Undergraduate Course Descriptions

IAFF 1001 First-Year Experience

First-Year Experience assists students in developing their personal, academic, and career goals. Restricted to students in the Elliott School.

IAFF 1005 Intro to International Affairs: A Washington Perspective

This course introduces students to prominent analytical frameworks that help to explain important issues in international politics. The course is divided into three sections: international order, security challenges, and political economy.

You must also sign up for a discussion section.

IAFF 2040 International Affairs Research Methods

This course covers basic research methods and methodologies that undergird international relations scholarship, as well as the ontological and epistemological assumptions particular to the research traditions explored.  Students are exposed not only to general research platforms, such as regression and case-study analyses, but also to the more specific research tools that accompany ethnography, discourse and survey analyses. A portion of class time is devoted to gaining familiarity with research resources available both online and at sites in the Washington area, providing students with the means to initiate their own original research in the field of international relations.

IAFF 2040 Junior/ Senior Job Search and Strategy

Registration restricted to ESIA juniors and seniors only.

IAFF 2040 Global Inquiries

Restricted to those who are in the Global Bachelor's Program.

IAFF 2040 Global Investigations

Restricted to those who are in the Global Bachelor's Program.

IAFF 2040 Global Insights

Restricted to those who are in the Global Bachelor’s Program.

IAFF 2090 Latin America: Problems and Promise

This course introduces students to Latin America, a region of the world that has served as a virtual laboratory of capitalism and democracy over the last century. This course is designed to introduce undergraduates to the diverse, rich, and complex history, politics, economy, culture, and society of Latin America. However, emphasis will be placed on political and economic issues, given their fundamental importance to regional trends over the last several decades. Notably, students will complement readings with other learning tools, such as media and film, which will help them better understand the region.

IAFF 2094 The EU & Its Member States

This courses examines the development of the European Union; the structure and activities of its institutions; current policy issues such as Brexit, immigration, and foreign relations; and the role of EU Member States.

IAFF 2190 Presidents at War

This course explore the way American presidents have thought about and conducted wars. What causes war, and how do wars end? The approach in the course is analytical and historical. We will examine different theoretical perspectives on war – realism (power), liberalism (institutions) and idealism/constructivism (individual and collective ideas). And we will examine the historical record to see how different presidents have approached the use of military force.

IAFF 2190 War: What Is It Good For?

Civil war is the most common form of state-based armed conflict today. Depending on how one counts, between 110 and 260 civil wars have been fought since the end of World War II, compared to 30 to 45 interstate wars. Civil wars are also extremely deadly, causing the deaths of millions of people, the majority of them noncombatants. The end of the Cold War focused the attention of scholars of comparative politics and international relations on civil conflict, leading to a growing literature on all facets of civil war, including civil war onset, duration, outcome, and termination; causes and effectiveness of targeting civilians (a.k.a., terrorism) in civil wars; why people join rebel groups or decide to become terrorists; the effectiveness of various forms of intervention in civil wars; counterinsurgency; and more. This course explores some of the new literature on civil war, and is divided into four parts. The first part is mainly definitional: what is a civil war? What kinds of civil wars are there? What are insurgency and counterinsurgency? What is terrorism? These class sessions outline working definitions for each of these phenomena that we will use during the remainder of the course. The second section of the course looks at the causes of civil war. The third part of the course turns to the conduct of civil wars with an emphasis on one particularly prevalent but unsavory practice: violence against civilians. The final section of the course looks at what makes civil wars last so long and what eventually brings them to an end.

IAFF 2190W North Africa and the World

The course provides area familiarization on North Africa (Al-Maghreb) with a focus on those issues that are most relevant to an understanding and analyzing a sub-region that has a potential to greatly impact on U.S. national security interests.  The approach will emphasize the importance and dynamics of the countries in this sub-region–Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco–thematically.  The course is divided into four blocks.  Each is arranged under separate topics and includes issues revolving around the region’s interaction with the outside world, its society and culture, areas of conflict and reconciliation, religion, gender, geo-strategic considerations, AFRICOM, the Pan-Sahel CT Initiative, and many more.   Most importantly, the course will focus on the current political ferment especially after the popular spring uprisings of 2011 and the current uncertainties as a result of domestic, regional and international tensions.

IAFF 2190W US Foreign Policy in Africa

This course, using the case study approach, focuses on the decision-making process in African conflict situations in Sierra Leone, Angola, Sudan, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Somalia and Rwanda.  The goal is not to gain a detailed understanding of each conflict, but rather to comprehend how the U.S. responded to them and to master the important decision-making factors in each case. The course involves considerable student interaction and includes time for extended class discussion, role playing several sequences of the Somalia conflict, class debate on U.S. involvement in Rwanda and a mock briefing on Sudan policy by small groups.  Finally, it includes role playing the positions of U.S. personnel at American embassies in Addis Ababa and Asmara on U.S. policy toward the conflict.  The overall objective is to obtain a better understanding of the decision-making process while learning about six African conflicts

IAFF 2190W Foreign Policy Decision Making

This course is designed to introduce you to the major psychological approaches used to explain foreign policy decision-making. It will cover topics in personality, cognition, and environmental constraints, and it will offer you an opportunity to learn and to practice the basic conceptual and methodological skills necessary for scholarly and policy research. Each week we will highlight a different analytic perspective, an important historical case, and a classic conceptual critique.  In the early weeks we will draw attention to the impact of people in groups and groups in governments, and we will consider the influence of emotions and cybernetics on the policy-making process.  In the later weeks we will underscore the importance of individual leaders in foreign affairs, and concentrate our attention on the significance of personality, character, beliefs, and images, and even the unconscious judgment process itself.  Throughout the semester we will seek to link various perspectives to contemporary issues and concerns in world affairs.

IAFF 2190W Politics and Culture in the Middle East

This course introduces students to major political and cultural events and trends in this diverse and complex region.  Thematic readings and case studies of regional states will focus on historical developments of the recent past to contextualize many present realities; examine sociological trends, with emphasis on identity, kinship, faith, and communal development; and explore colonial legacies, nationalism, modernization, and political change.  This class operates as a seminar and places considerable attention on the careful reading and creative interpretation of texts.  Attendance is mandatory, and active participation in discussions means critical thinking and not simply textual summaries.  This is an intense course with a heavy reading load, but for students truly interested in the region, the topics will be more than stimulating – and outcome of the course rewarding.

IAFF 2190W Women in Global Politics

This course is an overview of the global status of women in the Twenty-First Century, focusing on the discrepancies between normative frameworks and policy developed to benefit women and their actual implementation.  The course examines how political, economic, social, cultural and religious frameworks affect the wellbeing of women as well as contribute to a systemic lack of access to resources. The course further underscores the imperative for increased focus on the human rights of women.  Readings will include academic texts, journal articles and narratives by contemporary women leaders and writers.  The class will also feature distinguished guest speakers.

IAFF 2190W US - Asia Critical Issues

This course assesses the relevant background, status and outlook of U.S. relations with and policy toward Asia. It treats such pertinent contemporary Asian issues as the Korean peninsula, the rise of China, Japan’s future, Taiwan, territorial disputes along the rim of eastern and southeastern Asia, crises and conflicts in South Asia, terrorism, economic globalization, energy security, climate change, and regional multilateralism. The issues are assessed with a focus on U.S. relations with large Asian powers—China, Japan, India and Russia.

IAFF 3180 Cyber and Policy

Overview of the cyber domain’s impact on international relationships and development of security policies.  Focus on modern cyber events that generated diplomatic, informational, military, and economic reactions by governments, international organizations, and alliances.  Strategic challenges and opportunities with partners, allies and adversaries in the cyber domain.

IAFF 3180 Global Energy Security

Over the past decades energy security has increasingly moved to the forefront of the political agenda. Energy, its production and consumption are crucial for all sectors of the economy, in the US and worldwide. This course aims to develop an understanding of global energy security by presenting the fundamental concepts and theories as they apply to the energy field. The course starts with an overview of the world energy situation and an introduction to energy data and the energy balance. Topics discussed include a supply and demand analysis for the coal, oil and natural gas markets, an analysis of the prospects for renewables and nuclear energy. Furthermore, the topics of energy pricing, taxation and subsidization as well as the energy challenges faced by developing economies will be covered in this course.

This course may be used for the following requirements: Comp. Political, Economic & Social Systems (EFCA); Int’l Economics (EFCF); Int’l Environmental Studies (EFCG); Int’l Politics (EFCH); Security Policy (EFCI)

IAFF 3180 NATO’s Strategic Challenges

Both sides of the Atlantic have argued that Putin’s actions in Ukraine and Syria threaten more than the U.S.’ strategic calculus or the EU’s regional security: but fundamentally challenge the Western-led order. Transatlantic sanctions against the Kremlin will test whether the West can still modify the behavior of nations that challenge this order. Current political circumstances have muddled this already complex picture.  Donald Trump’s inauguration, as well as elections in Europe, suggest that the recent features of Western responses to the Russian challenge might soon be obsolete – including in such fundamental respects as the role of NATO and EU-U.S. relations. Western reactions to Putin’s Russia, therefore, provide a litmus test of tectonic changes that will fundamentally redefine the nature of global power, the landscape of threats, and the values that underpin international security in the 21st century.

IAFF 3180 Global Energy Markets

This course will cover global energy markets and how they influence international affairs and related energy and environmental policy development, infrastructure investments and global energy security. Each of the physical and financial markets of petroleum, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, coal, nuclear power, renewables and electricity will be covered. Emphasis will be on European, Russian, Middle East, Asian, South American and North American markets. Students will learn about the supply chains of each energy resource and how each commodity is priced. The course will then cover global trading hubs for energy derivatives (futures, swaps and options) used to hedge energy price volatility in specific regions and markets. The role of energy derivatives in price formation of oil, natural gas, coal and electricity and how they affect infrastructure investment and international affairs. The course is aimed at students interested in an overall understanding of global energy markets and students pursuing regional studies. Students can pursue regional interests through projects. Contemporary examples will be used extensively in this class.

IAFF 3180 Women in Violent Extremism

This course is a survey of the evolution of the phenomenon of terrorist and violent extremists (VE) groups and an analysis of its causes, forms, and consequences. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course will introduce undergraduate students to gender-specific classifications and characteristics of terrorism and violent extremism (VE) groups. The course will provide a grounding in selected thematic issues relevant to the roles, motives, and impact of women and girls in terrorism and VE groups worldwide, to include domestic terror networks. The course is designed to combine theoretical and practice-based approaches to issues of gender and terrorism, drawing on relevant case studies from differing conflicts and cultural contexts.

IAFF 3180W U.S. Grand Strategy

Periods immediately following major wars cause fundamental changes in foreign policies of winners, losers, and non-participants, as they adjust to new power realities. The course will include the study of contemporary documents that shaped the policies, ideas and intentions of the principal statesmen. In the aggregate, a century of adjustments moved America from a peripheral, second-class power to the sole superpower as the 21st Century began. These paradigm periods and their impact at home and abroad are essential to an understanding of “The American Century.” They also give perspective and definition to the nation’s place today and possibilities for the future, all of which we will examine.  Central to the course are required readings, and research papers on strategic issues.

IAFF 3180W Nuclear Security

This course will provide students with a basic orientation to the technology, policy and politics associated with nuclear weapons. Students will gain an understanding of the scientific breakthroughs and technologies related to nuclear weapons. They will also gain an understanding of the policy implications and political dynamics affecting the acquisition and potential use of nuclear weapons. This is a Writing in the Disciplines (WID) course. Students are required to write a comprehensive term paper on a current Nuclear Policy topic.

IAFF 3181 Conflict and Conflict Resolution

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 3181 Gender, Conflict and Security

This course provides an introduction to understanding the gendered dimensions of armed conflict and security. The course will provide a grounding in selected thematic issues relevant to the study of gender, conflict and security such as gendered frames for understanding militarism and combatancy, gender-based violence related to conflict, peacekeeping and humanitarian response and gendered approaches to understanding the aftermath of conflict, such as transitional justice measures. The course is designed to combine theoretical and practice-based approaches to issues of gender, conflict and security, drawing from interdisciplinary theoretical and policy resources, as well as case studies from differing situations of armed conflict globally. Classes are discussion-based and interactive, and students are expected to fully engage actively in discussion and debate.

IAFF 3181 Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding

Why does the Israeli-Palestinian conflict persist, after decades of determined peace efforts by heads of state, social movements, civil society organizations and ordinary citizens? What strategies can be effective in future attempts to resolve this intractable diplomatic problem? This course provides a historical and theoretical overview of Palestinian/Israeli peace and conflict resolution efforts at all levels - state, civil society, and grassroots. Drawing on leading frameworks for Conflict Resolution theory and practice, the course will examine a range of cross-conflict peace initiatives, including official and unofficial negotiations, political campaigns, social movements, interfaith and intergroup dialogue, peace education, media, human rights advocacy and nonviolent direct action. Students will be challenged to understand peace and conflict resolution initiatives in their complex historical, political, social and theoretical contexts, and to assess the contributions of these initiatives to any potential future resolution. Course materials will include film, literature, media, and online resources as well as conversations with practitioners and scholars of the field.

IAFF 3182 Contemporary Uses of Military Power

The course will examine how military power has been used successfully and unsuccessfully in the recent past, currently, and how it might be used in the future. Military power is defined as the consideration, preparation, and use of armed force in pursuit of policy goals. The course’s case studies will focus on senior government discussions about the consideration of using military force before hostilities were initiated and its actual use once hostilities began. It will also examine the current counter-insurgency effort in Afghanistan and possible future cases dealing with China and Iran.

IAFF 3183 Globalization and Sustainable Development

Some questions addressed in this course include: What is globalization? What is sustainable development?  What does the history of humankind teach us about our use or misuse of natural resources, including water resources? What is the nexus between globalization and sound natural resource management? How is climate change affecting sustainable development and what are we doing about it? What drives the relentless process of globalization and how does this process in turn affect economic development, poverty and sustainability? The overall goal is to understand key concepts (e.g. carrying capacity and others) related to natural resource management as well as the linkages between globalization and sustainable development.

IAFF 3183 Migration, Gender and International Development

The relationship between migration and international development has become an established feature of contemporary social and economic life globally, with both positive and negative aspects for the migrants and nations involved. Scholars often refer to this process as the migration-development nexus. Studies also reveal however that migration tends to arise from those nations and regions already undergoing development; that is, migration both stimulates, and responds to, existing development rather than only to hardship or need. At the same time, migration and development are gendered—aspects of gender have become fundamental for analyzing the relationship between migration and development. This seminar will analyze scholarships that explore all these issues by examining various contemporary forms of migration. We will identify core issues and evaluate the use of methods, evidence, and arguments. This approach will be particularly useful in critically reading and evaluating the relationship between migration theory and empirical research.

IAFF 3183 Human Trafficking

This class will introduce students to the complex phenomenon of human trafficking (also referred to as a form of modern day slavery) as defined in the United Nations Anti-Trafficking Protocol as well as the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and its subsequent reauthorizations. In this class, we will discuss trafficking in human beings in its historical, legal, economic, political and social contexts; identifying the scope of the global problem, different forms of human trafficking, regional trends and practices, including trafficking in the United States and the different actors involved at all levels.

IAFF 3186 Central Asia between East and West

Central Asia remains one of the world’s least-understood regions, despite being a significant theater for muscle-flexing by the great powers and regional players. This course will comprehensively explore the international and domestic challenges facing the five states of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan – and also make “excursions” to Afghanistan, Xinjiang, and Mongolia. It will enable students to position Central Asia on the chessboard of international affairs through assessment of post-Cold War geostrategic changes, integration into the world economy, security and energy issues, interaction with the main external actors such as Russia, the United States, China, and Iran, and regional politics (authoritarian regimes, Islam and Islamism, ‘color’ revolutions and social mobilizations).

IAFF 3186 International Relations of South Asia

This course examines the role and importance of South Asia in international affairs. The region is home to six major countries, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. We will begin our journey with a brief survey of the British colonial period, which affected all six countries to varying degrees, eventually giving rise to a protracted struggle for independence in the heartland of the Raj. We will also examine some of the most important political and economic trends in each country. Nuclear weapons, radical Islamic terrorism, INFOSYS, call centers, democracy, dictatorship, civil war, territorial disputes, abject poverty, Bollywood and cricket.  South Asia has it all.  It has emerged on the world stage as a region whose importance is second to none.  In this course you will find out why.

IAFF 3186 US-China Relations

This course focuses on the areas of convergence and the areas of divergence between the governments and peoples of China and the United States. It assesses the historical roots of issues of cooperation and contention between the two nations, examines the contemporary strengths and weaknesses of issues of cooperation and contention and their broader significance in determining overall Sino-American relations, and discerns likely prospects for China-U.S. relations and their international implications. 

IAFF 3186W Equitable Development in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia has provided several of the most compelling development success stories of the past half-century. How does the development record of this region – in terms of income growth, equity, and sustainability – compare to that of developing countries in other parts of the world? What has underpinned the success of these countries in raising the living standards of their citizens and improving a range of development outcomes? Why did some of them fall victim to financial crises in the 1990s and 2000s while others avoided these? What are the main challenges these countries now face in sustaining their success? What should their priorities for policy and institutional reforms be going forward in order to address these development challenges? These are some of the questions and issues that will be explored in this course, using a mix of analytical and empirical methods grounded primarily in economics. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a conceptual framework and analytical tools, rooted in economic theory, in order to understand the development experience of countries in South East Asia since the 1970s and to assess the development challenges they face going forward. The emphasis will be on the eight developing countries in South East Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), although there will also be references to Singapore’s experience.

IAFF 3186 Christianity & Islam in East Asia

This course is a general introduction to the historical development and contemporary state of Christianity and Islam in China, Korea and Japan. It explores how these two religions of foreign origin have taken root in the specific social, political and cultural contexts in East Asia. Furthermore, it discusses how the East Asian experiences with these two religions have contributed to new understandings of secularism and modernity, ethnicity and nation-state, and the complex relationship between religion and global politics. The format of the class is a combination of lectures, discussions, and student presentations, supplemented by multimedia materials. No prerequisite. All readings will be in English. 

IAFF 3186 Indo-Pacific Security Challenges

The objective of this course will be to study the multiple issues and challenges which have transformed the Indo-Pacific region into not only the most populous but also one of the most important parts of the world. It will cover an area from China, Japan, Korea and Australia to India and Pakistan, with the principal countries of Southeast Asia in-between. It will concentrate on the global issues, including political, economic, commercial and cultural as well as military and nuclear which form the basis of current events and relations between the states in the region as well as the rest of the world. The course will also focus on the multiple issues between the region and the United States, which has both global and national interests of its own as a wide-ranging influence in the region—one which at various times may be welcome, essential and supportive; or, on the other hand, intrusive and threatening.

IAFF 3186 Modern South Asia

The South Asian subcontinent, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, since the mid-eighteenth century. The period of British rule, from the late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century. The different trajectories of the independent nation-states of South Asia following decolonization.

IAFF 3187 Cuba in the Global Arena

The course will examine the early history of Cuba, including the circumstances of its independence and the role of the United States in the early years of the Cuban Republic.  It will examine how a small Caribbean island nation became an important player during the Cold War and the focus of a nuclear confrontation, and how the Castro brothers and the Cuban Revolution have managed to stay in power for over half a century.  The course will take a close look at United States relations with Cuba through the years, and how the Cuba issue has affected domestic policies in the United States and other countries.  The course will also look at the role the Cuban diaspora plays in the foreign policy process.  Finally, the course will discuss President Obama’s December 17, 2014 initiative to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and possible scenarios for a transition in Cuba in the next few years.

IAFF 3187 Mexico Since Independence

The purpose of this course is to survey the economic, social, political and cultural development of Mexico in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including problems of economic development, poverty and inequality; different forms of social movements, rebellion and revolution; race, gender and ethnicity; U.S.-Mexico relations; and literary and intellectual movements.

This course may be used for the following requirements: Comp. Political, Economic & Social Systems; Contemporary Cultures and Societies; Int’l Development; Int’l Politics; Latin American and Hemispheric Studies

IAFF 3187 Political Economy of Latin America

Political Economy of Latin America - Latin America has emerged from more than two decades of economic reform and globalization as one of the world’s primary regions of emerging market growth. It is no longer an area whose development depends exclusively on ties to the United States and Europe. In recent years, Latin America has begun to show signs of “decoupling”; of pursuing a diverse range of development pathways. This advanced upper-level seminar will focus on the politics of economic policymaking in Latin America.

IAFF 3187 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, options for improving these societies, and the policy tools that the United States has at its disposal to be of assistance. Using Central America’s Northern Triangle as an example, students will analyze present-day economic, security and governance challenges and think through realistic policy options. The Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras) is confronting a perfect storm of high insecurity, low foreign direct investment, and societies being torn apart. The proximity of this to the United States bears direct national security implications. This seminar course is designed to provide practical training in analyzing the many facets of a complex international problem directly affecting the United States but where US policy has thus far failed to find a solution.

IAFF 3187 Latin America in Motion: Indigenous Media and Social Movements

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

IAFF 3187 History of Brazil

This course examines the history of Brazil from the colonial to the modern period. Conquest, slavery, and Atlantic trade shaped Brazil into Portugal’s greatest colony and even turned the city of Rio de Janeiro into the seat of empire in 1808. The rule of Brazilian monarchy endured after independence while the First Republic inaugurated the twentieth century. During the past one hundred years, various Brazilian groups have been engaged in the struggle for democracy. The “South American giant” continues to appear in historic headlines that are testament to the country’s global importance and the great debate over the meaning of freedom and citizenship.

The course particularly explores the experiences of indigenous people, Afro-descendentes, workers, and those who resisted military dictatorship. Local and transnational conditions have shaped their lives, and students will particularly investigate global interconnections. Understanding the making of Brazilian popular culture is also crucial to these experiences.

The course’s learning goals are organized around the following objectives:

  • To enable students to think critically about diversity and justice
  • To help students understand major arguments that shape our understanding of Brazil’s past
  • To help students explain the relationship between historical significance and historical evidence
  • To assist students in identifying important historical continuities and ruptures

IAFF 3188 Form and Practice: American Policy in the Middle East

The United States has been the predominant power in the Middle East since Great Britain was forced to give up its role as regional hegemon after World War II. Since then, Washington has found itself in a continuous struggle to enforce a Pax Americana designed to safeguard a broad range of interests, traditionally including political-military stability, the free flow of oil, the security of Israel, containment/defeat of hostile powers, and suppression of violent extremism. But times have changed, threats have multiplied, and US policy—what it is and what it should be—is up for grabs. This course will focus on the Middle East through the lens of the US policy practitioner to understand America’s history and key interests in the region. Are those interests the same as they were even 10 years ago? What challenges are emerging today and what might they be in the future?  And in this dynamic environment, what’s a policymaker to do?

IAFF 3188 Iran –US Relations  

Since a CIA-backed coup in 1953 against a popular Iranian prime minister, Iran and the US have had a love-hate relationship. Animosity has only grown since the 1979 revolution and has had a negative impact not just on the peoples of the two countries but on the entire Middle East and beyond. The course will cover the reasons for this estrangement, missed opportunities for improvement, the breakthrough on the nuclear issue under the Obama administration, the deterioration and reversion to hostility under the Trump administration and the outlook for the future.

IAFF 3188 Medieval Islamic Art of the Book

This course serves as an introduction to the history of illustrated manuscripts, painting and book illumination in the Muslim world, beginning with the rise of Islam in the seventh century and ending with the seventeenth century. During the semester we will focus on a wide range of illustrated and illuminated texts, from the Quran to the poetry of Nizami and the court chronicles of Emperor Akbar. We will consider all aspects of manuscript production, from the arts of painting, calligraphy, and illumination, to the preparation of paper, brushes, inks, and pigments. The class will explore in depth the nature of the royal manuscript workshop, the formation of visual idioms, the roles of originality and imitation in artistic practice, the aesthetics of the illustrated page, and the theorization of painting and calligraphy in technical treatises, poetry, and other primary texts. Islamic book culture nurtured a unique artistic and aesthetic visual language that was fashioned, in part, by Muslims’ exposure to and dialogue with other peoples and traditions, including Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, and others. These encounters brought about an endless process of creativity that is constantly reflected in the art of the book. The format of the course is a combination of lectures and class discussions. Throughout the semester we will analyze specific case studies that will offer us a more complete grasp of the history of Islamic painting and book culture. We will also rely on written sources (historical, philosophical, poetic, and religious) to better understand the unity and diversity of the creative Muslim world and the complex attitudes toward images.

IAFF 3190 Space Policy

This course is an examination of the origins, evolution, current status, and future prospects of U.S. space policies and programs. It will cover the U.S. government’s civilian, military, and national security space programs and the space activities of the U.S. private sector, and the interactions among these four sectors of U.S. space activity. This examination will be cast in the context of the space activities of other countries, and of international cooperation and competition in space. The goal of the course is to give the student an exposure to the policy debates and decisions that have shaped U.S. efforts in space to date, and to the policy issues that must be addressed in order to determine the future goals, content, pace, and organization of U.S. space activities, both public and private.

IAFF 3190 International Law

This course will provide an overview of public international law – what it is and how it is established, implemented, interpreted, changed, and enforced. The course will examine the legal structure underpinning international society and how domestic law and domestic institutions are affected by, and affect the international system. Through a study of state practice and case law, students will explore the genesis and development of international norms and legal principles related to important contemporary issues:  armed conflict and the use of force; international criminal law; and, human rights law.

IAFF 3190 Arctic Affairs

In recent years, ongoing climate change and renewed strategic interests have brought the Arctic region to the forefront of many countries’ foreign policy agendas. This comprehensive course covers a broad range of political, socio-economic, legal, and environmental issues linked to the Arctic region. It is divided into two main sections: one discussing circumpolar issues and institutions, the second looking in greater detail at the national policies of Arctic states (the United States, Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) and of non-Arctic states and entities such as China and European Union. The course will include guest lectures by U.S. officials, NGO leaders, energy industry representatives, and experts on Arctic issues, giving students a unique opportunity to discuss contemporary public policy and governance problems, as well as position the changing Arctic on the chessboard of international affairs.

IAFF 3190 Africa Declassified

This course examines how US intelligence analysis on sub-Saharan Africa has evolved from the 1950s to the 2000s, and what are the challenges, pitfalls, and opportunities for foreign policy practitioners.  The class will alternate between close readings of declassified intelligence and policy documents to thematic discussions on trends in Africa and the analytic tradecraft underpinning support to US decision making on sub-Saharan Africa.

IAFF 3190 Women, Rights and Gender Equality

The evolution of concepts of gender equality and the idea that "women's rights are human rights" has gained increased positioning within the international human rights and global policy system. Focusing primarily on the status of women, this seminar provides a foundational understanding of the relevance of gender equality to human rights norms and the translation of these into global gender equality policy and practice. The seminar will thematically examine: the changes that have taken place in women's status relative to men’s at global levels; the role of both policy and women's movements in creating changes to women’s status; women’s participation in governance globally; violence against women and global policy responses; evolving responses to issues affecting women in situations of armed conflict. The seminar will draw on gender theory while also examining specific examples and case studies of practice approaches to advancing gender equality and women’s rights. Active participation of students in discussion-based classes is expected.

IAFF 3190 Transforming Global Communication Information Law

This seminar on the transformation in global communications and information law and policy will cover the rapid evolution of communications and information services and initiatives by national governments and international organizations to create new legal and policy frameworks. Topics are expected to include trends around the world in privacy and data protection, human rights, control of communications and data, internet governance, online content, approaches to cybersecurity, emerging technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence, and digital trade. The course will provide students an understanding of the current law and policy debates in these areas, the complex ways policy is shaped, the perspectives of multiple stakeholders, and the tools for addressing similar law and policy questions going forward. The seminar will be cross-disciplinary, highly interactive in approach, and relevant to various tracks. Taught by a practitioner with more than 25 years of experience in international law and policy, this course will provide students a blend of substantive and practice expertise. 

IAFF 3190 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. The course will draw on  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 3190 Refugee & Migrant Crisis

An unprecedented number of people -- 65 million -- are displaced in the world today. How did this happen and what can be done about it? The course will first examine the refugee regime in historical perspective. Where exactly do most migrants and refugees come from? Who bears the burden of protecting them? When have levels of displacement spiked in the past? And how have states and international organizations responded to past crises? After situating today's refugee and migrant crisis in historical context, the course will focus on the response to refugees and migrants from key actors like the UN, NGOs, and state governments. What are their mandates and how do they assist people on the move? Are their tools and approaches fit to purpose for the displacement crises today? Under what conditions do these institutions succeed, and what challenges do they face along the way? What are their greatest unintended effects? This section of the class will focus on organizational theory and the role of institutions in the refugee and migrant crisis.

IAFF 3190 Ethnic and Religion Conflict in Africa

The course will introduce students to the systemic study of ethnic and religious violence, to the key concepts in conflict studies, and to major episodes of ethnic and religious violence in Africa. The course places an emphasis on post-Cold War conflicts –frequently referred to as ‘new wars’–though it includes an examination of historical context and long-term trends. The course addresses the basic question of whether the nature of war has changed and it sheds light on why this question is both central and controversial to scholars of violent conflict. The course will also introduce students to the data used to examine ethnic conflict through an overview of data collection, research design, and surveys. Empirical data will allow students to actively engage with quantitative reasoning as they conduct their own analysis.

IAFF 3190 Introduction to Intelligence

The course will focus on the role of intelligence, and particularly the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), in the formation of national security policy. The course will examine the functions of intelligence in peace time and war time and the various components of the IC that serve those functions. Students will examine intelligence successes and failures using historical case studies. The class will conclude with a discussion of contemporary intelligence issues such as privacy vs. counter-terrorism concerns and counter-terrorism interrogation methods. This course will help students to make informed views about issues pertaining to the IC during the coming decades. The course will also help students who are interested in government careers in intelligence. 

IAFF 3190 Human Rights and Ethics

This course examines the theoretical and practical framework of human rights from a multidisciplinary perspective. It analyzes how rights have been conceptualized, envisioned, imagined, promoted, and asserted in different ways by philosophers, political scientists, and anthropologists, among others. In addition, it addresses the ethical questions that arise from research with those who are oppressed, marginalized, or silenced.

IAFF 3190 Film and U.S. Foreign Policy

This course will examine America’s engagement with the world through the lens of cinematography, including The Quiet American, Charlie Wilson’s War, Black Hawk Down, Hotel Rwanda, Dr. Strangelove, Thirteen Days, and acclaimed documentaries, including The Fog of War, The Battle of Algiers, No End in Sight and Restrepo. These films, supplemented with assigned readings, will explore a range of issues relating to the current practice and future direction of U.S. foreign policy: how and why America goes to war, humanitarian intervention and genocide, the threats posed by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, the rise and proliferation of radical groups and terrorism, and the nature of modern counter-insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan today.

IAFF 3190 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 3190 Humanitarianism

In the name of humanity, over the last two centuries the international community has established a set of norms, principles, and institutions that are designed to alleviate the suffering, and improve the welfare, of vulnerable populations. The international community now accepts that it has a “responsibility to protect” when states either turn against, or fail to protect, their citizens. Over the last two centuries humanitarian has migrated from the margins of the international community to become one of its defining elements.  This course begins by considering the “humanity” in humanitarianism.  What does it mean to act in the name of humanity?  Who is supposed to act?  When?  For what purpose? The following two sections examine the twin pillars of humanitarianism – emergency relief and the “laws of war.”

IAFF 3191W Latin American Populism in Global Context

Populism continues to be a recurring phenomenon throughout Latin America. 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 has left an opening for populism to emerge. The course is divided into five clusters. First, we establish a theoretical framework for thinking about classical and contemporary examples of populism. Second, we analyze the paradigmatic cases of Latin American populism in the twentieth century (Perón and Vargas in Argentina and Brazil, respectively 1930-1960). Third, we examine “neo-populism” in the 1990s and Leftwing rentier populism in the 21st century. Fourth, we examine examples of populism going global in advanced industrial states, including the United States. Fifth, we conclude by examining the legacies, futures, and institutionalization puzzles that surround populism in Latin America.

IAFF 3192 ESIA Undergraduate Scholars Workshop

IAFF 3195 Internship

IAFF 3198 Independent Study and Research

IAFF 4191W Foreign Policy Decision Making Research Seminar

This course is designed to introduce you to the major psychological approaches used to explain foreign policy decision-making. It will cover topics in personality, cognition, and environmental constraints, and it will offer you an opportunity to learn and to practice the basic conceptual and methodological skills necessary for scholarly and policy research. Each week we will highlight a different analytic perspective, an important historical case, and a classic conceptual critique. In the early weeks we will draw attention to the impact of people in groups and groups in governments, and we will consider the influence of emotions and cybernetics on the policy-making process. In the later weeks we will underscore the importance of individual leaders in foreign affairs, and concentrate our attention on the significance of personality, character, beliefs, and images, and even the unconscious judgment process itself. Throughout the semester we will seek to link various perspectives to contemporary issues and concerns in world affairs.

IAFF 4199 Senior Thesis