Graduate Course Descriptions

IAFF 6101 International Affairs Cornerstone

Restricted to Master of Arts in International Affairs candidates.

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 the 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 6101 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 6107 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 6108 International Development Policy

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

IAFF 6118 Reinventing the United Nations

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

IAFF 6118 Leadership 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 Rising China in Africa

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

IAFF 6118 Managing the World’s Water

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

IAFF 6118 Applied Qualitative Methods

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

IAFF 6118 Research Methods in Global Gender Issues

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

IAFF 6118 Global Justice

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

IAFF 6118 International Law and the Use of Force

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

IAFF 6118 Human Rights Successes

This course examines successful efforts to expand and deepen the respect, protection, and fulfillment of human rights globally. It focuses on efforts of organizing, advocacy, campaigning, political engagement, policy change, and education that have tangibly, substantially, and meaningfully advanced the practice and realization of human rights. It considers both historical and contemporary human rights advancements and addresses the dynamic nature of human rights protection and fulfillment. The course considers how and why these human rights efforts have been successful and what we can learn from and apply from them in seeking to further advance human rights. The full spectrum of human rights including civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights will be addressed in the course. 

IAFF 6118 International Law

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

IAFF 6121 Cornerstone Seminar: IDS

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


IAFF 6137 Development Studies Pre-Capstone Workshop

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

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 and 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 Social Enterprise Development

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

IAFF 6138 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 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 M&E for Foreign Assistance Programs

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

IAFF 6141 International Science & Tech Policy Cornerstone

This course intended for ISTP students only.

IAFF 6145 U.S. Space Policy - This course will address international space policy issues facing the United States and place them in context with broader technological advances and the changing strategic environment. The course will address current bureaucratic and regulatory issues facing U.S. space programs with regard to dual-use technologies, including export controls, spectrum management, and licensing of commercial remote sensing systems. Conflicts over dual-use technologies, such as space launch, remote sensing, satellite navigation, and communications, will be examined for their implications for a range of national interests. The course will also address strategic choices facing other nations in space activities, including dependence on U.S., European, and Russian space capabilities, developing indigenous space programs, and use of commercial space capabilities.

IAFF 6148 Space and National Security

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 Non-Proliferation Strategies for Emerging Technologies

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

IAFF 6158 Science, Technology, & 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 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 6164 Environmental Security

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

IAFF 6165 Fundamentals of Intelligence

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

IAFF 6171 Introduction to Conflict Resolution

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

IAFF 6173 Security and Development

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

IAFF 6186 United States National Security

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

IAFF 6186 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 Emerging Threats

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

IAFF 6186 International Organized Crime

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

IAFF 6186 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, & 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 Heroes & Villains in the Global Arena

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


IAFF 6186 Political Violence & Terrorism

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

IAFF 6186 Civil-Military Relations

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

IAFF 6186 U.S. Special Operations: Understanding SOF Utility Across the Spectrum of Conflict

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

IAFF 6186 Early Warnings & Conflict Prevention

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

IAFF 6186 Coercion & Deterrence in Peace & War

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

IAFF 6186 U.S. 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 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 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 6198 Macro Policy: Case Studies

This course makes use of macroeconomic theory to analyze real world policy questions. The first two weeks will be used to present a simple macroeconomic framework (financial programming) which can be used as a starting point for our analysis. The remainder of the course is divided into 2-3 week case studies. Among the issues to be examined are: identifying economic and financial vulnerabilities; evaluating monetary and fiscal policy stances; designing economic programs for countries in crisis; developing policy recommendations to raise potential growth; and devising strategies for economic transition. For each of these, a specific country case will be presented, followed by student presentations on the same broad issue. The overarching goal is for students to better understand how macroeconomic policy is implemented under a range of economic and political circumstances as well as the tradeoffs faced by macroeconomic policy-makers.


IAFF 6198 Corporate Finance

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


IAFF 6208 Public Diplomacy

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

IAFF 6211 MIPP Leadership 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 “micro-powers” including activists, insurgents, and entrepreneurs who are shaking up the global order. Through discussions with academic and policy experts, the seminar intends to integrate insights from the participants’ other coursework as well as the participants’ own diverse experience and knowledge. This course intended for MIPP students only.

IAFF 6212 Strategy and Leadership

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

IAFF 6213 Leadership Capstone

This course is intended for MIPP students only.

IAFF 6216 Economic Tools for Global Policy

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

IAFF 6318 Korea-Japan Relations

Few modern-day nations have as tangled and contested a relationship as the two Koreas and Japan. While these regions are linked by close diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties, the complex and often fraught history between the peninsula and the archipelago has led to tensions and controversies in recent years. This course explores the history of this relationship from ancient times to the present day. Topics include the early cultural and mythical links between the two regions, Japan’s controversial colonial occupation of Korea, and the modern-day legacies of WWII that manifest in protests, textbooks, and charged political rhetoric.

IAFF 6321 Colloquium: Europe & Eurasia

Europe and Eurasia play a crucial role in contemporary world affairs: Europe represents a large portion of the global economy; after the Cold War European nations have participated in, and in some cases led, military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and sub-Saharan Africa; and European allies and partners are working with the U.S. on issues such as the Syrian civil war and Iran’s nuclear ambitions. NATO and the European Union have expanded extensively and are developing partnerships with countries far beyond the Union’s traditional area of interest, including countries such as Ukraine and Georgia. The course integrates analysis of current developments in Europe and Eurasia with an examination of their roots in the past, going back to 1945.

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 LAHSP Cornerstone

This course intended for LAHSP students only.

IAFF 6357 LAHSP Pre-Capstone Workshop

This course intended for LAHSP students only.

IAFF 6358 OAS&Democracy in the Americas

This course will examine the origins, principles, purposes, structure and functions of the Organization of American States (OAS), concentrating on its role of promoting and defending democracy in the Hemisphere, including the tensions, limitations and challenges involved.  Special emphasis will be placed on the legal and diplomatic instruments and on the activities/programs the Organization carries out in fulfilling that role.  Classes will frequently involve discussion of inter-American relations, particularly US-Latin American relations, their evolution and present; Latin American democratic versus authoritarian politics, and democracy promotion theory and practice. At the end of the course, students will be expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding the OAS role in the promotion and defense of democracy in the Western Hemisphere, and should be able to evaluate its performance in terms of that role. More specifically, students should be able to identify the Inter-American instruments and activities OAS member states have developed for that role, and critically analyze and assess their application and impact in particular cases or circumstances.

IAFF 6358 Latin America in Motion:IndgnousMed&Mvts

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

IAFF 6358 Government & Politics in Latin America

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

IAFF 6358 Immigration & Weak States

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

IAFF 6361 Middle East Studies Cornerstone

This course intended for MES graduate students only.

IAFF 6377 Middle East Studies Capstone

This course intended for MES graduate students only.

IAFF 6378 U.S. 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 Islam, Media, & Politics in the Arab World

IAFF 6378 Neighbors & Rivals: Iran & the Arab World

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 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 6378 The Middle East in the World

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 Iraq & Syria in the 20th Century

At the close of the twentieth century the proposition that the Ba‘thist regimes of Iraq and Syria had constructed “rogue states” that lay outside the international system was an axiom of US foreign policy. This course seeks to engage with this proposition by examining the modern history of these two states, with special emphasis on the roles of external forces in their formation, the emergence of their authoritarian regimes, and their eventual isolation and demonization. This colloquium is designed for graduate students in IMES, in Middle East history, or who have a special interest in the region. It will examine the modern history of two states whose experiences during the modern period reflect broader regional and global realities. The course begins with the final years of the Ottoman Empire, covers the mandatory regimes in Damascus and Baghdad, the establishment of independent states, and the processes by which authoritarian regimes came to power. It ends with the early 1990s – the later years of Hafiz al-Asad’s rule in Syria and the imposition of sanctions on Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.

IAFF 6378 Islamic Political Thought

This seminar discusses the history, politics, and culture of Islam and Islamic law, from the early Islam until today. The materials and readings discussed in the classroom provide diverse approaches to Islamic law and cover the main classical schools of jurisprudence, on the one hand, and contemporary movements centralized on Islamic law in the Middle East, on the other. The discussions of the seminar include the issue of modern state, the role of Islamic law and Muslim scholars in the political setting, the Islamic codification, and the Islamization project in the Arab world. Finally, the seminar engages the students in the topics of Islamic constitutionalism and constitutional theocracy in the Middle East.  

IAFF 6501 Quantitative Analysis for International Affairs Practice

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 & 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 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 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 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 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 Writing for International Policymakers

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

IAFF 6502 Cross-Cultural Communications

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

IAFF 6502 Advocating for Women’s Rights

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

IAFF 6502 Public Opinion in International Affairs

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

IAFF 6502 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 Public Speaking & 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 Human Centered Design

This experiential and interactive course exposes students to the tools, tactics, and frameworks used by international innovators, entrepreneurs, and designers to empathize with populations they seek to serve, define problem sets, and come up with innovative solutions to solve the world toughest problems. I will draw from examples of how human-centered design is being used in South America, Africa, and India to bring women out of poverty, provide livable wages, and combating the AIDS epidemic. Tools gained at this workshop will benefit those with a passion for social change in an international context and/or those at the early stages of exploring their own innovations solutions, ideas, nonprofits, and social enterprises. We encourage participation from individuals that have identified a problem they would like to solve and/or those that have an idea or new program the positively impacts committees. No prior experience with human-centered design or design thinking is necessary to attend.


IAFF 6502 STATA: Fundamentals

IAFF 6502.26 is a four-week Stata introduction course that will cover basics skills for students to get hands on using Stata for data analysis. This course provides basic introduction to Stata software and its applications on data management, data analysis and econometric modeling.

IAFF 6502 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 management a team that may even meet in person regularly. This course will be taught by learning how to evaluate non-profit organizations using a Non-Profit Organizational Capacity Mapping Framework and by discussing Case Studies in class. Prior reading of the Case Studies for each seminar class is required because the case studies will be taught using the Socratic Method with students explaining the Case Studies and Responding to questions by the Lecturer and other students. The themes that will be covered by both the case studies and the Capacity Mapping Framework will include lectures and discussions about Mission; Program/Theory of Change; Evaluation & Log Frames; Fundraising & Communication Strategies; NGO Management in the 21st Century and Non-Profit Governance. For the course’s final project, students will be divided into teams and given the assignment to jointly draft and present a program proposal for funding that clearly demonstrates their grasp and application of the topics covered in the course.


IAFF 6503 Leadership and Teamwork

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

IAFF 6503 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 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 Ethics in International Affairs

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

IAFF 6503 Gender Monitoring & Evaluation  

IAFF 6503 Introduction to Gaming & Simulations

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

IAFF 6503 Mobile Phones for International Development

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

IAFF 6503 Congress and Foreign Policy

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

IAFF 6118 Transnational Security Threats in Africa

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

IAFF 6118 African Security Forces: The Soldier and the African State

When do soldiers choose to intervene in politics, and when do they cede power? How have security forces influenced the formation and development of Africa’s political institutions? This course attempts to answer these important questions by providing an overview of the turbulent history and contemporary nature of civil-military relations in Africa. It examines the role of Africa's armies in precipitating authoritarian rule after independence, in facilitating transitions to democracy that swept the continent
after the Cold War, and how legacies of past intervention continue to shape contemporary civil-military relations on the continent. Each class meeting will feature theoretical and applied discussions on the role that African security forces have played, for good or for ill, in the development of their nations, and consider ways in the continent’s soldiers might better serve their states. The course will be taught in seminar-style, with an emphasis on developing policy writing and presentation skills.

IAFF 6504 Intermediate Proficiency - Russian

IAFF 6504 Intermediate Proficiency - French

IAFF 6504 Intermediate Proficiency - Chinese

IAFF 6504 Intermediate Proficiency - Spanish