaches and strategies are and are not working, and proposing ways to make them more effective. To do this, readings and lectures will cover both theoretical issues and the practical aspects of designing, implementing and managing anti-corruption programs, and will draw on an eclectic mix of sources including academic literature, implementer reports and first-hand accounts of how corruption is experienced in developing countries. Students will make in-class presentations on the readings and can expect that about half the class sessions will feature a guest speaker sharing his or her experiences working on this issue.

 

IAFF 6138 Gender and Development

This graduate-level seminar will begin by examining the evolution of theoretical approaches regarding gender and development and the debates that have emerged over how to promote gender equity and rights across the gender spectrum. We will then consider some of the key issues in the field of gender and development and the challenges and successes that development practitioners have experienced in addressing gender inequalities. Throughout the course, we will seek to identify general patterns and lessons with broader applications as well as to recognize differences within and between societies. We will use a combination of academic sources, international development reports, and other materials produced by development practitioners to ground our discussions and study how organizations have sought to implement gender-sensitive approaches to development. The assignments are practical and relevant to professional work in the field of gender and development.

 

IAFF 6138 Bottom-Up Development

From William Easterly to Dambisa Moyo, and from Jeffrey sachs to Paul Collier, development thinkers have expressed both considerable frustration with policies, programs, strategies and institutions charged with alleviating poverty, as well as the need to focus additional resources on or reformed actions toward populations at the ‘bottom.’ Despite the analyses and fretting, and resultant actions, hundreds of millions, if not more than a billion, of the earth’s population remains tragically poor, somehow managing to survive on $2.00 a day or less. This graduate seminar takes these analyses, frustrations and unsatisfactory results as a starting point to delve into prospects for more effective poverty alleviation through the application of ‘bottom-up’ approaches. After briefly examining failings of foreign aid from both grassroots and top-down perspectives, the focus turns to bottom-up approaches, casting an eye on evolutionary aspects, critical components, and current applications. Subsequently, attention is placed on how poor people manage to survive, and in some cases get ahead, with few resources, before turning to an examination of several increasingly noted mechanisms responding to poor people’s needs for assistance to improve their economic standing. The seminar closes with consideration of the pros and cons of these mechanisms and approaches, and their prospects for achieving poverty alleviation from the bottom-up.

 

 

IAFF 6138 Strategic Environmental Management

While many in the business, government, and non-profit sectors view environmental protection as a threat to competitiveness, others see win-win opportunities. This course provides students with graduate level knowledge and real life case examples that will allow them to design profitable corporate environmental management strategies. After taking this course, students will be able to:1. Formulate profitable corporate environmental management strategies. 2. Evaluate the effectiveness of green differentiation advantage strategies.3. Explain how corporate environmental strategies are affected by: stakeholder pressures, distinctive country contexts, and variations in business-level characteristics. And 4. Explain the opportunities/challenges of climate change trends for businesses.

 

IAFF 6141 International Science and Technology Policy Cornerstone

This graduate-level seminar will begin by examining the evolution of theoretical approaches regarding gender and development and the debates that have emerged over how to promote gender equity and rights across the gender spectrum. We will then consider some of the key issues in the field of gender and development and the challenges and successes that development practitioners have experienced in addressing gender inequalities. Throughout the course, we will seek to identify general patterns and lessons with broader applications as well as to recognize differences within and between societies. We will use a combination of academic sources, international development reports, and other materials produced by development practitioners to ground our discussions and study how organizations have sought to implement gender-sensitive approaches to development. The assignments are practical and relevant to professional work in the field of gender and development.

Registration is restricted to graduate students only. Undergraduates may enroll only with permission of the instructor.

 

IAFF 6145 US Space Policy

U.S. Space Policy - This course will address international space policy issues facing the United States and place them in context with broader technological advances and the changing strategic environment. The course will address current bureaucratic and regulatory issues facing U.S. space programs with regard to dual-use technologies, including export controls, spectrum management, and licensing of commercial remote sensing systems. Conflicts over dual-use technologies, such as space launch, remote sensing, satellite navigation, and communications, will be examined for their implications for a range of national interests. The course will also address strategic choices facing other nations in space activities, including dependence on U.S., European, and Russian space capabilities, developing indigenous space programs, and use of commercial space capabilities.

 

IAFF 6148 Space and National Security

Space and National Security - A broad, complex, and multidimensional set of factors contribute to the ability of states to use science and technology to advance their national security.  This course examines how effectively states, and the United States, in particular, develop policies designed to translate science and technology into a strategic advantage.  To assess this issue the course addresses a range of factors including innovation, revolutions in military affairs, globalization and international economic integration, technology transfer and export controls, changing global security dynamics, and the impact of emerging technologies on defense industries and military power.  Major themes addressed throughout the course would form parts of an integrative framework for understanding the interplay between science, technology, and national security policy.

 

IAFF 6152 Energy Policy

This course focuses on the patterns of international energy policy-making and implementation, energy geopolitics, and the emergence of environmental and institutional challenges that will fundamentally reshape the way global society extracts and consumes energy. It is organized around historical patterns, current issues, and future prospects. An integrating theme is the role played by science and technology.

 

IAFF 6158 Artificial Intelligence and Non-Proliferation

The objective of this class is to explicate the mechanisms underlying the non-proliferation framework created in the aftermath of World War II and assess whether those mechanisms would work if similar non-proliferation frameworks were created to deal with emerging technologies including artificial intelligence and human genome editing. During the first third of the semester, the class will review the mechanisms underlying the nuclear, chemical and biological non-proliferation frameworks, including elements such as treaties, inspections to assure peaceful use of technologies, export control regimes, and norm construction.  The second third of the class will examine relevant international relations theories, like offense dominance, and characteristics of select emerging technologies (fiscal and technological entry costs; extent of global diffusion; extent of dual use between civilian and military purposes).  The final third of the class will assess the extent to which elements of non-proliferation frameworks would be effective in mitigating the ill effects of specific emerging technologies.  Each student will develop a paper recommending for or against the U.S. government pursuing the creation of an element of the non-proliferation framework for one of the emerging technologies studied in the class.

 

IAFF 6158 Economics of Technological Change

This course provides an overview of important issues related to technological change that have attracted the attention of economists up to the present time. Among all social sciences, economics may be argued to have taken the longest and broadest interest in technological advancement and innovation. Examples of topics discussed include: technology markets, Schumpeterian hypotheses, market concentration and firm size as factors of technological innovation, expenditures in research and development, private and social returns to R&D, technological change and industry entry/exit, intellectual property rights, measurement of technology and innovation, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, innovation in service sectors.

 

IAFF 6161 International Security

Survey of the field of international security studies; overview of key concepts, theories, and approaches; inter-state, intra-state, and transnational security problems and the interrelated nature of these categories; analysis of security topics such as great-power relations, arms racing and arms control, crisis management, civil wars, terrorism, and gender, combined with a review of regional developments; non-military issues that have major security implications, including poverty, health, population movements, energy consumption, and climate change; the role of international organizations in promoting international security, and prospects for the future. **There are discussion sections linked to this lecture, please register for one.

Registration is restricted to Security Policy Studies graduate students only. Also register for a discussion section.

 

IAFF 6163 Transnational Security

Transnational Security - This course focuses on transnational security issues and considers how many of these myriad challenges constitute threats to global peace and security. The combined effects of such transnational security issues as drug, weapons, and human trafficking, piracy, acts of terrorism, infectious diseases, and deliberate environmental destruction, along with such critical enablers as corruption, and money movements are not strangers on the world stage. What is new is their global reach and destructive potential. As a result, these issues have made policymakers consider different conceptions of security and, at times, to move beyond sole considerations of state sovereignty into the realm of human security.

 

IAFF 6164 Environmental Security

Environmental Security - Taking globalization and the continuing Global War on Terror into account, transnational concepts, including environmental change, have led to re-interpretations of security studies. However, the precise scope and meaning of the resulting environmental security field has been the subject of debate among policymakers and scholars. Through readings and seminar discussions, this course explores how the environment influences various aspects of security, including the relationship between conflict, environmental degradation, and natural resources. Using multidisciplinary academic literature, and policy-focused reports, the course begins with an analysis of theoretical security concepts and moves to a survey of major “drivers” of environmental security including: demographics; climate change; energy and natural resources; and water. Finally, students consider scenarios of how environmental security can be integrated into U.S. defense and foreign policy decisions in the coming decades.

 

IAFF 6165 Fundamentals of Intelligence

This graduate-level seminar will discuss the basics of intelligence collection, production, and analysis and provide an introduction to the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), the authorities under which the IC operates, its role in informing U.S. national security and foreign policy, its role in implementing policy decisions, and the formation of policy and laws that guide the IC. The class will examine the IC in the context of historical, current, and expected future scenarios, and will discuss historic and potential future changes in how the IC informs and implements policy, as well as how oversight is conducted. In particular, the class will discuss the expanded role of the IC, both analytically and operationally, in the post-9/11 world, as well as the impact of the Wikileaks, Snowden, and other unauthorized disclosures in recent years.

 

IAFF 6171 Introduction to Conflict Resolution

In all human societies, conflict is an integral part of daily life, at personal, communal, national and global levels. Conflict can be constructive, focusing attention on neglected voices or social injustice, and driving cultural and political change. It can also be destructive, damaging relationships, polarizing societies or escalating into violence and war. This course is designed to familiarize students with the interdisciplinary field of conflict analysis and resolution, providing an overview of core concepts of contemporary theory and practice. The course will examine frameworks for analyzing the origins and processes of social conflict, and leading practical approaches to the conduct and evaluation of conflict resolution interventions. Our study will focus on intergroup and international levels of analysis, highlighting collective struggles over ideology and power, sovereignty, and self-determination, while highlighting the roles of culture, identity, power, relational dynamics and social structure. The first half of the course emphasizes conflict analysis; the second half emphasizes approaches to conflict resolution.

 

IAFF 6173 Security and Development

This course aims to consider the relationship between security and development across a number of issue areas. Its objective is to enable you to create your own ‘map’ of the relationship and help you to understand some of the connections and disconnections between the two fields.  The course will also allow you to deepen your understanding of one developing country and to demonstrate that knowledge through a range of products. The existence of this course reflects the fact that there is growing interest from the security field in issues that have traditionally been the purview of development. This seminar course looks at armed conflict and failed states, but it seeks to look beyond these issues as well to areas such as demography, the environment, urbanization, and trade, to see how the development-security relationship looks in these issue areas.

 

IAFF 6186 United States National Security

This course examines the problems and issues confronting American national security policymakers using a combination of empirical information and conceptual analysis. The course content includes conceptual definitions of national security, policymaking processes and debates, national security institutions and organizations, relationships between foreign, economic and defense policy, and civil-military relations. The course presumes familiarity with American politics and U.S. history and encourages students to keep up on relevant world events by reading legitimate news sources. At the end of the semester, students should be able to critically engage, understand, articulate and explain ideas and arguments about the U.S. national security process and the complexity of American strategic interests and decision-making processes.

 

IAFF 6186 Great Power Competition

This course will examine the past, present, and future of how the most powerful states in the international system—the great powers—compete and cooperate in international relations. It will introduce different ways of defining and measuring relative power, and will cover the key theoretical models of great power competition. It will then examine various facets of great power competition, including its relationship to geography, technology, economics, global governance, ideology, and the global “periphery.” The course will also examine the foreign and national security policies of individual great powers in detail, including those of the United States, the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and a number of near- or potential-great powers, such as India and the European Union. Through this course, students will gain a thorough understanding of how the great powers protect their security and pursue their interests in international politics.

 

IAFF 6186 Cyberspace, Conflict, and War

This course will examine the relationship between cyber technology, conflict, and war. After introducing key concepts regarding cyber technology, strategy, and policy, the course will examine the relationship between information technology and various aspects of domestic and international conflict and war. These include offense and defense, deterrence and compellence, popular uprisings and repression, civil conflict, propaganda, espionage, conventional military operations, and nuclear war, among others. These various aspects of cyberspace and conflict will be highlighted through in-depth examinations of crucial contemporary case studies. Through this course, students will gain a thorough understanding of how the emergence of cyber technology is and will continue to shape domestic and international conflict.

 

IAFF 6186 Coercion in Peace and War

In the 21st century, governments can use a variety of tools to compel and deter each other, from economic sanctions to nuclear weapons. Decision-makers frequently combine these tools to try to change the behavior of states and other international actors, employing what is often called a “whole-of-government” or “cross-domain” approach to coercion. In this course, students will learn to think systematically about how these tools can be combined to produce more effective foreign policy outcomes in peace and war. Using key theories of coercion, and examples from contemporary international relations, we will assess the similarities and differences, and past successes and failures of the following coercive tools: economic sanctions, political influence operations, sanctions in international organizations, cyberattacks, proxies, conventional military power, and nuclear weapons. We will also examine how policy-makers select which tool(s) to use in a specific situation, how to integrate plans to use different tools, and why policy-makers may fail to integrate planning, leading to unintended, negative foreign policy outcomes. 

 

IAFF 6186 Russia and International Security

This course examines how Russia’s security apparatus executes disinformation campaigns, political sabotage, election disruption, government subterfuge, artificial intelligence “bots” in social media, computational propaganda, and new technologies to dominate conventional battlefields. Other topics include: Pre-Soviet and Soviet military history; Russian foreign policy and grand strategy; NATO enlargement; the Ukraine/Crimean crisis and aftermath, energy security; cyber warfare and espionage; status of new Russian defense systems and military capabilities; post-Soviet States’ security and Eurasian conflicts; nuclear strategy, arms control, and missile defense; and whether the US, Russia, and China are enemies, allies, or rivals.

 

IAFF 6186 Emerging Threats

This course surveys emerging risks and challenges that threaten human, national and global security. It does so by paying special attention to a range of military and non-military issues where science and technology play a major role. Topics covered include how to think about the concepts of risk and securitization; revolutions in military affairs and hybrid warfare; the challenges of nuclear security and terrorism; conflict in cyberspace; the uses and consequences of robotics, drones and autonomous weapons systems; military developments in biotechnology; artificial intelligence; as well as non-military issues related to demography, urbanization, public health, the environment, and outer space. For each issue, the course examines the politics of scientific and technological evolution by identifying the key drivers of change; the nature of threats at the local, national, and global levels; and how existing security policies should be reformed in response. A technical background is not required but will enhance one’s understanding.

 

IAFF 6186 International Organized Crime

International Organized Crime is a graduate-level seminar, focused on developing broad critical skills and knowledge around IOC and the aspects and issues that intersect with the topic. Transnational crime will be a defining issue of the 21st century for policymakers – as defining as the Cold War was for the 20thcentury and colonialism was for the 19th. This course will involve extensive reading, research, and writing. It will also involve vigorous group discussion on the assigned readings/topic. Certain portions of what we will discuss and encounter are rich enough to warrant a dedicated course – such as illicit trafficking, money laundering, or corruption. We will examine a variety of international organized criminal groups and their illicit activities. This survey will provide a solid basis for further, more in-depth study of these attributes, functions, and entities. It will consist of academic writings, broad overview lectures, specific student presentations and contemporary readings of the issues we are studying.

 

IAFF 6186 Stabilization and Peacebuilding

The classic interstate conflicts of the past have been largely replaced by intra-state and regional conflicts involving both state and non-state actors. States and regions beset by political and economic instability provide fertile ground for nationalist, sectarian and ethnic conflict, and terrorism and organized criminal activities. In addition, the inability of many of these fragile and weak states to confront natural and man-made disasters, the effects of climate change, pandemic disease and worldwide economic shocks adds further stresses that can exacerbate conflict. This course will examine the lessons from these missions covering general principles and approaches that can be applied for stabilization and peacebuilding, required resources, the structures that have been organized to mount such operations, the gaps that remain, and the knowledge and skills the new peacebuilder needs to operate in these environments.

IAFF 6186 Cyber Threats, Policy, and Strategy

This course examines current issues in the realm of cybersecurity, focusing on cybersecurity strategy, threats, conflict, and policy. It begins with an understanding of the power inherent in cyberspace and considers the policy issues facing the civilian, military, intelligence and private business sectors in dealing with offensive and defensive cyber activity. Through case studies, it examines previous and ongoing cyber conflicts to understand their impacts on international relations. Students will analyze the roles of several different types of actors in cyber security including states, non-state actors such as criminal and terror groups, and private sector responses. This course will also analyze cyber deterrence and the unique aspects of offensive and defensive cyber activities by all cyber actors. Technical background is not required and basic aspects of cyber operations will be discussed and demonstrated as part of the introductory class sessions.

 

IAFF 6186 NATO’s Strategic Challenges

In partnership with NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (in Norfolk, VA), this class will explore the strategic environment that confronts NATO today. This includes the Trump administration’s wavering commitment to collective defense; intra-Alliance political and strategic tensions; potential “contamination” of Alliance dynamics by tensions affecting other fields such as transatlantic trade relations; the Allies’ uneven efforts to improve their defense budgets and capabilities; security challenges in Ukraine, MENA and the Arctic in the context of Russia’s strategic reassertion; NATO’s institutional reform; the transition away from Afghanistan; the strategic impact of Brexit; and the rise of the grand-strategic saliency of East Asia. Our class will combine conventional lectures with seminar discussions, field visits, and mentorship with practitioners.

 

IAFF 6186 The Chinese Military

This course focuses on the military component of China's comprehensive national power, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). We begin with an overview of Chinese national security objectives, the role of military forces   in securing those objectives, the missions Chinese leaders assign the PLA, and the military operational capabilities Chinese leaders view as necessary to accomplish those missions. Next we take a quick tour of the history of the PLA, with emphasis on the decades since the start of China’s reform era in 1979 and the ongoing effort to generate military capabilities commensurate with China’s ambitions as a rising global power. We then examine the PLA in more detail, including organization, force structure, operational capabilities, specific missions, modernization objectives, the PLA’s role in national security policy-making, and relations between military officers and civilian authorities. We will take a brief look at the other components of China’s armed forces and security services, and close with an examination of alternative futures for Chinese military power.

 

IAFF 6186 Political Violence and Terrorism

This course examines the origins, strategies, and types of terrorism and political violence. It is divided into sections on different types of terrorism from religiously motivated political violence to right-wing terrorist activity. Students will learn about the strategies used by these groups, including through case studies of individual terrorist groups. Additionally, it will examine several special topics as “lone wolf” and suicide terrorists.

 

IAFF 6186 Civil-Military Relations

The study of civil-military relations examines the relationship and interaction of the government, military and the citizenry – all of whom are crucial players in the shaping of national security policy. However, each of these institutions has its own priorities, values and purposes, yet they all must find ways to cooperate in order to protect the country’s interests, both domestically and abroad.  Moreover, each carries its own unique source of power which demands a careful balancing at the risk of subverting one of the others.  This course will examine a broad range of topics regarding civil military relations to include civil-military theory, practice (both in western and non-western societies) and various socio-political issues that influence civil-military relations in the 21stcentury (mass media, contractors and the “civ-mil gap”).  The course will also explore recent case studies (Iraq and Afghanistan) to analyze how all the major players in the civil-military relations dynamic have functioned in two major applications of military force.  Overall, this course will help inform the statesman, professional military officer and citizen in creating a better understanding of his/her role in relation to their government and society in the policy making process.

 

IAFF 6186 Understanding United States Special Operations

This seminar is designed as a graduate course to examine the use of U.S. Special Operations Forces in support of a broad range of national security objectives. Taught by a former Special Operations officer, the course explores both historical and contemporary debates over the use of Special Operations Forces. Although primarily focused upon U.S. Special Operations from World War II to the present, the course will also briefly delve into how special operations forces have been used by other countries throughout history.  Questions and topics to be discussed include: what are special operations; what are the different types of U.S. Special Operations Forces; what are the different roles and missions of each force element; how have Special Operations historically been used; how will Special Operations be used in the future; and what organizational and cultural challenges face the future force.  These topics are introduced to students using multiple heuristic tools, including lectures, discussions, case studies, policy debates, and guest speakers.

 

IAFF 6186 Early Warning and Conflict Prevention

It has long been a truism that prevention is better than cure. Support for the prevention of large-scale violent conflicts blossomed after the end of the Cold War and has grown with the recognition of the increasing interconnectedness of many contemporary threats. Yet, finding reliable strategies for conflict prevention has proven uniquely challenging. This course will address major policy and academic issues in conflict early warning and prevention. Readings will include academic literature, NGO and think tank reports, and official policy documents. Most classes will include discussion of a historical or contemporary case study, a guest speaker, and/or a practical exercise.

 

IAFF 6186 Civil Wars in World Politics

This course examines the interplay between contemporary civil wars and world politics, exploring the causes and consequences of these interactions. Students will apply concepts from international relations theory to analyze key questions concerning civil wars. For example, when do civil wars begin? How are they fought? Who intervenes in civil wars? Why do civil wars last so long? What are the consequences for international peace and stability? The objective of this course is to acquire the tools and techniques to critically analyze these conflicts and to understand the different foreign policy challenges they entail.

 

IAFF 6186 US Grand Strategy

This course examines U.S. grand strategy, meaning the politico-military continuum of means and ends that the state employs to achieve security. The course first analyzes the concept of grand strategy: what it means, how it’s achieved and when it fails. The course then turns to causes of grand strategy—the international conditions, technological developments, geographic circumstances, domestic actors and ideological beliefs that shape strategic options. Finally, to make these concepts more concrete, the course examines U.S. grand strategy at two pivotal points in recent U.S. history: the early Cold War, when the United States introduced nuclear missiles into the military, and today.

 

IAFF 6186 Heroes and Villains in the Global Arena

Close study of individual world leaders provides one of the many entries into understanding world events.   Fascinating and complex, word leaders have engaged the imagination of scholars and practitioners across disciplines and throughout history.  This course will focus on understanding the psychology of leaders, how they both react to and shape their contexts, the myths and narratives that develop around them, and how formal assessment of individual leaders has been used historically in industry, diplomacy, and national security contexts. Using historical case studies of both famous and infamous world leaders, the course focuses on assessing the person of the leader:  background and personality, health, behavior, and relationships with his or her inner circle.  The course also surveys important elements of a leader’s interplay with his or her cultural, social and political context, including large-group dynamics with followers, how leaders relate to each other, and the shifting myths,  fantasies and narratives  that develop around these larger-than-life personalities.  The course also addresses the utility, common pitfalls, and ethics of developing formal leader assessments.

 

IAFF 6186 Cybersecurity

This course will focus on the transnational impact of non-state actors on international policy and security. We will analyze different types of actors, from transnational criminal organizations to NGOs to terrorist groups primarily through case studies. Students will consider the interaction of non-state actors with state actors, evaluating impacts on sovereignty and governance worldwide.

 

IAFF 6186 Insurgency and Counterinsurgency

This course provides students with an introduction to the nature of insurgency, some key historical examples of how insurgencies were defeated, and analytical frameworks and tools for understanding and countering insurgencies. It is intended to provide a solid foundation for further inquiry into related topics such as irregular warfare, security and development, stabilization and peacebuilding, responses to terrorism, and conflict resolution. The course examines the multi-disciplinary nature of insurgencies, and introduces students to the major concepts and issues of the topic, explores the main types of insurgencies, and analyzes in depth a number of strategic cases of counterinsurgency to help students understand the complexity and the variety of this form of warfare in the modern world. The course provides key frameworks for analysis for the study of insurgency and explores possible solutions to a number of current conflicts. 

 

IAFF 6186 Transitional Justice

Since the end of the Cold War, peace building interventions have increasingly implemented Transitional Justice (TJ) initiatives. TJ incorporates a dynamic set of multidisciplinary mechanisms adapted to societies transforming themselves after a period of pervasive human rights abuses due to conflict or authoritarian Regimes. While definitions of TJ may vary, they all encompass the political, legal and moral dilemmas about how to deal with historic human rights violations and political violence in societies undergoing some form of political Transition. The field has expanded in three significant ways: it has moved to embrace a larger number of disciplines, transcending its initial legal focus; it has broadened its goals; and it has also raised high expectations in troubled societies. Even though TJ cannot achieve all of its goals, due to its inherent limitations, this fascinating and increasingly popular field merits its careful study. The purpose of this course is to: (i) examine and analyze TJ mechanisms including trials, truth commissions,

reparations, lustration/vetting, amnesties and memorialization; (ii) investigate normative and political debates raised by TJ processes; (iii) assess the effects and reach of TJ processes; and (iv) discuss real examples stemming from a variety of countries that have experienced huge violations of human rights (v) Develop a critical understanding of the potential and limitations of the field.

 

IAFF 6193 Corporate Finance

This course explores the sources of managerial information that are provided by money and capital markets, primary and secondary markets, and cash and futures markets; Money and capital market instruments, relevant return measures, risk metrics for bonds and equities. Theory, policy, and practice of financial management are examined through the elements of financial analysis, sources of funds, investing, capital planning and budgeting, dividend policy, and working capital management.

 

IAFF 6208 Public Diplomacy

This course examines the expanding public dimension of modern diplomacy. It builds on global interest in public diplomacy in the 21st century’s diplomatic environment. We will explore how diplomats and political leaders communicate in a world of rapid globalization, new diplomatic actors, complex policy issues, digital technologies, increased risk, and uncertain boundaries between foreign and domestic. This seminar is designed to help public diplomacy concentrators deepen their knowledge and serve the interdisciplinary interests of students in global communication, international relations, and media studies.

 

IAFF 6212 Strategy and Leadership

Leaders in government, the private sector, and the non-profit sector must be able to develop a compelling strategy that is understood by managers and employers.  They will be most successful if they can articulate a vision for staff and clients to embrace. The goal of this course is to provide you with some knowledge and tools to devise and implement your own smart visions and strategies at any level.  The basis is how leaders determine their vision and then communicate and execute the vision, using their leadership skills.

Registration is restricted to MIPP students only.

 

IAFF 6213 Leadership Capstone

This course is intended for MIPP students only.

 

IAFF 6216 Economic Tools for Global Policy

In this course, MIPP Online students will analyze economic issues and concrete economic policy problems. This course examines questions such as: How does economic policy affect technology and immigration - and vice versa? What are the implications of various trade policies on the global economy? How has globalization and rapid spread of high-tech communication influenced the US economy?

 

IAFF 6222 U.S. Foreign Policy

This course examines the practice and theory of U.S. foreign policy. Students begin by analyzing the institutions and processes used by the U.S. Government to formulate and implement foreign policy. The course then presents an overview of U.S. foreign policy decisions, from post-independence, to the Cold War, post-Cold War, War on Terror, and the post-primacy era of Presidents Obama and Trump. As students move through U.S. foreign policy history, they examine specific case studies as well as theoretical underpinnings including exceptionalism, realism, and liberalism. Finally, students analyze and debate the future of U.S. global leadership as well as articulate a vision for how the U.S. can engage effectively in Great Power Competition.

 

IAFF 6318 Korea-Japan Relations

 How does the past shape contemporary geopolitics? Why do Korea and Japan seem to hate each other? Why did Kim Jong-un ride a white horse up a mountain twice last year? This course uses Korea and its turbulent history to understand political tensions in East Asia today. We will use ancient mythology to predict what North Korea will do next, understand why Korea was the setting for almost all the great wars in East Asia, and explore the legacies of Japanese colonialism in today’s politics.

 

IAFF 6318 Women in Asia

This course examines the social, cultural, political, and economic roles of women in Asia in a comparative context, both in terms of historical development (from the mid-19th century to the present) and within different Asian societies. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the class will investigate the place of women in the family and in society, their relationships with one another and with men, and their relationship to politics and the state. Emphasis will be placed on China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea, but other countries in Southeast and South Asia will also be examined.

 

IAFF 6318 Taiwan Through The Lens of History, Identity, and Film

The course will examine 20th and 21st century history and identity politics in Taiwan through the film arts, including but not limited to works by Taiwanese directors such as Li Hsing, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang, Zero Chou, and Chung Mong-hong. After completing the course, students will be able to identify and discuss Taiwanese culture in a geopolitical context.

 

IAFF 6321 Colloquium: Europe and Eurasia

This course provides a survey of current research on Europe and Eurasia.

 

 

IAFF 6338 The European Union

This course examines the history and development of postwar European integration; the structure and processes of the European Union; and EU and national policies, with a focus on the interaction of the EU and the Member States. It is a seminar, though there will be lectures as well. In addition to imparting knowledge about the EU, the course aims to improve analytical, writing and presentational skills through the preparation of a 25-page research paper, brief written assignments, a simulation exercise and an oral briefing. By following instructions and carrying out the assignments successfully, students should be able to analyze institutional, political, economic and social dynamics of the EU and Member States, critically evaluate the literature on these topics, formulate policy recommendations, utilize hypothesis-testing guidelines, conduct research systematically and write clearly.

 

IAFF 6338 The Far-Right in Europe, Eurasia, and the U.S.

This course introduces students to the history and contemporary rise of the far right in the “broader West,” with a focus on Europe, the US, and Russia-Eurasia. After looking at the transformation and progressive resurgence of the far right following World War II, the class will turn its attention to current theories, movements, and leaders—from the American Alt-Right to the European Identitarians and Russian figures such as Alexander Dugin, as well as active transnational networks. The class will help students understand how the far right has been able to introduce its concepts and views—nativism, conspiracy theories, etc.—to a broad audience, producing a spectrum that runs from populist and illiberal leaders in power to extreme threats of domestic terrorism. Students will develop critical thinking skills by reading social science articles that combine political philosophy, political science, sociology of gender and race, and cultural anthropology of media and radical subcultures. 

 

IAFF 6338 Politics of Post-Soviet Eurasia

This course is a seminar on comparative politics and state building in the non-Russian successor states of the USSR – a region often referred to as post-Soviet Eurasia. The course is structured both by topic, and by subregion, and addresses the following issues: the concept of political “transition”; historical legacies and the construction of political institutions; democracy, authoritarianism, and hybrid regimes; informal practices; popular mobilization; economic foundations of power; and the “new” post-Soviet politics. The course is not a comprehensive survey of politics in the region, although it includes case studies of political developments in several states (including Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and others). Readings have been selected on the basis of a combination of empirical research and comparative value, as well as the extent to which they are in dialogue with each other.

 

IAFF 6338 US-Russia Relations in the 21st Century

The purpose of this course is to provide both graduate and undergraduate students with a careful analytical and empirical understanding of the evolution of U.S. - Russia relations in the new millennium. The course will define the principal drivers of bilateral interaction in an international context and debate the possible future scenarios of those relations. It will examine the domestic sources of Russian foreign policy (including energy, climate change and the Arctic), the reasons for Russia and the West being in strategic competition, the differences in American and Russian approaches toward former Soviet republics, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and China. The course will offer a brief review of key thematic points in U.S. and Russian international agendas during the 90’s, in order to clarify problems that led to the end of the post-Cold War period and the beginning of the Putin era. We will explore Russia’s evolving role in more recent global developments, including populist and anti-establishment politics, and evaluate how far Russia has moved to set up a multipolar world order. The course will consider if the West is now engaged in a new Cold War with Russia, and discuss the impact of economic sanctions as well as ”Russiagate” investigations on bilateral relations. Upon completion of the course, a student should understand the most important issues in U.S. - Russia relations, be able to identify potential areas of cooperation, along with the challenges and contradictions of U.S. and Russia policies in various regions of the world. Assigned readings will familiarize students with the critical debates among academics, researchers and policymakers who focus on US-Russian relations.

 

IAFF 6338 Nationalism & Nation-Building

This is a class on the causes and the political effects of nationalism in Europe. The first half of the course is designed to provide you with an understanding of the most prominent explanations of the emergence of nationalism, and the background knowledge and tools with which to evaluate them. We will study the transition from Empires to nation-states. In the second half of the course, we will focus on the effects of nationalism on domestic politics, political identities, patterns of political violence as well as voting, and state policies toward minorities, diasporas, and immigrants. We are going to cover cases across Europe and from different time periods. Students will learn how to formulate research questions, develop arguments, and evaluate hypotheses.

 

IAFF 6338 The Holocaust in Eastern Europe

Of the approximately six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust, more than two-thirds were citizens of Poland and the Soviet Union. The next largest groups of Jewish victims came from Romania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Eastern Europe was the epicenter for Hitler’s“Final Solution,” but due to lack of survivors, limited access to documentation, and Cold War politics, the genocide of Jews in these regions remains understudied and misunderstood. This course capitalizes on a relatively recent explosion in scholarship to provide students with in-depth knowledge of how the Holocaust unfolded in the East. Through thematic explorations, a series of case studies, and critical interrogation of primary sources and their postwar afterlives, we will examine how the Holocaust differed between Eastern and Western Europe, how persecution of Jews varied within Eastern Europe, and why, due to divergent legacies and memory politics, these histories remain contested even well into the 21st century.

 

IAFF 6341 Latin American & Hemispheric Studies Program Cornerstone

This course is intended for LAHSP students only.

 

IAFF 6357 Latin American & Hemispheric Studies Pre-Capstone Workshop

This course is intended for LAHSP students only.

 

IAFF 6358 Latin in Motion: Indigeonous Media & Social Movements

Cinema and documentary film have played an important role in shaping politics, social movements and public spheres in Latin America since the 1960s. The arrival of indigenous filmmakers and the narratives they author has built on these foundations, adding complexities in position, substance and style that we will unpack in this course. Embracing a hemispheric, las Américas perspective, this course will look broadly at production models and aesthetic and political debates that have informed Latin American (and to some extent [email protected]) film and media practices since the mid-twentieth century as well as the some of the social movements that underwrite them. Our consideration of these topics will be accompanied by screening of relevant film, video, and television productions and geographic areas of emphasis include Mexico, Cuba, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

 

IAFF 6358 Government and Politics in Latin America

Populism has gone global and, while it continues to be a recurring phenomenon throughout Latin America, it currently seems to be waning in the region.  Globalization, neo-liberalism, and democratization, while improving conditions in many countries, have been less successful in others or failed to meet rising expectations for progress. That left an opening for populism to emerge since the turn of the millennium. This course is designed to give students a thorough understanding of populism, the rich theoretical debates surrounding the concept, as well as classical and contemporary empirical manifestations of the phenomenon. Students should be prepared to engage social theory as well as historical and contemporary case study analyses.

 

IAFF 6358 Immigration and Weak States

This course will look at the factors that give rise to weak states close to the US border, the resulting migration trends, options for improving these societies, and the policy tools that the United States has at its disposal to mitigate push factors. A thorough examination of Central America’s Northern Triangle will then provide the basis for a comparative look at the reasons behind and responses to migratory outflows from Cuba and present-day Venezuela. Students will analyze present-day economic, security and governance challenges and think through realistic policy options.

 

IAFF 6358 Democracy Under Siege in Latin America  

Is democracy under siege again? Support for democracy is at its lowest level since surveys began some thirty years ago. Public disenchantment is widespread. The blue tide reached Brazil and Chile but the pink one returned to Argentina and landed in Mexico in a seemingly unending political volatility.  The crises in Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Honduras and Guatemala lead observers to fear a third “counter-wave” to democracy. Authoritarian regimes remain entrenched in Venezuela and Nicaragua. Furthermore, the insertion of the region in the world has changed dramatically. China especially, but Russia too, are playing roles unseen before. The geo-economics-thus-geopolitics paradigm seems to be reversing back to the geopolitics-thus-geo economics.   What exactly and  is happening and why? What does it all mean? What are the implications for the region and the world? This class will enable students to develop a theoretically informed understanding of this reality and the factors that explain it as well as to foresee the likely trends for the future. 

 

 

IAFF 6358 Climate Change & Environmental Policy in Latin America

Latin America is endowed with significant natural resources and environmental assets, including almost one third of the world's fresh water, the largest rainforest on earth, a quarter of proven oil and natural gas reserves and among the world's highest potential for renewable energy sources, such as hydropower, wind and solar energy. However, Latin American countries are also some of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including hurricanes, droughts and rising sea levels. Meanwhile, Latin America's contribution to energy-related emissions is increasing due to strong economic growth and a spike in demand for transportation and electricity. Thus, one of the greatest challenges for policymakers in Latin American countries is to construct a path toward sustainable, low carbon economic development. This course aims to give students a sound understanding of the concepts of climate change and environmental policy, the major policy challenges facing Latin American countries and best practices being used in Latin America and other countries around the world.

 

IAFF 6358 Latin America-China Relations

Over the past decade, China has emerged as a principal economic partner for much of Latin America. China is a top trade partner for several countries in the region and the primary export destination for South American nations. China's policy banks issued over $130 billion in finance to the region since 2005. And Chinese companies are becoming increasingly dominant actors in some of the region's main economic sectors. This course will examine whether and how China's economic activity in Latin America will evolve in the coming years, taking China's domestic considerations, evolving Belt and Road objectives, Latin American political economy, US policy, and other factors into account. We will examine the growing literature on China’s economic interests and impact in Latin America, including perspectives from China, the Latin American region, the US policy community, and other actors. We will also address the political, social, and security-related elements of Latin America's over two decades of enhanced relations with China. The course will be carried out as a seminar, requiring active participation from all students. Students will be expected to engage in analytical exploration, serve as class discussion leaders, perform productive peer review, and carry out and present a case study/research project.

 

IAFF 6358 Security in the Americas

The course will provide students with an overview of the nature, interrelatedness, and impact of contemporary security challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean. The class reviews recent developments in and effects of organized crime, illicit drug trafficking, terrorism, arms trafficking, transnational gangs, corruption, and money laundering, among other issues. This is done with the aim of developing critical thinking skills and a deep understanding of the complexities to effectively control the effects of transnational security challenges in the region, in the context of globalization and the current technological revolution.

 

IAFF 6361 Middle East Studies Cornerstone

This course is intended for MES graduate students only.

 

IAFF 6377 Middle East Studies Capstone

This course is intended for MES graduate students only.

 

IAFF 6378 US Policy in the Gulf

On March 19, 2003, forces of the United States and coalition countries opened military action against Iraq that resulted in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and eight years of US military presence. This military intervention focused Americans on the Persian Gulf region. Yet, the coalition’s war with Iraq was neither the beginning nor the end of U.S. engagement in the Persian Gulf—a strategic body of water whose very name is under dispute. This course focuses on the evolution of United States foreign policy in the Persian Gulf from the end of World War II to present, examining both its causes and effects. The Cold War, Arab Nationalism, Islam, oil, and regional rivalries will be looked at as factors impacting U.S. decision-making and actions.

 

 

 

IAFF 6378 Politics of Youth in the Middle East

The 2009 Iranian Green movement. The 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. The 2013 Turkish Gezi park protests. The 2019 October revolution in Lebanon.  These political episodes present the world with the idea and image of revolutionary youth in the Middle East: challenging the political order, social norms and economic practices.  These protests highlight new forms of contentious politics.  But they also communicate new issues and altered sensibilities that have persisted beyond often disappointing political outcomes.  The past decade has provided political revolutionaries, yes, but also social entrepreneurs and artists.

 

How do we explain this rise in youth mobilization?  Is it distinct to the Middle East, or should it be seen as part of a global wave of youth activism?  How should one conceptualize the idea of generations and the meaning of generational change?  And how is this focus on youth and their needs changing both public attitudes and government policies in the Middle East? 

 

This seminar will take a closer look at youth politics in all its forms - through both case studies and more conceptual works – to come to a better assessment of a decade of change in the Middle East.

 

IAFF 6378 Iran in the Middle East

Iran has long played a critical role in the international relations of the Middle East –historically one of the most tumultuous regions in the world.  In this graduate course, we will critically discuss Iran's foreign and security policies, against the backdrop of its controversial nuclear program and its contentious relations with other regional players, especially Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Israel. Students will learn about the goals, characteristics, and evolution of Iran’s regional policies and the daunting challenges it faces.

 

IAFF 6378: Political Economy of the Middle East

The Middle East is a complex, dynamic and critical region of the world. Its politics move rapidly, sometimes radically, and its economies are diverse, but with many commonalities. The interaction between domestic politics, domestic economic forces, and globalization has been amply demonstrated by the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Clearly, economic forces serve to both generate and allocate a society’s resources. Success or failure in the ability to produce income and appropriately allocate it is a critical factor for social stability and a frequent influence on relations with external actors, most commonly neighboring states or more distant ones such the U.S., China, or other global powers. Other important actors, non-state ones, include the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, OPEC, and terrorist groups. A proper understanding of this region requires an appreciation of its economic challenges and processes as well as the interplay between economic policies/outcomes and domestic/international political forces.

 

IAFF 6385 Rising China in Africa

This course looks at the totality of the China-Africa relationship historically, currently and into the future. It follows six years of research and writing for a book that I co-authored with Josh Eisenman published in 2012 by the University of Pennsylvania Press and titled China and Africa: A Century of Engagement. The course, which covers both North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, will give special attention to the security interests of China in Africa’s 54 countries.

 

IAFF 6385 Transnational Security Threats in Africa

This course examines contemporary transnational security threats in Africa, including violent extremism; trafficking of narcotics and wildlife; human trafficking and smuggling; maritime insecurity; and corruption and money laundering. discussions will center on the political, economic, and social contexts out of which these threats arise, and the local, regional, and global factors that fuel or facilitate them. Students will assess responses to these threats by African governments, regional organizations, and international actors, and consider what new capacities and approaches will be required to effectively combat them.

 

IAFF 6385 Power, Politics, and Development in Africa

Students in the course will be exposed to the broad themes related to the field of development, specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa. Students will be exposed to a cross-section of orientations towards development from various academic fields, with a specific focus on social, political, and economic development. Students will have wide latitude in guiding their study to best meet their interests beyond the core question of the class, which is: What are the key causal inputs to lagging development in Sub-Saharan Africa, and what is the most impactful means to design or assess “interventions?” Learning in this course will involve a mixture of styles, including learning by teaching, collaboration, and demonstration.

 

IAFF 6501 Quantitative Analysis in International Affairs Practices

This course is designed to provide a strong analytical foundation in elementary statistical reasoning and techniques, and the skills necessary to understand, evaluate, and critic, claims, and conventional wisdom and popular opinion. Topics include descriptive statistics; sampling and statistical inference; testing for differences between means; techniques for analyzing categorical data; correlation, and measures of association; summarizing and presenting statistical results; and some of the fundamental issues of research study design. The course is rigorous but does not require an advanced mathematics background. Class time will be a mix of lecture, discussion, and hands-on computer work. Class attendance is essential.

 

IAFF 6502 Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation for Development

This skills seminar will introduce the student to practical frameworks and tools for participatory design, monitoring, and evaluation of international development programs. The course will familiarize students with the broader international development discourse as the context for current practice in participatory monitoring and evaluation. Drawing upon case studies from democracy and governance programming, the course will facilitate student learning through the use of three interactive workshops, assigned readings, and a final written assignment.

 

IAFF 6502 Negotiation Skills

This course is designed to enhance the participants’ negotiation and leadership skills for managing differences between individuals and groups. Class members will learn how to handle two and multiparty negotiations and analyze the importance of empathy and creative option design.  The course will be a blend of skill-building exercises and discussions about the behavior of individuals to understand the negotiation dynamics.

 

IAFF 6502 Mediation

Third-parties are increasingly being used by people in conflict, both domestically and internationally, to help them resolve their differences. Whether providing a space for belligerents to reach a peace agreement, facilitating a contentious public policy debate on the Hill, or helping departments work more effectively together, this interactive skills building course will teach you how to harness conflictual energy and transform it into collaboration. Mediation is an impartial, voluntary and confidential process that facilitates problem-solving and helps parties to a conflict develop solutions that meet everyone’s needs. In this highly experiential course, students will be introduced to the basic principles of mediation; learn how to engage the parties in a conflict and set up the mediation space; how to listen and gather information by disaggregating positional statements; framing and listing problems to resolve; brainstorming and developing solutions; and writing an agreement.

 

IAFF 6502 Technology for International Crisis Response

The advent of new technologies has fundamentally changed the capacity for processing and exchanging information in the 21st century. This professional development course will explore how technology is being used to respond to crises, create early warning mechanisms, monitor elections, provide banking services, ensure effective governance, and much more. It will also consider some of the key challenges related to access, implementation, scale, and evaluation that working with technology presents. The course is designed for graduate students to assist them in developing concrete strategies and technological skills to work amid this rapidly evolving landscape. Students can expect a hands-on and interactive learning environment with a variety of real-world examples from organizations working in the field.

 

 

IAFF 6502 Formal Briefing

This course explores the why, what, and how of creating and presenting information to an audience. It will start with why briefings are an important mode of expression, and why storytelling is the single most important consideration in conceptual design.

 

IAFF 6502 Communication Practices for Employer Engagement

This is a skills course for graduate students enrolled in the Elliott School of International Affairs designed to equip them with the tools they’ll need to 1. create an informed and intentional career development strategy 2. Effectively engage employers and 3. Develop into more polished executive communicators particularly within a virtual office.  The course goes beyond a one or two-time engagement with advisors or coaches of the Office of Graduate Student Services and prepares students for their first 100 days on the job. In particular, the course requires students to: 1) Develop self-awareness through assessments including the MBTI (currently offered to all students) and Crucial Conversations (not offered widely due to cost), a workshop designed to sharpen cultural competency by practicing the skill of leading difficult conversations; 2) Identify and practice the principles of learning based versus need based networking by requiring students to conduct outreach to stakeholders in the field as an assignment; and 3) Cultivate contacts and connect consistently to the employer landscape through class. Overall, the course is designed for students to assess, explore, and leverage their personal strengths, academic interests, and values as they compose their graduate and postgraduate career goals. The course will be taught in alignment with APSIA industry standards and as a result, will focus on the key competencies (communications, global perspectives, teamwork and critical thinking) needed for success as an international affairs practitioner.

 

IAFF 6502 Writing for International Policymakers

Clear, concise and persuasive analytic writing is an essential skill for international affairs professionals. Effective analysis for policymakers succinctly assesses matters in ways that provide information, context, and insight and makes useful recommendations. Key characteristics include focus, relevance, brevity, and readability.  This course will involve short written assignments, as well as group discussions and peer critiques, aimed at developing the writing and analytic skills necessary to support, inform, and influence policymakers and implement policy.

 

IAFF 6502 Cross Cultural Communications

The ability to communicate effectively and sensitively across cultures has become both more critical and more difficult in today’s global environment. The focus of the course will be the development of cross-cultural communications/awareness, management, and negotiation skills. National, regional and universal levels of culture and communications will be explored. Course methodologies will include case studies, videos, simulation, and assessment instruments relative to communicating and working in multicultural settings. The course also uses a comparativist approach to flesh out the significance and implications of cultural underpinnings, factors, and variables necessary for successful communication between cultures and individuals in an increasingly globalized world.

 

IAFF 6502 Advocating for Women's Rights

This skills class will equip students with the building blocks for conducting successful advocacy efforts on global women’s issues. It will foster an understanding of different elements of an advocacy campaign, from grassroots mobilization to direct engagement of policymakers through individual, celebrity and coalition advocacy. It will build students’ skills in various tactics such as identifying the elements of “the ask,” crafting successful messages, building and managing coalitions, conducting power analysis, crafting the “elevator pitch,” and tailoring messaging for media. Finally, it will examine successful case studies of gender-responsive foreign policy from the perspective of advocates and policymakers alike.

 

IAFF 6502 Public Opinion in International Affairs

The goals of the course are to make students conversant in survey research, better consumers of public opinion data and gain the ability to use survey data in their work—all without having to become a statistician! This course will offer specific examples of how public opinion data has been used to inform policymakers. This is followed by a comparison of the validity of traditional survey research methods versus the more newly arrived social media sentiment analysis. It will provide an overview of the different methods of data collection as well as an introduction to sampling and questionnaire design and quality control measures. Students will then be exposed to how data is interpreted and used to form the backbone of pithy and cogent analyses. The course will conclude with an exercise in which students will review a data set and draft a policy memo based on a particular theme.

 

IAFF 6502 International Non-Profit Management

The nonprofit sector has grown exponentially in the last few decades – both domestically and internationally - and so have the competing demands to demonstrate data-driven results, raise public awareness and fundraise on multiple platforms. These competing demands require effective management skills to run non-profit organizations and achieve impact. Key skills include defining, understanding and ongoing assessment of an organization’s mission, communication and advocacy strategies, effective programs, development and financial targets, identification of fundraising opportunities and management of a team that may even meet in person regularly. This course will be taught by learning how to evaluate non-profit organizations using a Non-Profit Organizational Capacity Mapping Framework and by discussing Case Studies in class. Prior reading of the Case Studies for each seminar class is required because the case studies will be taught using the Socratic Method with students explaining the Case Studies and Responding to questions by the Lecturer and other students. The themes that will be covered by both the case studies and the Capacity Mapping Framework will include lectures and discussions about Mission; Program/Theory of Change; Evaluation & Log Frames; Fundraising & Communication Strategies; NGO Management in the 21st Century and Non-Profit Governance. For the course’s final project, students will be divided into teams and given the assignment to jointly draft and present a program proposal for funding that clearly demonstrates their grasp and application of the topics covered in the course.

 

IAFF 6503 Leadership and Teamwork

This course explores the dynamics of teambuilding, communication, and leadership that will increase managerial effectiveness. Topics include: communication and conflict, decision-making and problem-solving, teams vs. groups, group dynamics, consensus, team building and leadership.  Students participate in experiential exercises that provide them with the opportunity to learn critical skills needed to improve teamwork and be effective organizational members.

 

IAFF 6503 Ethics in International Affairs

This is a course in applied ethics, dealing with questions and problems of ethics that occur in international affairs.  Among other concerns, this includes such issues as human rights both national and international, international business, war, globalization, and global assistance and humanitarian intervention(s). We will discuss and analyze, and attempt to find ways and/or methods or steps or techniques to solve ethical disputes and issues that arise in international affairs.

 

IAFF 6503 Gender Monitoring and Evaluation

The course will introduce graduate students to setting gender and social inclusion-related targets and indicators, how to use gender and social inclusion-related indices, how to create an activity monitoring and evaluation and learning plan (AMELP) all in the context of international development projects and with the goal to transform projects into gender equitable and socially inclusive activities. Students will study proposals, case studies, and multiple global indices.

 

 

IAFF 6503 Introduction to Gaming and Simulations

Introductions to Gaming and Simulations provides first-hand experience in scenario and gaming analysis. The course specifically addresses the fundamentals of game development and employment based on government and industry best practices. Through lectures, readings, in-class exercises, and group assignments students will build the repertoire of skills needed to create high-impact games and simulations while simultaneously honing their ability to review and judge gaming proposals.

 

IAFF 6503 Mobile Phones for International Development

The mobile phone is rapidly bringing communication to the most remote areas of the world. NGOs, governments and companies alike are beginning to realize the potential of this ubiquitous tool to address social challenges. This course will explore successful applications that facilitate economic transactions, support public health campaigns and connect learners to educational content. It will also critically engage with issues of equity, privacy, and access. Participants can expect a dynamic and practical learning environment with a number of real-world examples and case studies.

 

IAFF 6503 Congress and Foreign Policy

The class will examine the ways in which Congress and the Executive branch interact to shape U.S. foreign and national security policy. The class will consider practical details such as how Congress is structured, and how the budget and appropriations process that funds U.S. international spending operates. It will also look at the political imperatives that influence how members of Congress and their staffers develop their views on U.S. foreign policy. After an informal introduction to how Congress works, the focus will be on real-world case studies and hands-on simulations, with in-class exercises that will permit students to better understand what role the Congress plays in determining U.S. foreign policy, how it does so, and why.

 

IAFF 6503 Writing for International Policymakers

Clear, concise and persuasive analytic writing is an essential skill for international affairs professionals. Effective analysis for policymakers succinctly assesses matters in ways that provide information, context, and insight and makes useful recommendations. Key characteristics include focus, relevance, brevity, and readability.  This course will involve short written assignments, as well as group discussions and peer critiques, aimed at developing the writing and analytic skills necessary to support, inform, and influence policymakers and implement policy.

 

IAFF 6503 Political Risk Analysis

Political risk, broadly, the possibility of politically related uncertainty affecting an objective, is an important factor in shaping outcomes in frontier, emerging, and even developed markets and is a vital consideration for individuals, companies, organizations, and nation-states with investments or interests in the international sphere. Political risk emanates from various sources and occurs based on the actions or reactions of stakeholders to various events. Even so, political risk remains a somewhat amorphous and often ambiguous subject. Its definition can vary greatly and while myriad methodologies for addressing political risk exist, no singular method is used universally. As such, this course takes a multi-disciplinary approach drawing from political theory, international relations, economics, risk management, intelligence, and strategic communications and applies this approach to relevant, real world problems. Emphasis is placed on strategies that measure and mitigate political risk in a range of environments at the macro and micro levels. This course connects theory, research, practice, and empirical evidence in order to address the complexities of political risk analysis and it draws on academic literature while also focusing on the development of practical knowledge and skills that are applicable to both the public and private sector.

 

IAFF 6503 Military Superiority and the Role of Defense Contracting

This course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the role of government contracting in National Security.  It will benefit students interested in entering government service or the consulting/manufacturing world.   Students will learn about the development of requirements for critical space, land, sea, air, and cyber assets and understand how industry translates these requirements into military assets and capabilities.  They will gain practical insight on how to analyze, shape and bid on solicitations within the Department of Defense and associated entities.  In addition, they will learn about the often-hidden external considerations such as congressional pressures, lobbying, and inter-service rivalries that play a role in influencing the selection of a particular contractor.

 

IAFF 6504 Int Proficiency - Russian  

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Russian language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6504  Int Proficiency – French

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional French language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6504  Int Proficiency – Spanish

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Spanish language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6504  Int Proficiency – Arabic

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Arabic language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6504  Int Proficiency – Chinese

A short, intensive 1-credit course designed to develop professional Chinese language skills for international affairs students.

 

IAFF 6898 Capstone Workshop

First part of two-semester sequence that addresses a concrete policy problem or issue in international affairs. In small teams, students refine the policy question of the capstone project, develop a research strategy, select appropriate research methods, and begin research. Continued in IAFF 6899.

 

IAFF 6899 Capstone Course

Second part of a two-semester sequence. Completion of the capstone sequence by conduct of the group's research, completion of the capstone report, and oral presentation of research findings and recommendations. Prerequisite: IAFF 6898.