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.

Registration restricted to ESIA students only.

 

IAFF 1005 Introduction to International Affairs

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 1005.30-45. Registration restricted to degree seeking ESIA students only.

 

IAFF 2040 Career Management & Strategy for International Affairs

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic concepts of career development and the job search, including self-assessment, career decision-making, career exploration, and the employability skills to pursue, obtain and succeed in jobs and careers of their choice.

Registration restricted to ESIA freshman and sophomores only. 1.0 Credit. Pass/No Pass. Elective credit only.

 

IAFF 2040 Global Insights

Restricted to those that are in the Global Bachelor's Program. Department approval required to register.

 

IAFF 2040 Global Inquiries

Restricted to those that are in the Global Bachelor's Program. Department approval required to register.

 

IAFF 2040 Global Investigations

Restricted to those that are in the Global Bachelor's Program. Department approval required to register.

 

IAFF 2091 East Asia: Past and Present

East Asia has undergone dramatic changes since the end of World War II: political independence for a number of the states, rapid economic development for some countries, and social and political transformation. This course will examine these transformations in both national and regional contexts, with a focus on China, Japan, Korea, and selected countries of Southeast Asia.

 

IAFF 2091 Russia & Eastern Europe: An Introduction

A multidisciplinary introduction to the lands and cultures of the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe. The main emphasis is on history and politics, with attention also given to economics, trade, geography, military matters, literature, and the media.

 

IAFF 2093 Africa: Problems and Prospects

This course is designed to provide a broad understanding of the problems and prospects of contemporary Africa.  It focuses on topics and issues rather than countries and regions.  Following a brief background of Africa’s geography and history, it treats topically subjects such as, politics, economics, development, health, education, international relations, conflict, terrorism, HIV/AIDS, ethnicity, refugees, human rights, and religion.

 

IAFF 2094 Europe: International & Domestic Interactions

Europe is buffeted by daunting challenges, both at home and abroad. The EU faces the lingering effects of the financial crisis; a populist wave at the polls, including Brexit; and the migration crisis. Overseas, both the EU and NATO are confronted with Russia’s resurgence; instability in the Middle East and North Africa; competition in a warming Arctic; and a new U.S. administration that has strained transatlantic relations. Both organizations have struggled to reform their structures in order to adapt. Whether Europe emerges stronger from crisis (including by way of a renewed French-German relationship, following recent elections in both countries) will have a global strategic impact, at a time when the coherence of “the West” is challenged by the alleged reallocation of power towards Asia and the global South. This class will be taught in partnership with the EU Delegation and bilateral European embassies in the U.S.

 

IAFF 2095 Middle East: An International Affairs Survey

This is an introductory course on Middle Eastern society and politics in the current world. It focuses on issues of political change, religion, conflict, and culture and is designed to help students develop an understanding of the ways in which social and political dynamics in the Middle East affect and are shaped by international affairs at the global level.

 

IAFF 2101 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 2101 International Affairs Research Methods - Qualitative

This course is designed to introduce to students qualitative research methods. Students will learn about the nature and application of qualitative research. It includes a thorough discussion of qualitative research design and the role of concepts and theory in guiding research design. The course will train students in conceptualization, formulation of problem statements and research questions, data collection, and data analysis. The class begins with research problems, questions and designs followed by introduction to four types of qualitative research: ethnography, grounded theory, case study, phenomenology. The course will be a merge of theories and practice including lectures, group discussion, presentations, and research exercises. Students will be assigned a pilot research study as a part of the course requirement to be a means of practicing the concepts and research skills they learn throughout the course.

 

IAFF 2190W Arab Politics

Arab Politics asks students to rethink many aspects of comparative politics of the Arab Middle East (and its neighbors) that they have perhaps previously viewed as static or dull. The course makes use of readings geared to certain special topics in the region's politics and will build on students' exposure to more rudimentary materials utilized in introductory politics and regional studies courses. Also, exposure to pressing questions and various theoretical approaches involved in the study of politics in the Arab Middle East will give students the ability to contextualize popular press and other materials related to the region.

This course will satisfy a WID requirement.

 

IAFF 2190W Turkey and Its Neighbors

Turkey and Its Neighbors- This course focuses on modern Turkey and its current relationship to the Caucasus, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, the European Union, and Central Asia. It will cover Turkish domestic and foreign policy with a particular focus on Turkey’s rapidly changing relations with the Middle East, Europe and the United States. It reinforces ideas and concepts that impact on Turkey's domestic, regional, and international dynamics. The course will also make a special effort to analyze the driving factors behind Turkey’s new interest in the Middle East. In what represents a remarkable departure from its policy of non-involvement, Turkey is once again becoming an important regional player in the Middle East. The first part of the course will broadly cover Turkey’s domestic dynamic and The second part of the course will mainly focus on Turkey’s changing external environment.

This course will satisfy a WID requirement.

 

IAFF 2190W Terrorism & Counter Terrorism Policy

The course will provide an introduction to the topic of terrorism as a major question for US foreign policy. The class will examine the evolution of modern terrorism as a threat to the United States, and the nature of U.S. policy responses to it. After evaluating the events leading to the 9/11 attacks and the US government response, the focus of the class will be on a series of discrete policy problems in the world of counterterrorism response, including: Countering the narrative of violent extremism; problems of effective organization in the intelligence community; the use of drones; countering terrorist finance; countering terrorism travel; the protection of privacy and civil liberties; dealing with past abuses relating to rendition, detentions and interrogations;  the future of Afghanistan post-withdrawal of US and allied forces; and the threat from ISIS. There will be a heavy emphasis on writing.

This course will satisfy a WID requirement.

 

IAFF 2444 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 3172 Conflict & Conflict Resolution

This course is designed to familiarize students with the interdisciplinary field of conflict analysis and resolution, providing an overview of the 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 3179 Space in International Affairs

This course will address international space policy issues facing the United States and places them in the larger context of technological advances and a changing international strategic environment. The course will briefly examine the technical, historical and policy foundations for U.S. and international space programs and activities. It will then address current issues facing U.S. space policy. The challenges and opportunities of international space cooperation, along with the evolving and complex space security context, will be examined for their implications for a range of national interests.

 

IAFF 3180 Globalization & National Security

Globalization and National Security- This course examines the phenomenon of globalization, its drivers, and its implications on U.S. national security in the 21st century. Globalization has revolutionized and accelerated the way goods, services, information, and ideas are sourced, produced, delivered, and circulated worldwide.  This course analyzes the different socio-economic drivers of globalization and concludes with an evaluation of national and international strategies to address the national security challenges posed by globalization.

 

IAFF 3180 Space Power in Global Affairs

This course will address international space policy issues facing the United States and places them in the larger context of technological advances and a changing international strategic environment.  The course will briefly examine the technical, historical and policy foundations for U.S. and international space programs and activities.  It will then address current issues facing U.S. space programs as a result of globalization (more state actors in space) and democratization (more non-government actors in space).  The course will also address strategic choices facing other nations in space activities, including cooperation and competition among U.S., European, Chinese, and Russian space capabilities, and developing indigenous space programs.  Conflicts over dual-use technologies, such as space launch, remote sensing, satellite navigation, and communications, will be examined for their impacts on a wide range of national interests.

 

IAFF 3180 Gender, Conflict and Security

This course provides an introduction to understanding the gendered dimensions of armed conflict and its aftermath.  The course will introduce students to gender theory and how it may be applied to understanding issues of security and the dynamics of conflict. The course will provide grounding in selected thematic issues relevant to the study of gender and conflict such as gendered frames for understanding militarism and combatancy, gender-based violence related to conflict, humanitarian response, and gendered approaches to understanding the aftermath of conflict. The course is designed to combine theoretical and practice-based approaches to issues of gender and conflict, drawing from interdisciplinary theoretical and policy resources, as well as case studies from differing situations of armed conflict globally. 

 

IAFF 3180 Responding to Terrorism

More than 16 years after the infamous September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, terrorism remains an extremely potent threat. Indeed, 2015 witnessed over 14,000 distinct terrorist attacks spread across nearly 100 countries. While successful terrorist attacks can cost many lives and millions of dollars in physical damage, even the threat of terrorism can also have profound indirect effects. These range from influencing the outcome of elections to driving fluctuation in international financial markets. Consequently, this course aims to provide students with a general understanding of terrorism, including the underlying logic, root causes, different types of terrorist activities and group organization, as well as recent global and regional trends. In addition, the class explores state and community responses to terrorism. The course will combine a survey of extant academic literature on terrorism with practical insights gained from the policy world, and with reference to unfolding events as they are portrayed in the mass media.

 

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 3180W International Politics and Security Policy

This course is designed to give students a firm grounding in classic and contemporary issues in national and international security policy.  It will focus attention on addressing how leaders and advisors in states and societies around the world make choices of war and peace, and explore how individuals and groups might more effectively prevent, fight, or resolve pressing and deadly conflicts.  By drawing together insights from history, political science, and psychology, it will underscore the challenges faced by key decision-makers, and help you to hone the skills necessary for conducting original research and analysis on important policy problems. Each week we will highlight a distinctive scholarly debate, a particular research dilemma, and an important historical case.

This course will satisfy a WID requirement. Registration is restricted to juniors and seniors.

 

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 China’s Rise and Implications

The course assesses the political, economic, social, military and foreign policy priorities

of China’s leaders. It focuses on the period following Mao Zedong (d. 1976), and examines the political, economic, social, military and foreign policy changes and reforms that have made China the fastest growing power in Asian and world affairs. It assesses the implications of these developments for China and its neighbors and other concerned powers, U.S. relations with China and U.S. interests in Asia and world affairs.

 

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 reautheorizations. 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 3183 Environmentalism & Development

This course approaches environmentalism  and  international  development  from  a  cultural ecology  perspective,  which  examines  how  humans  biologically  and  culturally  adapt  to different  social,  cultural,  and  physical  environments.  As  such,  this  is  an  approach  that potentially   conflicts   with   the   assumptions   and   practices   of   environmentalism   and international development, both of which emphasize the universality of certain issues. Our goal  is  to  better  understand  the  assumptions  and  values  of  environmentalism  in  order  to analyze  how  these  may  conflict  with  the  environmental  practices  of  different  groups  of people, especially in relation to international development projects.

 

IAFF 3183 International Energy & Environmental Regulations

This course will the development and implementation of energy and environmental regulations and deregulation and how they affect international affairs.  This course will discuss regulations and deregulation of petroleum, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, coal, nuclear power and electricity of various countries and regions.  Students will learn about how the European Union and member states, Canada, Mexico, South America, Asia and North America regulate the extraction of energy fuels, processing and refining and transmission of fuels to customers. The course will compare the various approaches used to regulate electricity generation, storage, transmission and distribution in various countries and regions. The course will also discuss the growing conflicts between energy and environmental regulations that are used to protect air, water, coastal resources, cultural and socioeconomic resources and discuss the capacity of government institutions to adequately regulate energy infrastructure and protect the environment. The course is aimed at students interested in an overall understanding of global energy regulation and can be aimed at student pursuing regional studies. Students can pursue regional interests through projects. Contemporary examples will be used extensively in this class.

 

IAFF 3185 EU and Russia

The Ukraine crisis is not strictly a European or American – but a transatlantic problem. Washington and Brussels have yet to develop a fully transatlantic understanding of the Russian challenge because doing so requires the abrupt revival of the moribund art of Kremlinology—not only a new birth of Kremlinology, but of transatlantic Kremlinology. This updated knowledge base must navigate the pitfalls of the “history of the present”, as we attempt to analyze a rapidly evolving situation and to parse through a bewildering diversity of primary sources which often reflect “communication warfare” rather than even-handed strategic analysis. This class builds upon a series of professional workshops held at ESIA’s Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, which convened European, American, and Russian experts from academia, think tanks, embassies, and governments.

 

IAFF 3185 Ukraines & Georgia Between Russia & the West

The current Russo‐Ukrainian crisis has regional and global ramifications, as did the 2008 Russo‐Georgian War. The course examines these conflicts and places them in the wider context of Russian‐Western relations, relations between Russia and its neighbors, and the relations between the West and Ukraine and Georgia. The policies of the relevant parties are analyzed against the backdrop of processes and issues such as NATO and EU enlargement, the “post‐Soviet” countries’ aspirations to define their national identities and roles in a wider European security order, Russia’s changing foreign policy, energy security, and domestic politics. The course combines a historical perspective with application of International Relations theory on issues such as national security decision making.

Registration restricted to juniors and seniors only.

 

IAFF 3186 Asian Security

This course explores the principal hard power security issues facing East Asia: the rise of China; the US relationship with its allies and security partners in the region; Japan’s security strategy; the political-military disputes centered on the East and South China seas, the Korean peninsula, and the Taiwan Strait; and military strategies of the key states in the region.  Through a set of readings and discussions, students will come to a deeper understanding of the major issues in the region’s security; how the histories and domestic politics of China, Japan, the two Koreas and Taiwan shape and impact on the region’s security; and how some of the major scholars and practitioners who have thought about the region have viewed its security problems.

 

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 North Korean’s Policymaking and Foreign Relations

This course examines critical issues facing policymakers in and around North Korea and has two purposes. The first is to provide students with the factual and conceptual knowledge of North Korea, its ordinary people and leaders, their ideological beliefs, political and cultural attitudes, policy issues and ideas, policymaking institutions and processes so that students can analyze the North Korea’s relations with the United States, China, Japan, and Russia; evaluatePyongyang’s nuclear strategy and diplomacy; assess how it copes with international sanctions and humanitarian challenges; critique the North's strategy of unification, its policy towards the South, inter-Korean relations, and prospects for Korean reunification; and produce the plausible scenarios of alternative futures on the Korean peninsula.  The second purpose is to introduce main DPRK and North Korea-related open sources available online in the public domain for policy relevant research and analysis.

 

IAFF 3186 Asian Order & Community-Building

Asia, perhaps the world’s most dynamic region, is currently in a state of flux and high uncertainty. This course analyzes major aspects of international relations of Asia, by specifically focusing on both the evolution and the current state of regional order and patterns of intra-regional interaction in terms of both cooperation and competition. After reviewing key concepts and critical historical developments, the course first focuses on major regional actors, such as China, Japan, ASEAN, and India, and assesses their respective policy preferences and approaches toward regional order, governance and community-building. It then examines existing regional institutions and coordination networks, both formal and informal, in various issue areas, including trade and finance, human rights, environment, and popular culture production. One unique feature of this course is that students will have a rare opportunity to interact with prominent guest lecturers who will share their expertise and experience regarding concrete regional actors and contemporary policy issues. In addition to developing the knowledge and analytical tools for discerning the current state of regional order, students will undertake focused research to write a major paper on their chosen subject pertaining to some aspect of emerging order and community-building in Asia.

 

IAFF 3187 Latino Migration

The aim of this course is to understand the push and pull factor that have contributed to human mobility (migration) that has transformed the Americas.  The class is divided in two parts: Latin American immigration and Latin America migration to the United States. We will be interested in studying the migration shifts that have occurred in Latin America and the theories that help explain them. The themes that will be addressed are the history of migration within Latin America and to North America, the impact of this migration on both sending and receiving countries, and the various policy strategies and issues concerning migration. In order to capture the social and cultural consequences of modern mass migration, films and novels will be used to supplement the themes of the course.

 

IAFF 3187 Contemporary Issues of US-Mexico Relations

This course examines the current drivers of the US-Mexico relationship, and uses concrete issues and recent junctures of the relationship to explore and understand both the policy and decision-making processes as well as the outcomes. It will provide students with a holistic understanding of the multifaceted agenda that makes this relationship so unique for US foreign and domestic policy. The course will also place the US-Mexico relationship in a larger geostrategic context -North American, hemispheric and global. This is not a "history of US-Mexico relations" course, though some readings on key defining moments will be required for context. The course will entail issue-driven policy simulation exercises in the latter portion of the semester in order to ensure that students understand both the issues but also the praxis and actual decision-making processes of this vastly complex relationship.

Registration restricted to juniors and seniors only.

 

IAFF 3187 Economic & Social Development of Latin America

This course takes a historical and comparative view to the economic and social evolution of Latin America and the Caribbean, and discusses the main interpretations about that evolution, in the context of global developments and in comparison to other developing regions. The course will briefly discuss the colonial roots and independence, the period of growth in the second half of the 19th century, and the difficult decades of the first half of the 20th century marked by two world wars and the Great Depression. The main focus however, will be on the post WWII period, going through the period of import substitution and the Alliance for Progress, the shocks of the 1970s, the 1980s debt crisis, the more market-oriented and democratic period that started in the 1990s, and the new and uncertain phase that opened after the financial crisis of 2009. The course will also look at different public policies related to productive, macroeconomic, social, and institutional aspects.

 

IAFF 3188 US Foreign Policy in the Persian Gulf

This course focuses on the evolution of United States policy in the 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. The U.S. presence in the Gulf—both diplomatic and military spans the administrations of thirteen presidents. U.S. policy objectives during these decades have been remarkably consistent; yet, there has been a steady increase in the level of U.S. engagement. A study of this period of history aims to provide a basis for understanding where U.S. policy may go in the future.

 

IAFF 3188 Arabic Literature: Arabia to America

This course will introduce Arabic literature beginning in the sixth century and continuing into the modern era.  We will read selections in translation from representative works of Arabic literature from many different genres including classical love, praise, boast and lampoon poetry.  We will also read selections from Arabic stories and anecdotes, advice literature, the modern Arabic novel and modern poetry.  In addition we will explore the Qur’an and its influence on the Arabic literary tradition.  We will treat Arabic literature not as a static text frozen in time, but as part of a living tradition, with an emphasis on its performance, reception and cultural impact.  Students will study Arabic literature in its relationship to other world literatures, and will be encouraged to explore parallels between it and other works of literature.

 

IAFF 3188 The Middle East Since WWII

This intensive reading seminar surveys the key political, economic, social, and cultural transformations of the Middle East from 1945 to the present day. Geographically, we will focus on Algeria, Iran, and the central successor states of the Ottoman Empire (Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia). Thematically, we will pay particular attention to post-WWII geopolitics and the Cold War, including the role of U.S. power and American intervention; decolonization, Nasserism, and pan-Arabism; the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; the origins and spread of political Islam and Islamic social movements; neoliberalism and the political economy of oil; civil war and sectarian conflict; and youth rebellion. The readings each week have been curated to offer both a broad chronological overview of the major changes that took place at a particular time and place and examples of how ordinary people experienced and contributed to those changes on the ground.

 

IAFF 3189 International Relations in Africa

The aim of this course is to help students understand Sub-Saharan Africa and interrogate the "Africa Rising" narrative. The course will question the narrative and examine the assumptions that have informed positive and negative outlooks on the continent. It will also look at interstate relations in Africa and the place of Africa in World affairs.

 

IAFF 3189 Hip Hop & Social Change in Africa

This course examines the development of hip hop culture throughout Africa, focusing on the rise of hip hop in Africa and the role of hip hop culture as a method of social commentary. The course will also look at case studies of hip hop communities throughout Africa, showing the diversity among hip hop communities in Africa.

 

IAFF 3189 Women & 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 3189 Ethnic and Religious 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 3189 Security Challenges in Africa

This course introduces students to Africa’s current and emerging security threats. It is designed to enable students to understand, analyze, and effectively communicate about security threats on the continent and to sharpen their ability to make policy-oriented recommendations for strengthening peace and security in the region. Our 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. We take a closer look at how the U.S and other governments’ engagement and regional cooperation in the fight against extremist groups, transnational threats, and other challenges impact security dynamics and regional peace. The course will connect theory to practice through discussion, policy analysis, research and case study review of real events. It will be useful for anyone with an interest in the continent’s changing security landscape.

 

IAFF 3190 Humanitarian Assistance & International Development Law

The course will provide an overview of international development and humanitarian assistance activities and the policies, authorities, and institutions that shape them.

 

IAFF 3190 Film & U.S. Foreign Policy

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 International Business & Modern Slavery

This class will explore the global scourge of modern slavery and the role and responsibility of international business for prevention in their business operations.  Once almost exclusively tackled by governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), corporations are taking an increasingly active role in combating human trafficking and unfair labor practices. Increased government regulation around the world has moved this issue onto the agendas of corporate boardrooms.  Throughout the course, we will examine root causes of modern slavery and the impact of globalization.   We will understand the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and their impact on corporate behavior.  We will explore international NGO advocacy groups’ efforts to improve human rights performance by corporations and assess the evolving role of government regulations to encourage and enforce corporate accountability for modern slavery in supply chains.
 

IAFF 3190 Issues of Contemporary Diplomacy & National Security

This seminar addresses contemporary issues in American Diplomacy and National Security from the perspective of a practitioner.  Class discussion will focus on functional and country/regional issues that are the subject of current attention by the U.S. administration, Congress and the media.  Cross-cutting functional issues will include such topics as current intelligence challenges, non-proliferation, dealing with terrorism and economic diplomacy.  We will also address country/regional issues related to Russia, China, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.  The goal of the course is to impart the centrality of the Presidency in the day-to-day conduct of our national security policy, the political and budgetary constraints on its conduct and the almost incessant intervention of unexpected events shaping policies. This seminar is taught by Ambassador John D. Negroponte.

 

IAFF 3190 Business Growth Strategies

This course will examine how companies now, more than ever, need to understand and address the complex global public policy and regulatory environment as well as the increasingly divisive political climate  in order to continue to win and grow in the marketplace.  And the role that strategic communications plays in influencing the outcome and in ensuring that their story is told.

 

IAFF 3190 Oil: Industry, Economy, Society

This course take a multidisciplinary approach (primarily political economy and management) to oil and its effects on business, nation-states and the world economy. The first half of the course adopts a top-down viewpoint, examining the global oil environment. The second half is more bottom-up, using cases to grapple with industry issues. In addition to the specific objectives below, the course uses oil as a vehicle for applying and deepening understanding of intentional-business concepts. As by far the largest global industry, oil reflects and influences broader sociopolitical issues and developments, facilitating its pedagogic use. The course is conducted in a mixture of seminar and lecture formats, and active participation is expected.

 

IAFF 3190 Holocaust Memory

The sources, construction, development, nature, uses and misuses of the memory, or public consciousness, of the Holocaust. How different publics in different countries, cultures and societies know, or think they know, about the Holocaust from diaries, memoirs, testimonies, fiction, documentaries, television, commercial films, memorials, museums, the Internet, educational programs and the statements of world leaders—some of them historically accurate and some of them highly distorted. The challenge of representing the Holocaust with fidelity and memorializing its victims with dignity and authenticity. The impact of Holocaust memory on contemporary responses to other genocides and to crimes against humanity. The effectiveness—or lack of effectiveness--of Holocaust memory in teaching the Holocaust’s contemporary “lessons,” especially “Never again!”

 

IAFF 3194W Latin America’s Violent Peace

Latin America has avoided major inter-state wars yet armed conflicts have roiled the region since the independence era. During the Cold War, this paradox of a violent peace could be seen via the cycle of revolution and counter-revolution while today the citizen security crisis riddling Central and South America is the most visible form of this puzzle. What distinguishes the contemporary landscape is the fading of the revolutionary armed struggle and the proliferation of illegal armed actors which have diverse origins but, notably, also constitute key parts of the informal ecosystems that create complex governability challenges. To further analysis of the relationships between illegal armed actors, informal ecosystems, and governability in contemporary Latin America, this seminar traces the historical evolution of conflict and contestation by examining patterns in state building, political violence, the armed forces, insurgencies, and criminal gangs. Special attention will be given to contemporary cases – Brazil, Central America, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela – and practitioner guest lecturers will participate to help enrich class discussion.

Registration restricted to juniors and seniors. This course will satisfy a WID requirement.

 

IAFF 3513 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 4191W Research Seminar: International Politics & Security Policy

This course is designed to give students a firm grounding in classic and contemporary issues in national and international security policy.  It will focus attention on addressing how leaders and advisors in states and societies around the world make choices of war and peace, and explore how individuals and groups might more effectively prevent, fight, or resolve pressing and deadly conflicts.  By drawing together insights from history, political science, and psychology, it will underscore the challenges faced by key decision-makers, and help you to hone the skills necessary for conducting original research and analysis on important policy problems. Each week we will highlight a distinctive scholarly debate, a particular research dilemma, and an important historical case.

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 Introduction to International Affairs

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.

Restricted to students in the Elliott School.

 

IAFF 2040 Junior/ Senior Job Search and Strategy

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic concepts of career development and the job search, including self-assessment, career decision-making, career exploration, and the employability skills to pursue, obtain and succeed in jobs and careers of their choice.

 

Restricted to Elliott School juniors and seniors.

 

IAFF 2090 Latin America: Problems & 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 2101 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 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 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 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 2444 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 3172 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 3177 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.

Restricted to juniors and seniors.

 

IAFF 3180 Global Electricity Markets

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

Restricted to juniors and seniors.

 

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.

 

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 3180 Law of Armed Conflict

The law of armed conflict sets a legal standard that strives to regulate hostilities and protect innocents during armed conflict. The law of armed conflict was called the law of war and is central to the planning and execution of military operations and warfighting doctrine, such that the US Department of Defense has issued a manual on the law of war. Thus, a comprehensive understanding of this law is critical to US national security.

 

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.

Freshmen are restricted from registering for this course.

 

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 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 3185 Non-Russians in the USSR

This course considers Soviet history through the experience of non-Russian ethnic groups, focusing on those in the Caucasus and Central Asia with Union-level republics that became independent post-Soviet successor states. Broadly speaking, the course is bound by the historiographical argument that Soviet policies to promote ethnic national identity and minority professional cadres provided a local infrastructure that ultimately facilitated the disintegration of the USSR. We will look closely at the theories behind these policies, the methods of their implementation in local contexts, and the results of these political and cultural initiatives. Key themes include the Soviet Union as empire; the coexistence of Soviet agendas of ethnic particularism and pan-Soviet identity; the construction of national identity and its projection both inside and beyond the home republic; and culture, history, and performance in the service of identity-formation in both the Soviet and post-Soviet contexts.

 

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 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 Current Events in East Asia

This course will focus on several interlinked current major issues in East Asia, which due to their contingent nature are difficult to incorporate into regular curricular offerings. The course will examine how US policy towards four key players in the region, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China, has evolved during  the past 20-some years, and how interactions with the other players is affecting these policies. US policymakers responsible for these countries and diplomats from these countries will be invited as guest speakers to the class in order to elaborate on a current issue facing their respective bureaus. Students will then be asked to develop responses to these requests, and present approaches to resolve these issues through their papers and class presentations. The course will examine the policy questions against the background of some of the overarching themes. These often don’t drive the debates on the issues of the day, but are important in the understanding of the background and the broader perspective.  1) Taiwan’s transition to democracy and its implications for today. 2) Japan’s rise as a responsible stakeholder, and its uneasy historical relations with some of its neighbors. 3) The tension between South Korea’s emergence as a regional power and its quest for unification. 4) China’s rise and its implications for the East Asia region as a whole. 

IAFF 3186W Equitable Development in Southeast Asia

In recent decades, millions of people in Southeast Asia have experienced improved health, greatly expanded opportunities for education, and a rising standard of living. In this multidisciplinary course which draws on anthropology, political science, economics, and geography, we will explore how development in the region has unfolded and how states and communities have responded to new opportunities and challenges. We will begin with an overview of Southeast Asia and the ways in which various development approaches have been implemented in the region.  We will then discuss Andrew McGregor’s concept of equitable development which assesses the degree of income and wealth inequality, economic and social opportunity and choice, political freedom and participation, and environmental sustainability in a country or region. No prior knowledge of Southeast Asia or development is necessary.  

Freshmen are restricted from registering for this course. 

 

IAFF 3187 Brazil in the Global Context

This course is designed for graduate and upper level undergraduate students interested in acquiring and expanding knowledge of Brazil’s complex political, economic and social realities and the country’s evolving place in a rapidly evolving world. Brazil’s rise and fall in the global scene over the last quarter century has changed international perceptions and expectations regarding its place in the world. It has also affected how Brazilians view their country’s interests and ambitions as a regional and global player. Today, Brazilian society confronts challenges at home and abroad that are qualitatively different from those of the past. The 7th largest economy in the world in 2016, Brazil is expected to become the 5th by 2050. Yet, with an economy projected to grow only modestly in 2020, if at all, even before the catastrophic economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic became evident, the well-being of Brazil’s population of approximately 216 million and its resilience as a nation will be tested at a juncture of maximum vulnerability. Passing the test will depend on the efforts of a new generation of local and national leaders just now emerging from the political process. Will they be up to the task? The course is organized around key themes and topics, each with specific readings, that students will explore to answer this crucial question.

Restricted to juniors and seniors.

 

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.


 

IAFF 3187 Climate Change & Environmental Policy in Latin America

Latin America is endowed with significant natural resources and environmental assets. The Amazon rainforest, the largest on earth, lies within the borders of nine countries in South America. Latin America also has some of the largest energy resources in the world, including approximately 25% of proven oil and natural gas reserves and among the highest potential for renewable energy sources, such as hydropower, wind and solar energy. However, Latin American countries are also some of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including hurricanes, droughts and rising sea levels. Meanwhile, Latin America's contribution to energy-related emissions is increasing due to population growth and reductions in poverty fueled by the commodities boom, which have led to a spike in demand for transportation and electricity. Thus, one of the greatest challenges for policymakers in Latin American countries is to construct a path toward low carbon economic development. Latin American countries must develop energy resources and improve policies to manage mass urbanization while minimizing their contribution to global emissions, protecting local environmental assets and adapting to the effects of climate change that are already occurring. This course aims to give students a sound understanding of the concepts of climate change and environmental policy, the major policy challenges facing Latin American countries and best practices being used in Latin America and other countries around the world.

Restricted to juniors and seniors.


 

IAFF 3187 Immigration and Weak States

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.

Restricted to juniors and seniors.

 

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

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

Restricted to juniors and seniors.

 

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 - American Policy in the Middle East

After a long and controversial US involvement in war and occupation in Iraq, an even longer US combat mission in Afghanistan, and the perception of numerous American policy failures in dealing with intractable conflicts, the US public seems to have lost interest in dealing with a region where enforcement of a Pax Americana has been considered a vital US interest for seven decades. Does America need to be heavily engaged anymore? What are US interests in a changing world? What challenges are emerging today in the Middle East and what might they be in the future? And in this dynamic environment, what’s a policymaker to do? Students will study the history of and rationale for US engagement in the region, starting with an assessment of what Americans want from US foreign policy. We will engage in active class discussions on current developments, debate opposing views, and hold a simulation that will pull these strands together in a policymaking exercise with real-world implications.

 

IAFF 3189 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.

Freshmen are restricted from registering for this course.

 

IAFF 3189 African Literature & Politics

This course will introduce students to the political and economic issues of Africa through novels. The novels will serve as our lens through which to better understand various themes in Africa from the precolonial era to independence and into the contemporary era, exploring the role of gender, religion, ethnicity, conflict, and colonialism in the lives of African peoples. The course will be organized thematically as we read novels that capture historical, political, and social developments in Africa. We will explore the background of authors and the times in which the author did his or her work before grappling with the aforementioned themes. We will then focus on the text of the book itself. During the semester we will ask many questions about the role of literature in understanding political and economic phenomena in Africa. Among the questions we might ask are “Can we see fiction as representative of the actual events it covers?” “Do African authors offer a perspective that differs from the academic and media sources that serve as our conventional source for understanding such issues?” Readings will be followed by a discussion and accompanied by lectures that dissect and complement the novel. For example, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie portrays the plight of two Igbo sisters during the Biafran War. In addition to a classroom discussion, the instructors will present a lecture on the Biafran war outlining the drivers of the conflict and the ramifications for contemporary Nigeria. After reading and discussing So Long a Letter by Mariam Ba instructors will offer a presentation on Islam in Senegal and how the religion interacts with politics and affects gender relations. Finally, in order to offer students flexibility and the ability to focus on a theme or country that interests them, they will select one book from a list of novels that represent a broad swath of the continent to write a final paper.

 

IAFF 3189 Ethnic and Religious 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 3189 West African Film & Literature

This multi-disciplinary course combines a study of film and literature. Students will explore the thematic tendencies of cinema in West Africa. Gender discourse, tradition, class, social and political change, and the constant quest for emancipation will serve as the theoretical perspective to analyze the films. In the course students will review and analyze a wide range of cinematic content displaying cultural, political and economic issues. In literature, using the same theoretical approach, the course will cover the colonial era, the years of independence and post-independence. At the end of the course, students will have acquired an understanding of African cinema and culture through the lenses of general theories in film studies and literary criticism.

 

IAFF 3190W - Democracy, Human Rights, and the Arab Spring

Students take on the study of the key events of the “Arab Spring”— a catchall term for the political protest movements that swept the Middle East beginning in 2011 and that continue in various forms to this day. We consider its rise, downfall, resurgence, and future, with a special focus on the US policy response. How did this happen in a region many thought immune to political change? What lessons can be learned about freedom and foreign policy? The course emphasizes the various types of writing required in an international affairs career, including an op-ed format, State Department-style after-action and information memoranda, and a final research paper. Collaborative writing techniques and oral feedback will be incorporated into written work, just as it is government. Oral presentations and persuasive argumentation will be a key component as student groups’ findings are subject to critique in class discussions.

 

IAFF 3190W - Masculinities in International Affairs

This course will critically examine the diverse experiences, roles, relationships and responsibilities of men and boys in international affairs. These contexts will include pre-conflict normative discourses on gender and masculinities as well as masculinities in war and conflict, violent masculinities, militarized masculinities, diplomatic masculinities, and peaceful masculinities. The major thrust of the course is to examine how the gendered social order influences men’s actions and behaviors and how men perceive themselves, other men, women and social contexts. Feminist theory is the critical frame for the class, with substantive coverage of masculinities theory, gender policymaking and programmatic design and implementation. The course will unpack power from a relational perspective as well as an institutional analysis. We will use an intersectionality lens to explore relationships between multiple dimensions of social relations and gender inequalities, including: race, ethnicity, class, geographic location, nationality and sexual orientation.

 

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 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 Film and US Foreign Policy

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 Women, Rights, & 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 and 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 Refugee and 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 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 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 Holocaust Memory

The sources, construction, development, nature, uses and misuses of the memory, or public consciousness, of the Holocaust. How different publics in different countries, cultures and societies know, or think they know, about the Holocaust from diaries, memoirs, testimonies, fiction, documentaries, television, commercial films, memorials, museums, the Internet, educational programs and the statements of world leaders—some of them historically accurate and some of them highly distorted. The challenge of representing the Holocaust with fidelity and memorializing its victims with dignity and authenticity. The impact of Holocaust memory on contemporary responses to other genocides and to crimes against humanity. The effectiveness—or lack of effectiveness--of Holocaust memory in teaching the Holocaust’s contemporary “lessons,” especially “Never again!”


 

IAFF 3191W Latin American Populism

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 3210W 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 3501 International Development Theory, Policy, and Practice This course examines how theoretical approaches, policies, and practices associated with international development have shifted over time, from development’s roots in President Harry Truman’s 1949 Four Point Speech in which he articulated the goals and objectives of the Marshall Plan, to a contemporary focus on NGO-driven projects that emphasize entrepreneurship and sustainability. Thematic foci might include state-directed development approaches, neoliberalism and development, environmentalist-influenced green development, or some combination of these.

 

IAFF 3501 International Development Theory, Policy, and Practice

This course examines how theoretical approaches, policies, and practices associated with international development have shifted over time, from development’s roots in President Harry Truman’s 1949 Four Point Speech in which he articulated the goals and objectives of the Marshall Plan, to a contemporary focus on NGO-driven projects that emphasize entrepreneurship and sustainability. Thematic foci might include state-directed development approaches, neoliberalism and development, environmentalist-influenced green development, or some combination of these.

 

IAFF 3513 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 4191W Research Seminar: 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.