Graduate Course Descriptions

IAFF 6118 Women and Leadership in Africa

The course will provide a general understanding of the position and challenges of women in Africa as leaders at the community, society and national levels. Assessing the cultural environment, impediments/barriers and recognize the progress made (through various legal frameworks and policies), as well as opportunities. Ambassador MulaMula will share her practical experience over the years in various leadership positions in public service, as well as draw on living and current examples of women in politics(what it takes to win an election), conflict situations and transitional leadership. The objective is to create self-awareness, confidence, aspirations with clear goals, mindsets and overcome stereotypes of women and leadership.

IAFF 6118 Re-Imagining North Africa

This course examines the society, politics, and international relations of North Africa primarily through fiction, film and music. The best window into how North Africans deal with the shock of European confrontations, the effects of successive wars, Islamic revival and the rise of Islamism, autocracy, corruption, emerging new roles for women, marginalized and revolutionary youth, and the migrant’s exile and return is through literature, movies, and popular music. Examples include Tahar Ben Jelloun’s examination of a government and society trying to corrupt a Moroccan official in Corruption, the hilarious examination of North African gender relations in Mohamed Mrabet’s Marriage with Papers, the slow takeover of a traditional neighborhood in Algiers by Islamists in Bab El Oued City, an Algerian woman doctor’s coming to terms with Islamists in a village in southern Algeria in The Forbidden Woman, the experience of the slow French takeover of a town and its liberation in Mustapha Tlili’s Lion Mountain, Mohamed Dib’s Guernica-inspired meditation on the ravages of war in Who Remembers the Sea?, Arab spring rap anthem President, Your Country and more recent revolutionary and jihadi rap from Libya, migrant’s laments in Cheb Khaled’s Escape, But to Where and Cheb Hasni’s Consulate, and Hicham Matar’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize The Return about a Libyan second exile’s post-2011 search for his father disappeared in Qadhafi’s prisons. What emerges from investigating these historic and contemporary sources central to political conversations in a creative, dynamic and turbulent region is a richer portrait what is happening and why. These new perspectives can then inform the development of new approaches to international engagement and a new toolkit for re-imagining and re-focusing assistance.

IAFF 6118 Issues in Middle East Security 

This course will make a session-long study of a single country of the student’s choice by examining the relationship between security and a range of social and political issues including democracy, demography, labor, religion, sectarianism, tribalism, natural resources, gender and youth issues, migration, current armed conflict, geopolitical analysis, and the local, regional and international security contexts. Driving questions will be the key domestic challenges that can lead to internal instability and the major sources of external security threats.

IAFF 6118 Averting Failure in Foreign Policy

This course is designed to be a self-paced individual and group learning experience. Each week will offer a brief lecture or set of lectures highlighting the core components of any successful foreign policy analysis. Lectures will be reinforced by a variety of weekly reading and media assignments, ungraded open-book quizzes, contributions to a class discussion board, and policy analysis memos. The final policy analysis memo will incorporate and integrate the knowledge you have gleaned throughout the semester. The early weeks of the course will draw attention to the ways in which causal clarity, chronological appraisal, and the systematic assessment of evidence can avert foreign policy failures. The later weeks will build on this framework and apply it to a broad range of classic and contemporary case studies. Throughout the course we will illustrate how this practical analytic strategy can be used to impede the influence of individual and group judgment biases, governmental structural factors, and domestic political processes, and thus enhance both foreign policy analysis and foreign policy advice.

IAFF 6138 Dev in Age of Climate Change

Global environmental perils are among the most profound challenges facing humanity today. They not only undermine the quality of life for humankind, they also threaten to compromise the fundamental, organic infrastructure that supports all life on earth. This course introduces students to the sociopolitical dynamics of sustainable development in the age of climate change and the policies, practices and politics that drive it. It explores the causes of environmental harm and avenues of effective response. Furthermore, it examines key environmental challenges including water, food and agriculture, and climate change. Its overall aim is to familiarize students with the role power plays in the emergence and management of environmental problems and how power in turn is – or, alternatively, is not - exerted for sustainable development.

IAFF 6318 Post-Soviet Democracy & Dev

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, fifteen new states were formed and welcomed by the West as “newly emerging democracies.” In the nearly two decades since then, elections have been held, revolutions taken place and many of the trappings of democracy observed, yet few of the countries of this region can now claim to be representative democracies. Has democracy run its course in this region? Have governments achieved a different kind of governance? What kinds of democracy assistance have been provided to the region and with what impact? Given what appears to be less-than-desirable levels of democratic practice, is democracy assistance in former-Soviet States sustainable? The objective of this seminar is to provide students with a broad overview of democratization development as it relates to the former-Soviet region. Democratic development in the Caucasus has taken a different course than the Baltics. Why? The course juxtaposes democratization theory with its actual practice in countries of the region, looking for trends and explanations for the trajectory of political development. Students will take a critical look at various democratization theories and implementation strategies employed in the region, as a means of broadening their own perspective, then will learn to apply their ideas to the formulation of strategies for the promotion of democracy. The seminar is intended to challenge students to think beyond development literature and to learn the what and how of democratic practice by learning to apply the tools of the trade.

IAFF 6138 Poverty & Bottom Up Development

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 Social Enterprise in Development

The future of successful business leaders will be defined by the ability to create, build and sustain organizations with and for mission and finance related returns. In light of changing organizational structures (from C corp. to B corp.), coupled with the growing focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, emerging leaders should be prepared to understand the core concepts of building a sustainable business and securing capital for impact. This course will engage students in understanding the core principles of social entrepreneurship, also known as the demand side of investing for impact. For students interested in pursuing careers in social finance, philanthropy, investment management, or responsible banking, this course is a must have.

IAFF 6138 Rule of Law & Anti-Corruption

Vice-President Biden during his first visit to Ukraine described corruption as the cancer of society. The same idea was picked up by former USAID Administrator Shah and State Department Assistant Secretary Nuland. There is a renewed effort by the foreign policy, national security and foreign assistance experts to understand the destabilizing role of corruption and to come up with solutions that counter corruption. Rampant corruption was one of the most important driving forces behind the Maidan in Ukraine and the Arab Spring uprising. Under the pressure from the Maidan and the civil society, the government of Ukraine recently adopted new anti-corruption legislation. In this class we will explore corruption as a mobilizing force in fragile societies and how anti-corruption can be integrated into sound development programming. A recent study by USAID has shown that most of the foreign assistance programs in the anticorruption arena concentrate on the rule of law activities. The weakness of the rule of law undermines the effectiveness of the democratic institutions and jeopardizes democratic transitions in the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe. How to better integrate the rule of law and anti-corruption into democratization assistance is not well-understood by development professionals. This class will work on honing a practical understanding of the theory of the rule of law, good governance and anti-corruption and the ways to design foreign assistance programs that address these functional areas in the context of democratic assistance in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

IAFF 6138 US Environmental & Energy Policy in Trump Presidency

This course examines the still emerging environmental and energy policies of the Trump administration, the politics and instruments driving them, and the range of options a federalized country has as its disposal for inputs and impacts. In this context, we shall also look at other, principal actors including states, cities, the private sector, Washington, D.C.-based inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental and civil society organizations, and the informed citizenry. Policy and political decision makers as well as environmental activists, civil society representatives and journalists will be invited to share their insights and perspectives with students.

IAFF 6158 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 6160 Defense Policy and Program Analysis

The course provides a very practical view of defense analysis: it stresses analysis as it is actually used in the national security community to help shape policy. The course will give students a firm foundation of defense affairs and issues; critical thinking about them; discrimination regarding analyses of them; and the skills to evaluate and sometimes employ the tools of analysis to help resolve them.

IAFF 6163 Transnational Security

This course focuses on transnational security issues and considers how many of these myriad challenges threats to global peace and security constitute. The combined effects of such transnational security issues such as drug, weapons, human trafficking, piracy, acts of terrorism, infectious disease, and deliberate environmental destruction, along with such critical enablers such 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 6165 Fundamentals of Intelligence

This course focuses on the craft of U.S. Intelligence and its role in national security policy. It will examine the changing organizational structure of the Intelligence Community, including its homeland security component; the Intelligence production cycle, including tasking, collection, analysis, covert action, and counterintelligence; and relations between the Intelligence and Policy communities.

IAFF 6171 Intro to Conflict Resolution

This course provides students with an introduction to the field of conflict analysis and resolution. It is intended to provide a solid foundation for further inquiry and application. The course will introduce students to the major concepts and issues currently animating the field, explore the main strategies for responding to conflicts, and help them recognize and critique the assumptions upon which these strategies rest. This course considers the “upper end” of the conflict spectrum, focusing on inter-state disputes, contemporary civil wars, complex political emergencies 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 have some understanding of current thinking about 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.

IAFF 6186 Countering Violent Extremism

This course focuses on government and non-government efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism. It provides students with an introduction to the nascent academic literature to chart the evolution of CVE over the past decade or so. It also offers an opportunity to critically examine and discuss domestic and international policies and programs that aim to prevent and counterviolent extremism. The course will be useful for anyone with an interest in counterterrorism, preventing violent conflict as well as a wide array of disciplines and issues including diplomacy, development assistance, criminology, psychology, sociology and political science. The course will connect theory to practice through discussion, research and case study reviews of real events.

IAFF 6186 Stabilization & Peacebuilding

This course aims to provide students with a solid introduction to the theory and practice of contemporary stabilization and reconstruction missions. It will help students analyze state fragility and failure, develop a shared understanding of the many elements and challenges in stabilization-reconstruction missions as well as well as basic requirements for a successful mission. Theories and concepts will be tested by examining disparate cases during the course

IAFF 6186 Intl Organized Crime

This course will examine a variety of transnational organized criminal groups, their modus operandi, and their illicit activities. It also will focus on some domestic organized crime groups both to provide a depth of understanding of the operations of organized criminal activity in different countries, as well as to show how inroads might be made into domestic markets if done in cooperation with local groups.

IAFF 6186 Conflict Resolution in Africa

This course enables students to analyze the key characteristics and trends in armed conflicts in contemporary Africa and to assess methods of conflict analysis and resolution on the continent. Part 1 deals with the general characteristics and patterns of armed conflicts in Africa; the major explanations for why armed conflicts emerge and persist across Africa; and the various actors involved as well as the strategies and tactics employed in fighting. Part 2 focuses on the major concepts and issues of current interest in the field of conflict analysis and resolution and the main strategies for the management and resolution of armed conflicts in Africa. This part will explore how conflicts in Africa problematize the assumptions and key elements of orthodox concepts and theories of conflict analysis and conflict resolution. It also offers an overview of the role of various actors engaged in conflict prevention, management and resolution in Africa.

IAFF 6186 Security and Development

With much of the world faced with recurrent crises, vulnerable communities in fragile environments struggle to build resiliency and achieve long-term sustainable development. International development actors strive to halt the deteriorating cycles of violence by reducing the adverse impact of a myriad of stressors, that if left unchecked leads to chronic conflict and or opportunities for violent extremism. This course begins by introducing development and how it seeks to strengthen fragile states, mitigate conflict, prevent violent extremism, and build the resilience of at-risk communities and institutions. Using a case study approach, the course will dive into specific examples of how development initiatives apply sectoral approaches to achieving sustainable outcomes in conflict and post-conflict settings. Students in this course will learn the fundamentals of navigating in insecure transitional environments. Employing a practical approach, the course will examine various actors and their roles and motivations on the ground, types of initiatives frequently implemented and funded by leading donors, how initiatives are monitored and evaluated to assess progress, and how development workers operate in insecure challenging contexts. This practical knowledge will be contextualized through prevalent literature on the subject.

IAFF 6186 Homegrown Terrorism

This course critically examines theories and the practice of violent radicalization and recruitment, as well as the policies and approaches aimed at countering it. It focuses on "homegrown" radicalization and recruitment into Al Qaeda, ISIS and related movements and networks in Europe and North America, but considers other extremist movements, including the far-right. The course consists of three parts: theoretical foundations of radicalization and recruitment; how radicalization has manifested in the West, with a focus on how ISIS has recruited and operated in America; and counter-radicalization in theory and practice. The course aims to equip students with a solid, unbiased understanding of radicalization and terrorism in the West and the different academic disciplines which have been employed in studying it. It will provide a framework for understanding the policies which governments have pursued in order to counter radicalization, giving students an appreciation for the challenges faced by policy makers, and what successes have been achieved.

IAFF 6186 Israel: Non-State Actors

Study in Tel Aviv! This graduate level course will focus on the transnational impact of different types of organizations, from terrorist groups to the media. We will take advantage of our location in Israel to focus on Middle East actors and use Israel as our "classroom" to explore the influence of non-state actors. Contact [email protected] in order to register.

IAFF 6501 Quant. Analysis Int’l Affairs Pract

This course will introduce graduate students to methods and tools for the collection, management, analysis, and presentation of qualitative data in international development settings, thereby preparing them to contribute, as qualitative researchers, to the further improvement and expansion of "legitimate practice" in development research.

IAFF 6502 Cross Cultural Communications

IAFF 6503 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 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 Formal Briefing

Of the many modes of communication in Washington, perhaps the most common is the formal briefing. Consequently, the ability to conceptualize, build, and deliver briefings is a valuable skill in both private and public sectors. This course will provide students the opportunity to learn: (1) public speaking techniques; (2) the various types of briefings; (3) how to structure and organize each; (4) different briefing venues, varied audiences and how to work with them; (5) the elements of proper delivery and how to develop a personally tailored briefing style. Students will design, build, and present one briefing twice. The first briefing will be a draft and the second a final.

IAFF 6502 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 6502 Future of Tech for Intl 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 a variety of global challenges. This one-credit weekend skills course will explore successful applications that facilitate economic transactions, transform agricultural processes, 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 learning environment with a number of real-world case studies, custom animations and video tutorials, and practical simulations to apply new skills and strategies.

IAFF 6502 Negotiating 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. The course builds on the concepts of interest-based negotiation developed by Roger Fisher at the Harvard Program on Negotiation.

IAFF 6502 Using Tech for Intl Dev

Twenty years ago, the Internet and cell phones fundamentally changed how humans communicate with each other and exchange information. Now, new technologies like drones, 3D printing, and sensors are primed to revolutionize the way that we interact with our physical world. These new technologies present a range of new opportunities and challenges for the global development, public health, and humanitarian communities. This weekend skills course will attempt to address questions like: What solutions are currently working and why? Can these technologies deliver big impacts while providing significant cost savings? How might they be introduced inclusively into communities and benefit the world’s most marginalized individuals so as not to augment the digital divide? The course will provide a basic introduction to the technical fundamentals of 3D printing, drones, and sensors and assist students in connecting with appropriate communities in Washington DC and beyond for exploration. It will also consider various obstacles to adoption including: issues of equity and cost, supply chain challenges, insufficient electricity and internet coverage; maintenance and training hurdles; legal and intellectual property issues and more. Students can expect a dynamic learning environment with a number of real-world case studies, custom animations and video tutorials as well as practical activities designed to apply new skills and strategies.

IAFF 6502 Conflict Analysis

Survey of quantitative and qualitative techniques for analyzing risks and dynamics of violent conflict, including early warning indicators, conflict assessment frameworks, scenario planning, systems mapping, and analysis of conflict narratives. Students learn and apply skills relevant to negotiation, peacekeeping, political risk analysis, development assistance, and strategic planning.

IAFF 6502 Writing for Intl Affairs

Professionals who are able to write well has a competitive advantage in their careers. They are able to clearly and quickly express their views and conclusions in written communications. Strong writing skills also sharpen organization and communication skills at all levels. The best strategic thinkers often are superior writers because of their ability to analyze and synthesize complex concepts and explain them in simple terms. Whether a student’s future is in policy development, public speaking, corporate management, law, or academia, this course provides tools to think through written communications and produce effective writing.

IAFF 6502 US 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. Goals of the Course: · Develop an understanding of what happens behind the scenes to develop the President’s Budget · Explore the responsibilities of the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of State’s Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources in formulating and executing the foreign assistance budget for the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development · Understand the role of Congress in the federal budget, with a focus on the appropriations process as it relates to State/USAID foreign assistance · Learn how to formulate a piece of the foreign assistance budget and how to analyze an appropriations bill · Better comprehend today’s complicated fiscal environment and its impact on the federal budget.

IAFF 6502 Gender Analysis: Diplomacy and Development

The course will then guide students through an understanding of how to conduct a proper gender analysis to provide a framework for understanding the role that gender plays in international development and diplomacy. The tool will provide a systematic process for understanding gender-related needs and how programs and policies can address these dynamic needs, dependent upon a society’s cultural and social norms and expectations. The course will convey how gender analysis is used as a tool to strengthen programming and foreign policy decisions that may lead to more nuanced and effective outcomes. It will provide an opportunity to leverage the systematic tools required to examine case studies of organizations and diplomatic scenarios that measurably benefitted from applying a gender analysis.

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 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 skillsbuilding 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 6503 Intro to Gaming and Simulations

The course will review collaborative analysis techniques that have been developed to game out or simulate issues and situations of significance. The course presents an overview of public and private sector applications of these methods for analysis and training. It will also provide detailed descriptions of various approaches and their conceptual underpinnings. The course is divided into three sections: familiarization, experiential learning, and design – the last focusing on application. Working in teams, students will select and apply one of the identified methodologies to the analysis of a specific topic. Topics are subject to instructor approval. The course will consist of lectures, a limited number of readings, and a heavy emphasis on student.

IAFF 6503 Formal Briefing

Of the many modes of communication in Washington, perhaps the most common is the formal briefing. Consequently, the ability to conceptualize, build, and deliver briefings is a valuable skill in both private and public sectors. This course will provide students the opportunity to learn: (1) public speaking techniques; (2) the various types of briefings; (3) how to structure and organize each; (4) different briefing venues, varied audiences and how to work with them; (5) the elements of proper delivery and how to develop a personally tailored briefing style. Students will design, build, and present one briefing twice. The first briefing will be a draft and the second a final.

IAFF 6503 Gender Advisor: Roles & Skills

This course will cover the various roles, responsibilities, and necessary skills of a Gender Advisor in multilateral, bilateral, and international development organizations. The course will provide a comprehensive overview of how the latest tools, resources, and practices should be applied in development work. The course will translate the new and evolving set of policies on gender integration/mainstreaming into meaningful practice to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of institutions and organizations seeking to promote peace, security and development through gender mainstreaming of policies, programs, and projects in developing countries as well as leading organizations to improve their internal gender equality.

IAFF 6503 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 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 6503 Political Analysis

The objective of the course is to improve each student's ability to analyze a complex policy situation and craft a paper dealing with some aspect of that situation.

IAFF 6503 Communicating Global Issues

Media and communications savvy – knowing how to convey compelling and targeted messages to key US audiences – is key to strengthening America’s leadership in the world. This hands-on communications, media training and message development “PowerTalk” workshop is designed to help students become more effective advocates and spokespeople with the media, policymakers, engaged public and other key audiences. Learn the most effective 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, influential and other best practices.

IAFF 6515 Graduate Internship/IntlAffairs 

Limited to Elliott School M.A. degree candidates. Internship and research paper involving experience at an international organization or with international issues.

IAFF 6517 Independent Study and Research

Faculty led independent study or faculty led research, must be approved by instructor before enrolling.

IAFF 6521 US Foreign Policy in A Global Era 

Participants in the summer program will be briefed at key institutions that shape U.S. Foreign policy. In past years students have visited: • U.S. Government Agencies: U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the U.S. Department of State, the Pentagon • Foreign embassies: Saudi Arabia and Israel • International organizations: United Nations, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund • Think tanks: The Brookings Institution, the Woodrow Wilson Center, Center for New American Security • Media outlets: The Washington Post, Associated Press, Al-Jazeera, National Public Radio • Interests groups: peace groups, business groups and ethnic lobbies Participants will have access to the libraries at The George Washington University, the National Security Archive, the Library of Congress, and other research libraries in Washington, DC. In addition to attending lectures, all participants work on group projects and write a policy memorandum on a U.S. foreign policy issue of their choice. After the two-week program is completed, participants write a substantive research paper on U.S. foreign policy. Upon successful completion of the program, participants earn academic credit from The George Washington University.

IAFF 6998 Thesis

Open to Elliott School M.A. candidates who have selected the thesis option.

IAFF 6999 Thesis

Open to Elliott School M.A. candidates who have selected the thesis option.

IAFF 6101 IA Cornerstone

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 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 and 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 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 6118 The Science of Nuclear Materials

The Science of Nuclear Materials (ScNM) will be a combination of lectures and hands-on experiments designed to teach the fundamental principles of nuclear materials, as well as the nuclear fuel cycle in general, to non-technical individuals within the nuclear arena. We will explore the origins of radiation, manufacture, and detection of nuclear materials, and in addition to weapons and power issues, also explore medical uses and environmental issues. We will utilize lectures for the dissemination of science fundamentals, followed by hands-on laboratory experiments that reinforce lecture content. It will be assumed that students will have little scientific background prior to this course- a high school chemistry or physics course is sufficient. Moreover, there will be some mathematical exercises/activities wherein the instructor and TA will guide students through more challenging problems. Lastly, the following course schedule is intended to be dynamic. Topics are not etched in stone and we may adjust content based on skill level, interest or in response to current events. 

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 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 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 Gender, Peace, and Security in Africa

This graduate seminar aims to help students develop a more nuanced and realistic appreciation of international relations. It explores inter-sectional feminist approaches to peace in security. It examines gender and the multiple roles of women, men, boys and girls in the continuum of conflict in few African settings. This class connects theory and practice by considering the politics, theories, and practices stemming from Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security’s normative framework and encourages learners to engage with critical feminist security and IR literature from the Global South to challenge the hegemonic discourses and practices in the discipline. The course thematically covers issues such as war and militarism, agency and demobilization of armed actors; conflict dynamics and wartime violence; peace processes; post-war reconstruction and transitional justice. The course will also consider some of the methodological and ethical concerns of research/policy on gender in volatile or politically charged settings, the larger geopolitical critiques of the Women, Peace, and Security Framework, and regional and local responses to the framework.

IAFF 6118 Human Rights Narratives

When we study human rights we typically immerse ourselves in a combination of fields: political science, law, development studies, philosophy, history, and sociology – amongst others. Much of what we study addresses abstract principles or aggregate data – it often neglects to address the subjective lived experiences of individuals and their personal narratives. This course seeks to situate human rights in precisely those experiences and testimonies that may be overlooked, in academic study generally and in the field of international affairs in particular. The texts we will study touch upon the three thematic concerns of the course:

1.       Personal testimonies of survivors of human rights violations

2.       Profiles of human rights defenders, their values, actions, and achievements 

3.       How global policy and international affairs can be informed by personal narrative and the intersection of personal narrative, public policy, and international affairs

IAFF 6118 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 6121 International Development Studies Cornerstone

The course examines the theoretical foundations behind the practice of international development, the multiple perspectives in the field, and the challenges of development implementation. In exploring the theory, structure, and practice of international development, the course looks at a variety of viewpoints that are intended to challenge students’ assumptions about not only their own aspirations but also about the concepts of development and progress in general. In the process, the course also prepares students to conduct critical political-economy analysis of development contexts. In doing so, the seminar is intended to push students to think about ways they can improve the practice of international development as they embark upon a career in the field.

IAFF 6137 Development Studies Pre-Capstone Workshop

The Capstone Project provides an opportunity for second-year students in the International Development Studies Program to undertake research (generally including field component) related to a development organization’s specific need. It is a non-traditional seminar that consists of occasionally required sessions for all students and periodic individual group meetings with capstone advisors. Students will devote most of their time in the fall to securing a client and negotiating a Terms of Reference (ToR) with that client for work to be done during the spring semester. They will also prepare a proposal to compete for ESIA funding for field travel (if applicable). Students who secure clients early on may also complete a travel proposal which must be approved by the Elliott School’s international travel office. There are no general reading requirements, but each group will need to do specific readings related to their project topic. 

The general class sessions in the fall will address how to write an effective prospectus, identify and work with clients, complete GW’s travel approval process, develop a Terms of Reference, and move from a Scope of Work to a research methodology. IDS alumni will participate in the sessions to share their own experiences and advice.

IAFF 6138 Local Governance, Decentralization and Development

Is all development local? What constraints delivery of pro-poor services in places with such evident need? This course critically examines efforts to decentralize government functions in developing countries. When and how does bringing government "closer to the people" result in improved outcomes? Transparency, accountability and citizen voice are easy concepts to grasp, why are they effective in some places, not in others?  Health, education, water services are universal needs; how do elections, civil society, intergovernmental fiscal and other processes affect outcomes? In addition to readings and class discussion, students will conduct independent research on a particular service delivery challenge in a particular place, using a political economy approach that will be introduced in the course of the semester. Prior exposure to development economics helpful, not necessary.

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 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 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 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 6138 M&E for Foreign Assist Program

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 Agriculture and Sustainable Development

The transition from the UN’s Millennium Development Goals to the UN’s Agenda 2030, raises the question of what is agriculture’s contribution towards sustainable development? This 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 in order to analyze agriculture's multiple pathways towards sustainable development. Taking into account ongoing 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 skill sets to contribute towards sustainable agricultural development from the household to the policy levels.

IAFF 6141 International Science & Technology Policy Cornerstone

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the policy issues related to the support, use, management, and regulation of science and technology. It addresses U.S. domestic as well as international issues, is concerned with governmental policies as well as non-governmental, 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. The effects of many of these 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 these impacts, making effective and fair decisions regarding technologically complex issues is one of the most challenging tasks of modern governance. Especially demanding is policy-making for international economic competition, which is increasingly defined in terms of technological competence. The diffusion of centers of technological excellence around the world and the progressive convergence of local markets in terms of consumer tastes and preferences have obliged economic agents to adopt a global outlook; not only do firms compete internationally but they also depend on each other’s technological, financial, and marking strengths to stay afloat. In this course, we examine a number of important characteristics of the new international environment that are directly related to the technological competence of firms and of nations as well.

IAFF 6145 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

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 6158 Science, Technology and Policy Analysis

Many of the most important and salient policy decisions taken by governments are those that involve science or technology. Climate change, dangers posed by environmental hazards such as DDT and dioxin, the decisions involving nuclear weapons are policy issues that involve science and technology to a great degree. This course will offer an opportunity to ask probing questions about science and technology policy. How policymakers use science to make decisions, how policy affects science and technology, how risk and uncertainty are accounted for (or not) in decisionā€making, whether policy decisions involving science and technology should be democratized, and how the public impacts science policy decisions are all topics that will be covered in this course. The course will take an international perspective on issues and provide opportunities for comparative analysis.

IAFF 6158 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 6138 Evaluating Disaster Intervention

The course focuses on the practice of evaluation of humanitarian action and emergency response. The evaluative process and standards will be presented in the first part of the course. The course then focuses on methodological choices and common techniques used in emergency response evaluations.  These sessions are intended to provide students with practical advice on each step in the evaluation process. Finally, the course looks at innovative approaches to evaluation that have been applied to an emergency context. These promising approaches address some of the key constraints to emergency response evaluation and will likely become common practice in the near future.

IAFF 6158 Climate Change & Energy Policy

Responding to climate change requires fundamentally changing the global energy and economic systems, and the policy and politics that shape them. In this course, students will examine the theory and practice of policymaking in global carbon emissions management and post-oil energy policy, both internationally in the context of global climate negotiations and comparatively at the national level for key states and regions like the US, China, the EU, and India. Students will also look at the broader context and implications for renewable energy and climate policy in areas such as international trade, intellectual property, global energy infrastructure, and development and distributional impacts.

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.

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 policymakers consider different conceptions of security and, at times, to move beyond sole considerations of state sovereignty into the realm of human security.

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 Intro 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 Russia & 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 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 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 20th century 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 Maritime Security and Threats

Globalization and technology have made supply chains longer and more complex. This course examines the economic significance of maritime resources and the global supply chain as it pertains to maritime security and threats, including piracy, smuggling, natural resources, maritime critical infrastructure, disasters, and terror/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/compete for natural resources in highly disputed waters and control important sea lines of communication.

IAFF 6186 Stabilization & 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 Defense Contracting in Practice

Defense policy involves some of the highest stakes in government. It offers a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in issues that are literally life and death. The work defense analysts perform is intellectually challenging, and getting the answers right is extremely demanding. The purpose of this course is to equip you to help make this process work for the better, whether as a producer or a consumer. The focus throughout will be on the requirements of sound analysis in a professional policy advisory setting. The course can also help those outside the profession to understand its workings, but it is oriented chiefly toward those who will seek employment in the field after graduation. In particular, the course is designed to teach you the skills you will need to handle the responsibilities of an entry-level defense analyst in the government or in an outside think tank.

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 Conflict Early Warning and 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 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 Online Terrorism Today

This course will examine the fundamentals of understanding the threat posed by terrorism, the basics of counterterrorism, and look at several key issues important to the study of terrorism. The approach of this course is multi-disciplinary, examining terrorism through the lens of political science, history, law, economics, criminology, and religious studies. The course is designed to provide a basis for understanding the phenomenon of terrorism and to set it into an appropriate context in relation to other critical issues facing a globalized society. 

IAFF 6186 International Peacekeeping

The roles peacekeepers can play in implementing peace agreements and protecting civilians in cases of warfare and atrocities has been hotly disputed for decades. This course examines the major policy debates about contemporary peace operations, including those conducted by the United Nations and regional organizations such as the African Union and European Union. It analyzes the crucial political and organizational dynamics behind these missions as well as ongoing challenges including force generation, regionalization, privatization, gender dynamics, rule of law, use of force, organized crime and counter-terrorism. It will enable students to critically assess the strengths and limitations of these missions.

IAFF 6186 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 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 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 Political Risk Analysis

Political risk analysis is a multidisciplinary field of study which analyzes, measures, manages and mitigates the impact of political risk on foreign and domestic businesses and investments, organizations, and individuals. Political risk emanates from the (in)actions or reactions of stakeholders within a political system to events. This course examines political risk analysis frameworks and methodologies that measure and mitigate political risk in a range of environments at the macro (national and international) and at the micro (local and regional) levels. Approaches will combine research from International Relations as well as risk analysis derived from psychology to provide students with an array of approaches to understanding the critical aspects of evaluating risks. Emphasis is placed on the interchangeable connection between theory, research and practice, as well as the integration of various approaches towards political risk analysis in an organized framework.  

IAFF 6186 Identity and CVE

This course examines violent extremism (VE) and countering violent extremism (CVE) through a policy and a practitioner lens. It compares different types of extremism, the role of identity in radicalization into violent extremism, and government and non-government responses to VE. It provides students with an overview of the evolution of CVE over the past decade or so and an opportunity to critically examine and discuss domestic and international policies and programs that aim to prevent and counter violent extremism. The course will be useful for anyone with an interest in counterterrorism, preventing violent conflict as well as a wide array of disciplines and issues including diplomacy, development assistance, criminology, psychology, sociology and political science. The course will connect theory to practice through discussion, research, presentations and case study reviews of real events.

IAFF 6186 Transnational Threats in Africa

This course examines transnational security threats in Africa, including violent extremism; trafficking of narcotics and wildlife; human trafficking; piracy; corruption and money laundering. Discussions will center on the local factors and actors that drive these threats, and their impact on political and economic development, and their connections to global networks. Students will assess current 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 6198 21st Century Trade: Issues and Strategy

In this political economy seminar, we examine three trends currently challenging the system of rules governing trade. Trend one involves the slow pace of negotiations at the WTO as a result of economic crises in the traditional hegemons (US, EU) and slowing growth in BRICS nations. Trend two involves the turn to FTAs and new issues that these agreements encompass. The third trend examines new technologies and processes leading policymakers to rethink trade priorities. This course will discuss these new issues, technologies, and strategies (bilateral, regional and multilateral). We will first examine why nations sign trade agreements and how the nations that created the WTO are now turning to bilateral and regional free trade agreements. We will then focus on the new issues included in these FTAs (such as investment and digital trade). Finally, we will examine gaps in trade agreements such as how firms should operate in zones of conflict. 

IAFF 6198 International Entrepreneurship

This course introduces the student to innovative international business start-ups.  It aims at understanding the Entrepreneur’s features, forms, and functions. Students examine real-life cases and deepen their own understanding of the entrepreneurial business as a vocation. This seminar focuses on developing new international business start-ups to capture new markets. This seminar should also enhance business alertness gained from improving productivity, innovation, or both. New clusters of creative discoveries, new disruptive technologies, competition, and globalization induce firms and entrepreneurs to innovate and to stay agile. We confront theory with practice. Students learn the promotion, innovation, and growth of start-ups to become excellent entrepreneurs. Topics include business innovation, information technology, knowledge management, process improvement and key performance measurements.

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 6209 Global Communication Capstone

IAFF 6211 MIPP Seminar & Practicum

The MIPP seminar will focus on major issues in international affairs confronting policymakers in the United States and around the world, and it will explore the evolving nature of international leadership in the twenty-first century. We will 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 “micropowers” 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.

IAFF 6318 Chinese Business Law

China has become a major trading partner of the United States and a major destination for foreign direct investment. While the same could be said of Canada, the latter's legal system can be readily understood by an American-trained lawyer. This is not true for China, the legal system of which is profoundly different from that of the US and other Western countries in some of its most basic assumptions as well, of course, as in the content of many of its substantive rules. This course deliberately assumes a different name and broader coverage than traditional Chinese legal courses because the long-standing barriers between domestic and foreign business activities are breaking down, and understanding garden-variety Chinese business law—company law and contract law, to name two examples—will be increasingly important. Thus, while the course will be focused mainly on what lawyers with a China practice would need to know, it will also cover things they may not need to know much about now, but probably will in the future.

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 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 Transatlantic Relations 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, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the age of globalization and the internet, the character of the transatlantic relationship has changed fundamentally. Instead of focusing inside Europe, the transatlantic Allies now must focus on working together to address an array of complex global challenges that span a political, economic and security spectrum. This graduate seminar examines the origins of the transatlantic partnership and the perspectives of key institutions and states; the role of values and strategy; the political, economic and security changes that have taken place since 1989; and the challenges the transatlantic community now faces in working together to deal with a complex 21st century world against the backdrop of the 2016 elections.

IAFF 6341 LASP Cornerstone

IAFF 6357 Pre-Capstone Workshop 

IAFF 6358 Latin American Politics

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: The Case of Central America

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 Security in the Americas

The nations of North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, spanning from Canada to the tip of Chile, are home to massive resource deposits, some of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, and numerous hubs of innovation and growth. Nonetheless, the Americas remain dogged by some of the highest homicide rates and inequality levels in the world. Whether as a result of narcotraffickers dueling for turf on the US-Mexico border or gangs extorting small businesses in El Salvador, public security has become the number one concern of the region’s citizens and—as the region closest to the US—tremendous cause for concern for policymakers from Washington to El Paso. This course will explore the origins of today’s high levels of crime and violence, its role in and impact on societies, a review of U.S. security assistance efforts, prospects for enduring policies to provide durable solutions, and an exploration of the future threat environment.

IAFF 6361 Middle East Studies Cornerstone

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 Climate Change in the Middle East

This course addresses the meanings, impacts, and production of knowledge around climate change in the Middle East and North Africa. As Mike Hulme argues, climate change is currently more powerful as a mobilizing idea than a physical reality. Climate change in the MENA is deeply connected to water, but also to (local and global) energy use, consumption, policy, science, and technology. Some even argue that parts of the MENA will become too hot for human habitation. Drawing on work in anthropology, sociology, geography, and other disciplines, this course will examine concepts of risk and vulnerability, the role of science and local knowledge, and the social contexts of policies and actions, as well as how climate change is affecting and will continue to affect communities in the MENA and worldwide.

Beginning with early studies of climate variability, adaptation, and mitigation in the region, we explore the foundations of current climate change responses. From there, we examine ideas about risk and uncertainty at the center of debates about climate change, from perspectives in the social sciences, local experiences, and climate science communities. We will also examine the politics of inequality, vulnerability, migration, gender, and consumption through cases in carbon markets, agriculture, sea level rise, water scarcity, and energy use. We will then use the ideas developed in the rest of the course to attend to issues in regional and global policy-making.

IAFF 6378 Everyday Politics of Resistance

“Not only have they kicked the black but also told him how to react to the kick” Steve Biko

This course is designed as a conversation between thinking about resistance and living resistance. How do we understand and locate resistance? At the same time, what does resistance look like beneath the political slogans, in the process of living through various forms of oppression? How does this everyday view of resistance shape the kinds of questions we prioritize in our analysis or the strategies of popular struggle? Placing key thinkers in dialogue with everyday popular struggle in the MENA brings into view the messy business of survival, or the politics of everyday life, in which all resistance efforts are situated. In this way, the course aims to understand how the politics of resistance is entangled in a wider politics of human suffering, within a web of political discourses, actors, and practices. In focusing on specific themes that each address the web of power relations involved, we consider the dynamic relationship between resistance as an ethos and as practice. Some of these themes include: violence and non-violence; power and the debate between structure and agency; technologies of oppression; solidarity; coping and ‘resilience’; and the politics of hope. Our core questions are explored through scholarly texts, autobiographies of intellectuals and activists, films, and out-of-class assignments.

IAFF 6378 Iran and Its Arab Neighbors

This course will focus on the relationship between Iran and its Arab Gulf neighbors. It will seek to offer students an in-depth look at the geopolitical relations of the region by focusing on three main themes: Religion and Ideology, Political Economy and Geo-strategic and Security perspectives. Through weekly lectures and discussions, we will cover these themes while shedding light on the history of the region, rivalries and cooperation, alliances, as well as the Arab and Iranian perspective on events in and outside of the region. As much as it might be interesting to delve into the deep historical ties between Arabs and Iranians, this course will focus on relations after WWII through highlighting key moments such as: the 1953 coup in Iran, the Arab-Israeli wars and peace process, the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the Iraq-Iran war, the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the 2011 Arab uprisings among others. With the changing geopolitics and security of the region over the past decade, coupled with the wave of Arab protests and civil wars, Arab-Iranian relations have been facing growing suspicions and uncertainties leading to an ongoing proxy war between the main Gulf rivals --Saudi Arabia and Iran. This rivalry is not isolated from the expanding Turkish role, the rise and fall of ISIS in Iraq or the changing nature of the American and Russian roles in the Middle East.

IAFF 6378 Politics of North Africa

This graduate seminar will examine the politics of North Africa – specifically, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya – through the application of various approaches. Beyond introductory information to the field, we will consider different theories and methods employed to explain change (or lack thereof) in the region’s political systems. Against the backdrop of Arab Spring, which has seen a dramatic range of political activism ranging from grassroots protests resulting in government collapse to violent challenges to regime power, it is also critical to explore the sources and nature of these developments and the prospects for change across North Africa. We will take a comparative approach to the class in order to appreciate similarities and differences across countries and the variables that account for such outcomes.

IAFF 6378 The Middle East in World History

What would a global history of the modern Middle East look like? What kinds of questions and stories would it bring into view that compartmentalized national histories occlude? This graduate seminar draws on recent works that situate the social, economic, cultural, and political transformations that have swept the region over the past two centuries within broader global trends. In addition to investigating how these trends shaped local dynamics, we will investigate how local ideas and practices helped to shape the phenomena that we associate with the modern age: capitalism, slavery, imperialism, nationalism, migration, and industrial technology, among others. Our focus on the region’s linkages with ideas, commodities, and communities “outside” will also encourage us to think more critically and expansively about the geopolitical and cultural boundaries of the “Middle East” as a unit. That is, beyond our predictable examination of the encounter with “the West,” we will trace critical but neglected encounters to the east, south, and north.

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 6501 Quantitative Analysis International Affairs Practicum

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 6502/6503 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 6502 Resilience

In fragile and conflict-affected countries, civil strife pins communities against each other as spoilers manipulate existing tensions, deepening fault lines, and fracturing relationships. This course is designed to introduce future policy-makers, strategic planners, and program implementers to concepts surrounding resilience; the impact of violent conflict on social cohesion; and interventions that rebuild patterns of trust networks and communication. Through experiential learning, students will be exposed to a series of practical tools to help identify change-makers, heal the harm done by violence, restore relationships and build local grievance mechanisms to strengthen community resilience.

IAFF 6502 Opinion Journalism

The world of journalism is changing quickly. Serious opinion used to mean long pieces published in The Atlantic or similar magazines or 800-1,000 word offerings in “serious” newspapers such as the New York Times or Washington Post. In this course, we will write. We’ll blog, and we’ll offer opinions on a range of topics. The course will be guided by news events, and we will comment on them, offering opinions in succinct, understandable formats. By the end of the course, you will author a final paper: an op-ed piece. Op-eds are still the most important piece of real estate on a newspaper’s opinion pages, and they fill up opinion sites both left and right.

IAFF 6502/6503 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 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 6502/6503 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 6502 Cross Cultural Communication

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 Participatory Planning

Participation is a fundamental concept to development. This course aims to build an appreciation of the nuances of participation and to impart specific methods and tools that facilitate participation. The course will cover the principles of participatory learning and action, provide helpful “Do’s” and “Don’t’s” of carrying out participatory activities and processes and touch on the caveats of participatory methods in the development industry.  The tools and methods covered in the course are drawn from community development planning, participatory rural/urban appraisal, participatory monitoring and evaluation, and participatory learning and action.

IAFF 6502 Middle East Political Analysis

This course seeks to illustrate the process of Middle East policy deliberation as practiced in the U.S. government. It will examine a series of interactive case-studies of current U.S. foreign policy challenges in the Middle East to explore various aspects of political analysis. While the instructor will provide introductory lectures on each of the topic areas, the focal point is on classroom discussion, as students collaboratively simulate the interagency policy deliberation process. Therefore, it is important that students attend all classes, complete the required course readings, and participate in class discussions.

IAFF 6502/6503 Leadership & 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 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 Writing for International Policymakers

Clear, concise and persuasive analysis is an essential skill for international affairs professionals. Effective analytical writing for policymakers succinctly assesses matters in ways that provide essential 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, aimed at developing the analytical and writing skills necessary to support, inform and influence policymakers and to implement policy. Specifically, students will write briefing papers, public statements, talking points for a senior government official and demarche points for delivery to a foreign government. Writing samples and required readings will appear in the Files section of Blackboard prior to the start of class.

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 Public Speaking and Performance

This course explores the art of public speaking through the lens of performance. Topics include: clear and effective communication, engaging with your audience, listening skills, and the public speaking warm-up and cool-down. The course will be a blend of skill-building exercises and discussions about constructing a speech. The course will utilize various theories from theatre performance and incorporate them into the public speaking process.

IAFF 6502 Political Risk Analysis

This course will focus on providing students with an understanding of different types of political risk and real-world applications of political risk analysis. We will look at how political risks emerge, how they impact different sectors of the economy and how they can be anticipated, mitigated and managed.

IAFF 6503 Gender Advisor: Roles and Skills

This course will cover the various roles, responsibilities, and necessary skills of a Gender Advisor in multilateral, bilateral, and international development organizations. The course will provide a comprehensive overview of how the latest tools, resources, and practices should be applied in development work. The course will translate the new and evolving set of policies on gender integration/mainstreaming into meaningful practice to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of institutions and organizations seeking to promote peace, security and development through gender mainstreaming of policies, programs, and projects in developing countries as well as leading organizations to improve their internal gender equality.

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 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 Role of the Embassy in Foreign Policy

This course is designed to familiarize students with the structure of the embassy, its authorities both formal and informal, and its activities in support of U.S. interests. Ambassadors manage their embassies through a Country Team, a team that includes the heads of sections and the heads of other U.S. Government agencies represented in the embassy. The Country Team serves as the corporate management of the mission. During the course, each student will assume the role of one member of the country team. The professor will act as an ambassador. In this role-playing model, students will deal with hypothetical issues (based on real events) thereby developing an appreciation and understanding of how an embassy operates.

IAFF 6503 International Non-Profit Management

The non-profit 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 managing a team that may even meet in person regularly.

This course will be taught by evaluating how to design 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 a 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 21 st Century and Non-Profit Governance.

IAFF 6503 Intro 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 National Security Decision

This course will focus on the national security decision-making process of the United States Government. It will examine how key departments and agencies approach problem sets, dynamics in interagency interactions, and the role of the White House in organizing the development of policy options and how determinations are reached. It will discuss the roles and missions of DoD, DHS, the Intelligence Community, law enforcement, Departments of State and Treasury and others in the formation of national security policy. It will also consider the role of Congress in national security, with emphasis on key committee authorization and appropriations processes and how oversight is done on national security departments and agencies. This course will look at base decision making documents like Presidential Policy Directive 1: Organization of the National Security Council System, and strategic guidance products, such as The National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, National Intelligence Priorities Framework and Department of State and AID Strategic Plan. It will discuss how and why these plans are developed, as well as the flow of guidance based on those plans. Students will be expected to read some of the key formative documents and be prepared to discuss perspectives in class. Students will be required to prepare one or two short decision documents based on national security scenarios to be developed in class.

IAFF 6504 International Proficiency - Spanish

IAFF 6504 International Proficiency - French

IAFF 6504 International Proficiency - Chinese

IAFF 6504 International Proficiency - Russian

IAFF 6515 Graduate Internship/International Affairs

IAFF 6516 Independent Study & Research

IAFF 6898 Capstone Workshop

IAFF 6899 Capstone Course