This list is meant as a guide only. Students may take any core course as an IR elective course if they have satisfied all other required courses.
Core/Elective Core Courses
Quantitative Analysis I (INTRL-GA 1120)
Qualitative Analysis I (INTRL-GA 1220)
Regional & Comparative Politics (INTRL-GA 1450)
Global & International History (INTRL-GA 1600)
International Relations (INTRL-GA 1700)
The World Economy (INTRL-GA 1900)
Writing for International Affairs (INTRL-GA 3992)
Master's Thesis Seminar (INTRL-GA 4000, 2 points)
Capstone Project (INTRL-GA 1320, 2 points)
IR Elective Courses
Topics in International Relations (INTRL-GA 1731, lecture courses)
Topics in International Relations (INTRL-GA 1732, 2 points)
International Governance (INTRL-GA 1736)
International Law (INTRL-GA 1737)
Humanitarian Intervention (INTRL-GA 1740)
International Political Development (INTRL-GA 1741)
Arab-Israeli Conflict (INTRL-GA 1742)
National Security Strategies of Countries in Middle East (INTRL-GA 1743)
Global Finance (INTRL-GA 1744)
US National Security (INTRL-GA 1745)
Regime Change & International Security (INTRL-GA 1746)
Political Opinion Writing (INTRL-GA 1747)
US Foreign Policy (INTRL-GA 1748)
Political Economy of Institutions (INTRL-GA 1749)
Natural Resource Conflict (INTRL-GA 1750)
The US in the World (INTRL-GA 1751)
Terrorism & Counterterrorism (INTRL-GA 1752)
Diplomacy in Theory and Action (INTRL-GA 1753)
UN Peacekeeping & Peacebuilding (INTRL-GA 1754)
International Security (INTRL-GA 1755)
Middle East Politics (INTRL-GA 1756)
Middle East and US Foreign Policy (INTRL-GA 1757)
Asia-Pacific International Relations (INTRL-GA 1759)
Conflict Resolution (INTRL-GA 1760)
Political Economy of International Trade (INTRL-GA 1761)
Transitional Justice (INTRL-GA 1762)
Foundations for Diplomacy (INTRL-GA 1763)
Intelligence & National Security (INTRL-GA 1764)
Practicing Diplomacy (INTRL-GA 1765)
Civil-Military Relations (INTRL-GA 1767)
Strategic Planning - A Hands On Workshop (INTRL-GA 1768)
Contemporary Security Issues (INTRL-GA 1769)
Public Diplomacy (INTRL-GA 1771)
Transnational Advocacy (INTRL-GA 1772)
Country Risk Analysis (INTRL-GA 1773)
Inequality and Conflict (INTRL-GA 1774)
The UN System (INTRL-GA 1776)
Nation Building (INTRL-GA 1779)
State Failure & State Building in Comparative Perspective (INTRL-GA 1780)
A Modern Mediterranean Region (INTRL-GA 1781)
Topics (INTRL-GA 1782)
U.S. Policy Toward Eastern Europe (INTRL-GA 1783)
Multinational Corporations (INTRL-GA 1784)
The Political Economy of the Pacific Basin (INTRL-GA 1785)
Human Rights, Arts & Memory (INTRL-GA 1786)
Norms & Law in Modern War (INTRL-GA 1787)
U.S. Policy in Asia Pacific (INTRL-GA 1792)
Radicalization and Religion (INTRL-GA 1793)
Nationalism and Ethnicity (INTRL-GA 1794)
International Economic Development (INTRL-GA 1800)
International Organizations: Law & Diplomacy (INTRL-GA 2001)
Reading & Research (INTRL-GA 3991)
Core/Elective Core Courses
Quantitative Analysis I
INTRL-GA 1120. 4 points.
This course introduces students to basic data analysis, using cross-sectional data sets that are of particular interest in international studies. Emphasis is placed on multivariate regression techniques and the learning of such techniques through direct experience.
Qualitative Analysis I
INTRL-GA 1220. 4 points.
This course is designed to introduce graduate students in International Relations and Politics to a wide array of methodological approaches and available tools for qualitative research. The course starts with an overview of broader debates around the philosophy of science and the possible demarcation between history and social science. It then moves on to discuss the epistemological foundations underlying the qualitative/quantitative divide in social sciences and whether methodological eclecticism is possible and desirable. After assessing the role of theory and concept formation in qualitative research, the focus then shifts to more specific questions around research design and methods. We discuss the merits and problems of single case studies and small-N comparative research designs, as well as historical, interpretive and critical approaches. In the last third of the course, we explore some of the specific tools of collecting and analyzing qualitative evidence. Though not an exhaustive list, we cover interviews and ethnographic fieldwork, discourse and content analysis, and program evaluation. The course runs as a seminar with active student participation and assignments to encourage hands-on learning and ends with student presentations on their respective research proposals.
Regional & Comparative Politics
INTRL-GA 1450. 4 points.
This is an introductory level graduate course at the crossroads of international relations, comparative politics and area studies. Its aim is to introduce students of international relations to the tools and concepts commonly used in the latter two fields and to promote interdisciplinary cross-pollination.
Global & International History
INTRL-GA 1600. 4 points.
This course will introduce students to the historical analysis of global interactions during the early modern, modern, and contemporary periods. Understanding of today’s international arena requires a well-grounded, conceptually rich understanding of history. The course seeks, in part, to provide historical perspectives on ‘globalization’ and other contemporary global, international and transnational developments. It will focus especially on the history of international order and structures of global power. Topics examined include: war and other forms of political violence; the formation and interaction of empires; imperial expansion and decline; the evolution of the modern state and states systems (including the European states system and its global spread); the proliferation of “nation-states” during the 20th century; the development of international law; and the emergence of international organizations, transnational civil society organizations (aka “NGOs”), and multinational corporations. World historical patterns of long-distance trade, economic change, human migrations, and cross-cultural exchange will also be examined. The course does not aim to present a comprehensive world history but introduces themes and analytical approaches that are foundational to a more advanced study of international interactions.
INTRL-GA 1700. 4 points.
This course offers a graduate-level introduction to theories of international politics and to some of the important aspects of international politics. The class explores a variety of debates and findings in the subfield of international relations. Coverage does not include every issue and approach, but it addresses the core problems and perspectives animating mainstream IR in the United States today. Students can expect to develop a sufficient understanding of the subfield to prepare for further study and specialization while advancing their knowledge of the substantive issues under consideration.
The World Economy
INTRL-GA 1900. 4 points.
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the core concepts, issues, and theories of the world economy. The focus will be on how changes in the world economy affect politics within and among states. Throughout the course, we will be taking a political economy view: that economic policy is the outcome of bargaining between interest groups in the political arena. As such politics and economics are never far apart—the economics identifies the potential gainers and losers; the politics determine who wins the contest. Our objective is to gain a thorough understanding of the politics of international trade, international monetary relations, international finance, and globalization.
IR Required Courses
Writing for International Affairs
INTRL-GA 3992. 2 points.
This course is designed to help students write at an expert level in the field of International Relations and is required for all MA in IR students. This course enhances and refines students’ critical writing and reading skills for the study, and practice, of International Relations. Students will extend their abilities to write clearly, coherently, and fluently by incorporating analysis into their writing. Vocabulary, outlining, summary/synthesis, and critiquing skills will be reinforced. Students will apply college standards of proper rhetoric by choosing subjects and modes appropriate for the intended audience and purpose. Each student will choose a topic for a major research paper that will require careful analysis of readings and implementation of documentation techniques. Students will demonstrate basic principles of unity, coherence and support in essay writing with applied principles of revision through prewriting, outlining, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading.
Master's Thesis Seminar
INTRL-GA 4000. 2 points
Prerequisites: completion of all course work, or on track to complete all course work, during the semester in which enrolled in course; approved master’s thesis proposal.
INTRL-GA 1320. 2 points
Prerequisites: completion of all course work, or on track to complete all course work, during the semester in which enrolled in course; approved capstone project application.
IR Elective Courses
Topics in International Relations
INTRL-GA 1731. 4 points.
Topics vary from semester to semester.
Please click here for a list of recently offered topics courses with their descriptions.
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Topics in International Relations
INTRL-GA 1732. 2 points.
Topics vary from semester to semester.
Please click here for a list of recently offered topics courses with their descriptions.
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INTRL-GA 1736. 4 points. James Hsiung
Cross-listed with POL-GA 2736.001.
International governance is a phenomenon made distinct by the “anarchic” nature (i.e., the absence of a world government) of our Westphalian system; and international regimes and institutions are related to, and indispensable for, international governance. This course approaches international governance both as (a) an emergent focus of research in the international relations (IR) field, and (b) an explication of the utility of international regimes and institutions in achieving public goods – e.g., the orderly exchange of values, and maintenance of peace & stability -- through collective action in lieu of unilateral self-help. For more information, please contact Professor James Hsiung (email@example.com).
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INTRL-GA 1737. 4 points. James Hsiung
Cross-listed with POL-GA 2900
This course explores the interplay of law and politics in international relations. Too often the role of international law in the relations of nations is neglected, under-appreciated, or even vilified. If discussed at all, international law is often treated as a static set of “rules” governing (or being broken by) states in the course of their mutual relations. Our approach, following the tradition of Myres McDougal (of the “New Haven School”), postulates that international law is a decision-making process characterized by “functional duality” and “competing claims and mutual tolerances.” As such, it is both an input in foreign-policy making and, in turn, is influenced and [re]shaped by state practice (i.e., foreign-policy behavior). For more information, please contact Professor James Hsiung (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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INTRL-GA 1740. 4 points. Anna Di Lellio
Whether the starvation of Yemen is intentional or not, the civil war in the Arabic Peninsula is yet another reminder of how conflict criminally targets civilians, as it did in the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, while the carnage in Syria continues to shock the world. However, states and non-state actors that are perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing, are not held responsible for their actions. What does this mean for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) as an organizing principle for dealing with mass atrocities? Is the international consensus that R2P gathered at the 2005 United Nations Summit of world leaders, and the General Assembly with Resolution 63/308, only a memory of the past? Is the intervention in Libya a precedent or an outlier? In this course, we will look at R2P not just as a static norm, but as the process by which the norm emerged and evolved. Understanding its acceptance and when, how and where it is accepted, matters to understanding its future as well as providing a roadmap for its application.
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International Political Development
INTRL-GA 1741. 4 points. Asli Peker
For a long time, the questions that drove the debates and practices of development have focused on the economy, and more specifically on economic growth: Why are some nations rich and others poor? What could be done to put the poor nations on a path toward economic development? How could aid be utilized to stimulate growth? However, in the last couple of decades, there emerged an increasing recognition that development needs to be understood as more than economic growth, and a subsequent shift of focus to its social and political dimensions. Taking its cue from this shift, two related themes run through the material to be covered in this course: the relationship between politics and economic development and the dynamics of political development. After a critical assessment of the discourse and history of development, we will discuss topics such as the role of the state in economy, strong versus weak and failed states and state-building efforts, the effect of political institutions and legal frameworks in determining policy choices and driving economic growth, the relationship between democracy and development, dynamics of democratic transitions and democracy promotion, the civil society, political accountability, transparency and the anti-corruption agenda, and the debates around good governance.
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INTRL-GA 1742. 4 points. Charles Freilich
The Arab-Israeli conflict has been at the center of regional and international attention for some eight decades, defying repeated attempts at resolution, both military and diplomatic. The course provides an in-depth survey of the historical evolution of the conflict and substance of the various peace negotiations to date, including the reasons for their failure, as a basis for understanding the parties' positions and the central issues dividing them today. This survey then serves as the basis for the primary focus of the course, the potential means of resolving the conflict. Most of the course will be devoted to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, part to Israel and Syria and Lebanon. The issues will be presented in the national security and domestic political contexts of each of the different players.
As a contemporary policy-oriented course, students will assume the role of senior decision makers from the different parties and draft “policy papers” to their heads of state, elucidating the various issues and recommending means of resolving them. In addition to learning the complexities of the issues, students will also deal with the challenging process of drafting real-world policy papers and recommendations. The course is designed for those with a general interest in the Middle East, especially those interested in national security issues, strategy and decision making, students of comparative politics and future practitioners.
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National Security Strategies of Countries in Middle East
INTRL-GA 1743. 4 points. Charles Freilich
At the crossroads of three continents, the Middle East is home to many diverse peoples, with ancient and proud cultures, in varying stages of political and socio-economic development, often times in conflict. Now in a state of historic flux, the Arab Spring and subsequent upheaval, have transformed the Middle Eastern landscape, with great consequence for the national security strategies of the countries of the region and the international community. The course surveys the national security challenges facing the region's primary players today (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinians, and Turkey) and how the convolutions of recent years have affected them. Unlike many Middle East courses, which focus on US policy in the region, the course concentrates on the regional players' perceptions of the threats and opportunities they face and on the strategies they have adopted to deal with them.
As a contemporary policy-oriented course, students will assume the role of senior decision makers from the different countries and draft “policy papers” to their heads of state, elucidating the various issues and recommending means of resolving them. In addition to learning the complexities of the issues, students will also deal with the challenging process of drafting real-world policy papers and recommendations. The course is designed for those with a general interest in the Middle East, especially those interested in national security issues, students of comparative politics and future practitioners.
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Global Finance: Political, Economic, & Managerial Perspectives
INTRL-GA 1744. 4 points. Giuseppe Ammendola
This course looks at international finance and its crucial connections with international business practices and with the policy challenges of economic globalization and interdependence.
The course examines the roles that governments and international institutions play in the global financial integration process both in terms of regulation and supervision. We shall also look at the impact on global financial markets by a plurality of participants---central banks and treasuries; financial intermediaries and foreign exchange dealers, both bank and non-bank; individuals and firms engaged in commercial and investment activities; and speculators and arbitrageurs. The emphasis will be on the identification of key ideas, theories, techniques, and strategies underlying the behavior of all players.
Through lectures, in-class training, discussions, and the examination of case studies, students will deepen their understanding of some of the most powerful actors and forces in the world economy and the current debates concerning them. More broadly, the course draws lessons from political science, economics, business, law, history, sociology, and psychology in order to understand the multiple challenges faced by decision-makers not just in the private but also in the public and nonprofit sectors. Overall the teaching is informed by the sharing with the students of insights derived from multiple disciplines, cultures, and languages to help them gain valuable real-world skills.
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US National Security
INTRL-GA 1745. 4 points. Joe Helman
Enrollment limited to students in IR and Politics MA programs.
This course examines conceptual and theoretical foundations, organizational structures and functions, decision-making processes, and priority issues in US national security. The process of policy making is examined to include: the role and authorities of the President, National Security Council, and the Executive Branch; congressional oversight; and policy development and implementation. The course also examines the tools, uses, and limits of national power. Strategic and conventional defense capabilities and policy are examined, as are the roles and missions of intelligence. High priority national security challenges such as terrorism, proliferation, and cybersecurity are also addressed. The course is conducted as an interactive graduate seminar.
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Regime Change & International Security
INTRL-GA 1746. 4 points. Linda Kirschke
This course examines the relationship between regime change, regime type and problems in international relations.
First, the course presents social science literature on democratization and the risk of war. It examines the role of civil society groups and transitional and international courts in mitigating conflict during periods of regime change. The course covers the political transitions in the Middle East and post-Communist Europe and Eurasia and analyzes variation across these cases.
Second, the course considers literature on authoritarian regimes and investigates what variables drive some authoritarian regimes to develop into “rogue states” vis-à-vis foreign powers. It addresses how the application of international sanctions impacts authoritarian regimes.
Third, the course examines how intervention by international and regional organizations affects prospects for political change. It analyzes issues surrounding international democracy promotion programs in conflict and post-conflict settings.
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Political Opinion Writing
INTRL-GA 1747. 4 points. Maha Hosain Aziz
You are graduate students in international relations. But do you have political opinions that are more enlightened than the average person talking politics? This course will make sure you do, with instruction and close guidance from Dr. Aziz, a former Businessweek and CNN columnist, and former blogger for The Huffington Post's WorldPost and The Observer who now writes for Medium.com. Initially, you will focus on political opinion writing in different media, taking a critical view of the content and writing style of published writers (including Dr. Aziz’s work in CNN, Businessweek, WorldPost, and Observer). You will briefly consider academic literature about writing techniques as well as the ability of the media to produce unbiased opinion and even influence policy. But the bulk of the course will give you the chance to create well-researched, structured, and nuanced opinion pieces on timely political issues (e.g. climate change, superpowers, economic crises, terrorism) that go beyond the obvious and reflect your advanced research degrees. In addition to your own opinion pieces that you will publish, there will be a class blog project with Dr. Aziz, like this one on the post-hegemonic international system in the Huffington Post.
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US Foreign Policy
INTRL-GA 1748. 4 points. John Fousek & Michael John Williams
Foreign Policy is the way in which a state – the primary unit for organizing world politics – interacts with the world around it. Foreign policy encompasses the establishment of alliances, the pursuit of trade objectives, the creation of military doctrine, international negotiations and the waging of war. Foreign Policy is about relations between states, but it is influenced by the domestic politics and culture of the state.
This course focuses on the contemporary foreign policy of the United States of America. There are a number of ways to study foreign policy – theoretical, practical, historical, and ideological are but a few of the most popular methods. This course utilizes a synthesis of differing approaches. This course provides students with highly advanced knowledge of the key concepts, history, themes, and contemporary issues in contemporary US Foreign Policy. This course will familiarize students with theoretical explanations of US foreign policy, historical and contemporary American thinking on international affairs, the structure of foreign policymaking in Washington DC, as well as some of the major challenges facing contemporary American policy-makers.
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Political Economy of Institutions
INTRL-GA 1749. 4 points. Muserref Yetim
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the newly emerging field of the political economy of institutions. The focus will be on institutions, their origins, evolution, purpose, and tendencies to change or stabilize. Institutions are fundamentally important for determining how both exogenous and endogenous challenges affect policy changes at both the domestic and international levels. They thus hold the key to our understanding of the conditions shaping the choices of individuals, groups, and societies and the variations in their political capacities and interests. Institutions can be formal or informal, implicit or explicit in all economic and political models. The scope of our study will go beyond the effect of institutions and the implications of different forms of institutions to explain why and how institutions are structured in certain ways and why some institutions survive and others don’t.
The course is divided into four parts. Part I provides an overview of definitional, conceptual, theoretical issues and an introduction to the origin and role of institutions in society. Part II will focus on the role of economic and politic institutions in long-term economic growth. Part III moves the debate to the role of institutions in the exploitation of natural resources and introduces various property regimes. In Part IV, the role institutions in providing order and stability and alleviating coordination, commitment, and principle-agent problems will be the main focus of inquiry. In this part, we will also explore the issues of corruption, moral hazard, and self-enforcing constitutions/democracies.
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Natural Resource Conflict
INTRL-GA 1750. 4 points. Muserref Yetim
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the core concepts, processes, theories, and issues of natural resource conflicts. The focus throughout this course will be on divergent theoretical approaches to natural resource conflicts at three levels of analysis: domestic, international, and global. Our objective is to gain an understanding of the nature of resource-based conflicts and to acquire the necessary tools and knowledge to tackle the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. The course is organized around the division of natural resources into three different categories: 1) non-renewable resources (such as oil, strategic minerals and gems); 2) renewable (such as water, forest, and fisheries); 3) and global common pool resources (the air, the oceans, forests, and fisheries). We will consider the various ways each category presents its own challenges and engenders different types of conflicts at the state, international, and global level.
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The US in the World: Historical Perspectives on Power, Institutions, and Global Change
INTRL-GA 1751. 4 points. John Fousek
This course examines the history of US foreign relations in a global context, primarily from the 1890s to the present. It aims to provide a historical understanding of the US position in today’s global arena, including debates around the nature of and challenges to US international ‘leadership’ or ‘hegemony.’ Themes include: the long-term ascendancy of the US as a global power; domestic sources of US power; the development of state apparatus and other institutions concerned with foreign policy and national security; the role of individual leaders; the uses of American power, including the role of military force, cultural influence and the shaping of international institutions; interventionism, war, and peacemaking; and the political and economic consequences of US foreign policy for the United States and other regions. The Cold War and its legacy receive substantial attention. The “global war on terror,” from 2001 to the present, will be discussed in broader historical perspective.
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Terrorism & Counterterrorism
INTRL-GA 1752. 4 points. Stuart Gottlieb
This course examines the origins and evolution of modern terrorism, challenges posed by terrorist groups to states and to the international system, and strategies employed to confront and combat terrorism. We assess a wide variety of terrorist organizations and explore the psychological, socioeconomic, political, and religious causes of terrorist violence past and present. We also analyze the strengths and weaknesses of various counterterrorism strategies, from the point of view of efficacy as well as ethics, and look into ways in which the new threat of global terrorism might impact the healthy functioning of democratic states. The course is divided into two parts. Part I focuses on the terrorist threat, including the nature, roots, objectives, tactics, and organization of terrorism and terrorist groups. Part II addresses the issue of counterterrorism, including recent American efforts to combat terrorism, the strengths and weaknesses of counterterrorism tools and instruments, the issue of civil liberties and democratic values in confronting terrorism, and international strategies and tactics.
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Diplomacy in Theory & Action
INTRL-GA 1753. 4 points. Robert Dry
Diplomacy has been called 'the engine of international relations'. Foreign policy can succeed or fail depending on the quality of a country's diplomacy. Yet, non-diplomats often misunderstand the role and power of diplomacy. That is unfortunate because diplomacy is a primary instrument of national power and in many contexts can be much more effective than the application of coercion. This course provides students with an understanding of the institution of diplomacy - where it comes from; how it functions; and how it is evolving. Some scholars equate negotiation with diplomacy and while it is the case that diplomats continually engage in negotiations of one form or another, this course is not intended to serve as a stand-alone course on negotiation. Nor is it a course on diplomatic history. Students who work hard on the required readings, short papers, and presentations will not only learn what diplomats do, but students should also be prepared to undertake service as a national diplomat or an international civil servant. As a matter of fact, the skills emphasized in this seminar will further students' understanding of international relations and advance skills needed in almost any international career.
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UN Peacekeeping & Peacebuilding
INTRL-GA 1754. 4 points. Patty Chang
This course examines the United Nations “complex” peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations since the end of the Cold War. It starts with an introduction to fundamentals: theories on the nature of conflict and types of peace operations. The course then explores a survey of the major UN missions, focusing on the international legal basis for intervention by external actors, states interest, capacity, mandate, strategies, and obstacles faced. It covers a number of cross-cutting issues including the politics of peacekeeping and peacebuilding, the relationship between peacebuilding and state-building, normative debates on justice and ethics, the debates and controversies on the promotion of democracy and market economics as a basis for peace, the challenges of evaluating outcomes, targeting the needs of recipient communities, as well as subcontracting peace, indigenous peacebuilding, and cooperation and coordination with multiple actors (notably non-governmental organizations, regional organizations, donor governments, and multinational coalitions). Overall, the course is designed to help students think analytically and systematically about peacekeeping and peacebuilding, along with providing them with a strong foundation of the enduring theoretical and policy debates and recent developments in field-based knowledge.
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INTRL-GA 1755. 4 points.
This class introduces M.A. students to key concepts and approaches in the security studies subfield. The course has three main purposes: (1) to familiarize students with key debates in the security studies subfield; (2) to help students evaluate dilemmas of current security environment; and (3) to help students understand and critically analyze the complexity and factors for today’s policy challenges for formulation and implementation. The class will both explore theories of security, as well as how security services and ministries of defense around the world conceptualize and respond to security challenges. The class is designed to answer the following questions: What are the security challenges of today and what might be future challenges? What are the root causes of war? What are alternatives to war? How can wars be prevented or at least limited? What can third parties do to help manage or limit wars? Why do states intervene in the domestic conflicts of other states? In answering these questions, the class will examine a number of important issues including complex military and diplomatic interventions and issues relating to regional conflict, insurgency, counterinsurgency, terrorism, piracy, and other militant challenges. The class will be run as a seminar. Doing the reading is not enough; students must be prepared to discuss it. There will usually be discussion questions distributed in class; if not, students should at minimum be prepared to summarize the key points of the readings.
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Middle East Politics
INTRL-GA 1756. 4 points. Asli Peker
This course is a graduate level introduction to politics in the contemporary Middle East. It does not require a substantial background in Middle Eastern studies, but basic familiarity with contemporary history and politics of the region is assumed. The course’s primary concern is to contextualize the study of the Middle East in a historical and comparative framework. The course starts with a brief overview of the modern history of the region and a discussion of what the political construct “Middle East” entails, how it came about and why we should be studying it. From there on, we move to weekly topical readings and discussions. Among the topics examined are: Great Powers' interests and encroachments into the region, the modernizing reforms and the processes of state formation; post-independence developments including coups, revolutions and wars; the evolution of political Islam and nationalism as rival ideologies; the peculiarities of the Islamic state; the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other hot conflicts in the region; politics of gender, oil and the rentier state; civil society and contentious politics; dynamics of authoritarianism and democratization; the political potential and impact of new media; and more recent developments in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Readings and examples are drawn from a selected subset of Middle Eastern countries, no one country is studied individually in depth but rather used in a comparative framework to underline historical patterns, similarities, and differences. The course is designed as a seminar. Students are expected to do a number of presentations and participate substantially in the class discussions.
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Middle East and US Foreign Policy
INTRL-GA 1757. 4 points. Joseph Helman
This course examines the history, national interests, policy objectives, and outcomes of US engagement in the Middle East from World War I to the present. The course examines the international environment, regional issues, and the policies and tools used to protect and advance US national interests. Episodes of US intervention are examined, as are current issues and challenges for US foreign policy in the region. This course is suitable for students seeking to broaden their understanding of US foreign policy in the context of the contemporary history, regional dynamics, and international relations of the Middle East. Students will strengthen their research, analytic, writing, and briefing skills through class discussions, writing high-quality papers, and preparing and presenting a briefing. The course is conducted as an interactive graduate seminar.
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Asia-Pacific International Relations
INTRL-GA 1759. 4 points. David Adelman
The history of the 21st Century will be written in Asia. This graduate-level overview will examine the relations between China, Japan, Korea, and the South East Asian countries, as well as between those countries and the United States, Russia, Australia, and India. Our discussions will follow economic and political developments from the Cold War competition between superpowers through the post-Cold War economic expansion. We will consider the challenges across the Taiwan Straits and on the Korean Peninsula as well as America's involvement in the conflict in Vietnam, the independence of Singapore, and the development of the Association of South East Asia Nations. A central topic will be whether escalating U.S.-China tensions are inevitable and the effectiveness of smart power and traditional diplomacy in the region. We will consider existing security alliances and the underlying causes and potential resolution of the maritime territorial disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. Our studies will place heavy emphasis on current events bringing students up to date with a close look at issues arising from Xi's management of the rise of China, Obama's pivot to Asia, and Trump's evolving policies in the region. The course has been revised to include only a single medium-length written paper and two essay format in-class examinations.
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INTRL-GA 1760. 4 points. Colette Mazzucelli
This course provides students with a working knowledge and experience of conflict resolution. We explore the history, methodology, theories, and practice in conflict resolution, as the field evolves in the post-9/11 strategic environment. Basic concepts in the literature are analyzed along with a comparison of strategic alternatives in the areas of relationship, power balance, communication, the perception of value differences, and tactics. Case studies analyze conflicts in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Other modules address the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as religion in conflict resolution, the resolution of ecological conflicts as well as the relevance of crisis mapping to conflict analysis and uses of mobile technology in conflict environments. For insight into the literature, the main core text, Contemporary Conflict Resolution, may be consulted. Multiple copies are on reserve at the program's offices (19 University Place, Office 534) for IR MA candidate use outside the classroom. The course is selected to take part in the U.S. Department of State Peer 2 Peer (P2P): Challenging Extremism university educational initiative (see the article on npr.org and YouTube video here for related information), which may be relevant to the acquisition of practical skills as well as thesis research. For more information, please contact Professor Colette Mazzucelli at email@example.com.
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Political Economy of International Trade
INTRL-GA 1761. 4 points. Akram Esanov
The main objective of this course is to examine the impact of political and economic factors on international trade policy. This course addresses leading theories and major policy debates in the political economy of international trade. In particular, this course examines key models in the economics of international trade, the rationale behind trade liberalization and protection, the distributional consequences of trade, the role of interest groups, domestic and international institutions in trade policymaking. In addition, the course aims to equip graduate students with analytical tools to pursue empirical research on a pertinent issue. The course is divided into several sections. Students will begin by surveying main theoretical frameworks in international trade, including the new trade theory. Next, students will scrutinize the political economy theories to explain trade protection and trade liberalization. We then proceed with the analysis of international trade regimes and their effect on trade policy reforms in both developing and developed countries. Students will also analyze the relationship between international trade, democratic transition and economic development. The course will conclude with the discussion of contemporary debates in the political economy of international trade.
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INTRL-GA 1762. 4 points. Arnaud Kurze & Ruti Teitel
The objective of this graduate-level course is to introduce students to the critical study of transitional justice and post-conflict accountability. Transitional justice is a relatively new concept in international studies that was coined in the wake of transitions from authoritarian rule in the Southern Cone of Latin America; the demise of the Soviet bloc in Central Europe; and atrocious civil wars and ethnic conflicts across the African and Asian continent to capture the efforts of newly democratizing countries, to grapple with the legacy of grave human rights violations committed during previous authoritarian rule and, in the context of internal armed conflicts.
The transitional justice mechanisms countries adopted in the wake of mass atrocity have included truth commissions to investigate past atrocities; criminal trials against those responsible for grave human rights abuses; vetting and purges of state officials connected to authoritarian rule and/or rights violations; and reparations programs. The concept of transitional justice quickly gained relevance beyond the described regions and has since developed into a rich and multifaceted field of interdisciplinary research and praxis, although it is not without detractors.
The course will introduce students to the theoretical debates within the field of transitional justice, examine several case studies, and critically analyze the actors engaged in the field.
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Foundations for Diplomacy
INTRL-GA 1763. 4 points. Robert Dry
Diplomacy has been called 'the engine of international relations'. Foreign policy can succeed or fail depending on the quality of a nation's diplomacy. Yet, non-diplomats - and yes, even students of international relations - often misunderstand the role of diplomacy. This course early clarifies and operates on the distinction between foreign policy and diplomacy. It delves into the history of diplomacy briefly and then considers the accretion of diplomatic law. It explores traditional (bilateral political, consular, and headquarters), as well as non-traditional (multilateral, public, S&T, summit, ‘networked’, etc.) diplomacy. The seminar touches n non-Western approaches to diplomacy and small country or ‘niche’ diplomacy. One focus of the segment on diplomatic negotiation and mediation considers the role of culture in negotiations. Later sessions of the course address thinkers and theories of diplomacy. In fact, student groups will present on several of these to the class. The course concludes by discussing key issues in diplomacy, including personal/professional ethics such as dissent, and career diplomacy.
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Intelligence & National Security
INTRL-GA 1764. 4 points. Joseph Helman
Enrollment limited to students in IR and Politics MA programs.
This course examines the conceptual, historical, ethical, legal, policy, and operational foundations of national intelligence and the organizational structures and functions of the US Intelligence Community. Executive Branch management and congressional oversight of intelligence are examined in the context of balancing the requirement for secrecy in intelligence with the desire for transparency and the need for oversight and accountability in a democratic society. The functions and missions of intelligence collection and analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action are examined, and contemporary intelligence failures and associated reforms are assessed. This course is suitable for students seeking to improve their understanding of the role of intelligence in national and international security and of particular interest to students considering careers in these fields. The course is conducted as an interactive graduate seminar.
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INTRL-GA 1765. 4 points. Damian Leader
Diplomacy is advancing foreign policy goals through interactions with foreign governments. Since World War II the traditional practice has widened to include interactions with multilateral organizations and increasingly with non-state actors, whether NGOs, national liberation movements, religious organizations or development groups.
This course will examine how U.S. strategic policy goals are translated into diplomatic action, focusing on the practical challenges of bilateral and multilateral advocacy and negotiation. The class will consider post-Cold War cases, including how consensus was built domestically and internationally in support of NATO enlargement; reaction to recent crises in Georgia and Ukraine; African conflict resolution (including working with and through NGOs, corporations and other non-state actors); conventional and nuclear arms control; the post-9/11 use of diplomats in war zones; and how changing U.S. cultural values have influenced U.S. diplomacy on issues such as human rights, population control, and trafficking. Primacy will be given to how diplomats actually work, including how new technology has affected practice in the field.
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Armed Forces & Society
Known as "Civil-Military Relations" prior to Spring 2017
INTRL-GA 1767. 4 points. Michael John Williams
As the military historian, John Keegan recounts in his book War and Our World, “war made the state and the state makes war”. Given the centrality of controlled violence to the creation of the state, there is no escaping the role that the armed forces play in the life of the state. One of the defining points on statehood is a monopoly on the use of force within a state, a monopoly of course that rests on the military. But the role of the armed forces is not uniform amongst the global society of states. Modern state ranging from democratic ones such as the United States and Germany to autocratic ones such as Egypt or Pakistan all seek to find a proper balance between the civilian political leadership and the armed forces. This course is comparative in nature, aiming to compare and contrast the civil-military experience in the developed and developing worlds. The course we examine cases where civilian control of the military is firmly established as well as societies where an equilibrium between the armed forces and society has yet to be reached. The course will also exam several themes necessary for understanding these case studies including, but not limited to, theories of civil-military relations, coups d’etat, military role, political transitions. The course will also utilize sociology to examine the role that culture, values, and norms play in establishing relationships between the armed forces and society. Key questions the course aims to address are: Can newly emerging democratic leadership in the developing world consolidate power or will the cycle of democratic failure and military intervention be repeated? How can the armed forces undermine the democratic leadership of a developed state? How to states conceptualize the idea of the soldier and the soldier as public servant? Does veneration of the military within society lead to an over-militarization of society and degradation of democracy? What models of civilian control work best?
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Strategic Planning - A Hands On Workshop
INTRL-GA 1768. 4 points. Charles Freilich
In today’s rapidly changing and chaotic world, the need for effective strategic planning is greater than ever. Strategic planning is based on analytical processes and methodologies that are fundamentally different from those taught in academic programs and graduates lack the practical “real world” skills sought by employers, who are hesitant to hire them. The initial period of employment thus becomes a difficult process of on-the-job training. The course will teach the methodologies and skills required for real-world policy planning, increasing students’ prospects of employment and making them useful employees from the start. The course is highly practical, a nearly real-world policy planning workshop. In the role of senior decision-makers from countries of their choice, students will draft policy papers and formulate recommendations from the perspective of the actual leaders in power. The need to consider matters in this light, from the real world leaders’ perspective, not what students believe to be right, often has a transformational impact on students’ thinking. The heart of the course is class discussion, in which students engage in a directed critique of each other’s draft policy papers, much as is done in senior planning forums, as part of a collaborative effort to help improve the final paper.
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Contemporary Security Issues
INTRL-GA 1769. 4 points. Michael John Williams
This course explores the topic of war and security as they relate to each other in the modern world. The course is roughly divided into two parts with one part examining primarily the subject of ‘war’ and the second part focusing on ‘security’. Within these sections, dominant themes will emerge such as theories of war, types of war, the evolution of war and the regulation of war in part one. The second part explores the idea of security, the rise of security risks, metaphysical aspects of war and security, and political violence. The course is both a historical and theoretical exploration into how war and security affect our lives and the study of world politics.
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INTRL-GA 1771. 4 points. Kara Alaimo
At a time when the U.S. and other states are hesitant to engage in military action but face pressing global challenges, this course will examine how countries can effectively deploy “soft power” in order to achieve international goals. A critical class for students considering careers in their government’s foreign service or in international organizations, we study how states and organizations can most effectively build relationships with foreign publics in order to win “hearts and minds.” The class explores how governments attempt to inform, persuade, and engage foreign publics in order to achieve their national objectives. We study how public diplomacy is practiced today by nations such as the U.S. and China and examine recent developments, including how governments and other actors are harnessing new communication technology; how foreign audiences are responding to government messages and influencing government behavior; and how public diplomacy is practiced in the current global war on terror. Students will learn how to craft strategic, sophisticated, forward-thinking public diplomacy strategies that effectively influence global public opinion. At the end of the course, students will be prepared to cultivate and maintain productive relationships between foreign audiences and governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations, based upon genuine, mutual understanding and two-way communication.
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INTRL-GA 1772. 4 points. Kara Alaimo
One of the most significant developments in international politics over the past several decades has been the growth of transnational advocacy campaigns. In a progressively more interdependent world, governments have become more sensitive to the effects of international publicity, because their ability to maintain access to increasingly critical vehicles of international cooperation is contingent upon preserving their reputations as members of the international community in good standing. This has sharpened the potential of communicative processes to alter state behavior by mobilizing shame against states which refuse to comply with international norms, or whose actions digress from their rhetoric. Over the past several decades, global actors have capitalized upon this sensitivity to live-stream documentation of state actions in remote corners of the earth to audiences around the globe. As a result, they have been able to “verbally coerce” states to alter their behavior in areas previously deemed sacrosanct, such as security(witness the NGO-drafted ban on landmines) and even state sovereignty itself(the human rights regime). This graduate course will analyze the specific strategies that transnational activists have utilized to achieve global policy change, and how these processes are today transforming global norms and international politics. Students will critically assess the current environment; study global advocacy campaigns implemented by international organizations, advocacy networks, and governments; and learn how to design and execute their own transnational advocacy campaigns.
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Country Risk Analysis
INTRL-GA 1773. 4 points. Akram Esanov
Over the past decades, the level of foreign direct investment, international lending, and cross-border trade have dramatically grown. Global investors and lenders realized that economics and politics are deeply intertwined in emerging markets and developing countries and began to develop more sophisticated tools for an assessment of political, economic, and financial risks. Country risk analysis is now used as a screening device to avoid conducting business in countries with excessive risk and as a tool for making a long-term investment or financial decisions. This course provides a broad overview of multiple approaches to country risk assessment and fosters students’ analytical skills so that they can complete an assessment of political, economic, and financial risks in a host country. Through a combination of lectures, classroom discussions, and case studies, students will be able to identify drivers of political, economic and financial risks, understand their effects on business decisions, and apply a number of analytical tools to specific real-life cases from the public and private sector in managing these risks. This course makes extensive use of economic modeling.
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Inequality and Conflict
INTRL-GA 1774. 4 points. Muserref Yetim
This seminar aims to introduce students to some of the central topics, concepts, and questions in the field of international development. In this course, we will explore cutting-edge thinking produced by historians, philosophers, political scientists, economists, sociologist and other social sciences on the domestic and international sources and consequences of inequality and conflict. The goal is to give a broad overview of diverse methodological approaches and suggested solutions for tackling the most challenging questions facing us in the 21st century and encourage students to identify areas where there is a potential for more productive work to be done.
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The UN System
INTRL-GA 1776. 4 points. Grid Rroji
This course is designed to introduce participants to the history and structure of the UN, its place within the international system of states and non-state actors, its current challenges in the face of failed states and civil wars, climate change, terrorism, continuing high levels of pove1ty and inequality, challenges to human rights, and calls for radical reform of the whole UN system. The course will discuss current problems of global governance in the context of the UN, suggestions for a world government and the relation of the UN to other multilateral institutions.
This seminar will focus on the history, administration, and especially the politics and some international legal dimensions of the UN system in its three main areas of activity: international peace and security; human rights and humanitarian action; and sustainable development. Because of the high impact not only on the UN budget but also on the international political implications, a strong emphasis will be placed on the political processes that define international peace and security. Consideration will be given also to NGO's and regional organizations that interact with the UN in the processes of "global governance", as well as to the impact of U.S. foreign policy on multilateralism. Finally, attention will be devoted to the role of ideas within international institutions, and their impact on change and the reform of the system.
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Immigration and Transnationalism
INTRL-GA 1778. 4 points. Roy Germano
This course explores some of the many challenges and opportunities associated with the movement of people across national borders. Global migration flows have reached unprecedented levels. About a quarter of a billion people--or 3.3 percent of the global population--currently live outside their country of birth. These flows, of course, are not without controversy. In the United States, we are debating how to manage a large undocumented population from Mexico and an increase in undocumented children coming from Central America. Meanwhile, debates rage in Europe about Islam and assimilation while thousands of refugees die in the Mediterranean Sea fleeing conflict and repression in countries like Somalia, Eritrea, Afghanistan, and Syria. Many communities in developing countries, on the other hand, depend on and are changed by the massive sums of money that migrants send home. What drives trends like these, and what are their political, economic, and social implications? Why do people emigrate, how are people smuggled and trafficked, and to what extent can states control immigration and manage xenophobia? How do immigration policies affect families, children, and communities? What is the relationship between emigration and human development in developing countries? This course explores these and other questions about human mobility in the 21'' century.
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INTRL-GA 1779. 4 points. Shinasi Rama
Nation-building is the process through which different groups, routinely under intense exogenous pressures, seek to forge a new common identity centered on the pre-existing territorial state. For this reason, particularly in the United States, nation-building is considered dependent and conceptually interchangeable with the state-building, i.e. the construction of a sustainable, viable and effective set of legitimate institutions that make binding authoritative decisions within the state. In this course, while we recognize the distinctiveness of the nation and the state, we also begin by considering them as the two inseparable sides of the modern nation-state. The core objective of this course exposes students to theories and practices of nation-building and state-building from a broad comparative political and historical perspective. We will briefly examine the trajectories of nation-building and state-building in Western Europe and then focus on nation-building and state-building in the contemporary post-conflict states. The course is designed to achieve the following objectives. First, it aims at providing an understanding of the most important frameworks to understand the nation and the state. Second, it seeks to familiarize students with contemporary literature on nation-building and state-building. Third, we seek to attain a better understanding of the nation-building and state-building efforts in a selected number of cases such as Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, but also other lesser known cases in Asia and Africa. Fourth, we seek to assess the role the international organizations and other state play in the nation and state-building efforts. This becomes exceedingly important as the model that is advocated, supported and imposed is centered on the establishment of a democratic regime and the formation of a majority that will have, at best, a fluid identity based on material interests and not on the ethnic, religious, racial, or linguistic identity.
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State Failure & State Building in Comparative Perspective
INTRL-GA 1780. 4 points. Asli Peker
How do we define the modern state? How did modern states evolve in the Western world? Is the path to statehood different in the non-Western context? How do we measure state capacity? Why are some states stronger and others weaker? And what brings about state failure? Can states be built by institutional engineering? What are the institutional and structural requisites for the formation of effective, viable, strong states? This course will explore these and other important questions pertaining to state failure and state building. After a discussion of the existing literature on states, we will focus on the peculiarities of non-Western states and study comparative cases of state failure and state building.
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A Modern Mediterranean Region
INTRL-GA 1781/EURO-GA 2670 Joseph J. Viscomi
The massive scale of contemporary population displacement has made the Mediterranean into a contentious region that reveals a complex set of global historical dynamics. How can we understand the geopolitical and social relevance of the Mediterranean within historical trajectories connecting east and west, and north and south? This course examines this question through the field of modern Mediterranean studies. The course first seeks to understand how historians and anthropologists have conceptualized the sea and its constitutive processes. Themes covered in this part of the course include: seeing the sea; anthropology’s Mediterranean; micro Mediterranean; Mediterranean worlds; and Mediterranean modernity. In addition to analyzing the debates that shape cross-disciplinary scholarship in and of the sea, the first part of the course develops a methodological approach for modern Mediterranean studies. The second part examines themes in the historiography of the modern Mediterranean, dating roughly from the late-Ottoman period to the present. These include Mediterranean jurisdiction; the colonial sea(s); nationalism and the radical Mediterranean; imperialism and the fascist Mediterranean; decolonizing the Mediterranean; a new Mediterranean?; and migration, mourning, and frontiers.
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Middle East: Colonialism After Colonialism
INTRL-GA 1782/NEST-GA 2005. 4 points. Nasser Abourahme
What is colonialism today? How is it that what we call ‘colonialism’ is understood both as a historical experience that most agree has formally passed (the age of colonial empires proper), and also an enduring, maybe even expanding mode of politics? How far do we need to understand our contemporary politics—the re-rise of the far-right, ecological collapse, securitization, the border crisis, the impasse of liberal democracy, dispossessive accumulation—not just in the idiom, but in the historical frame of the colonial? What risks (anachronism, presentism, romanticism) would such a move entail? This course offers an assessment of the field of colonial studies as it relates to global politics today. We begin by tracking the emergence of this field and consider the many adjacencies that give it form, taking in the debates around the anticolonial tradition, postcolonialism, racial capitalism, settler-colonial studies, and the return of the decolonization movement. Moving across disciplines and mediums (novels, films, images) this course asks what happens when we think our histories not as separable pasts but as entangled endurances.
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U.S. Policy Toward Eastern Europe
INTRL-GA 1783. 4 points. Damian Leader
This course will examine U.S. policy toward Eastern Europe since 1945, focusing on positions since 1989 that set the stage for today's conflicts. The borderlands between modern Germany and Russia have been contested among empires, peoples, and religions for a millennium and the struggle for political and military control of these borderlands sparked both World Wars. After the post-Yalta division of Europe, this area became a central focus of Cold War rivalry using all forms of traditional and public diplomacy. The end of the Soviet Union, the fall of communist regimes in former-Warsaw Pact countries, the re-creation of independent countries in post-Soviet space, and the enlargement of NATO and the EU set the stage for today's conflicts in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. This class will explore policy successes and failures toward this volatile area, drawing on both diplomatic and cultural sources to discover what policy approaches might work best in the future.
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INTRL-GA 1784. 4 points. Giuseppe Ammendola
There are over 80,000 Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in the world today. Their role in the complex set of global cross-‐border flows of goods, services, capital, people, and knowledge is immense. We shall examine the impact that MNCs have on the countries and regions of the world and on the globalization process as suppliers, customers, competitors, employers, shareholders, innovators, recipients, and influencers of regulation and in general as political, business, legal and social entities. Through lectures, in-‐class training, discussions, and the examination of case studies, students will deepen their understanding of some of the most powerful actors and forces in the world economy and the current debates concerning them. More broadly, the course draws lessons from political science, economics, business, law, history, sociology, and psychology in order to understand the multiple challenges faced by decision-makers not just in the private but also in the public and nonprofit sectors. Overall the teaching is informed by the sharing with students the insights derived from multiple disciplines, cultures, and languages to help them gain valuable real-‐world skills.
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The Political Economy of the Pacific Basin
INTRL-GA 1785. 4 points. David Denoon
Cross-listed with POL-GA 2774.
This is a graduate seminar designed to provide students an opportunity to survey political, economic and military trends in one of the world’s most critical regions. For our discussion, the region will be defined as all nations whose borders touch on the Pacific, but the reading will concentrate on Asia. Students in both politics and economics should be able to explore the inter-relationship between theory and policy choices in several areas of current controversy.
The course has three basic objectives: (1) to identify the major trends shaping economic developments in the Pacific Basin; (2) to suggest ways to integrate and explain the political, economic and military factors which have shaped the region's turbulent cycles in the past two decades; and (3) to have students do an in-depth research paper on some aspect of the region or the region’s relationships to another part of the world.
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Human Rights, Arts & Memory
INTRL-GA 1786. 4 points. Arnaud Kurze
The aim of this course is to map the politics of systematic human rights abuses in conflict or during authoritarian rule against the backdrop of art as a vector for change. The seminar focuses on a cross-regional analysis to explore how different social actors address political violence in the aftermath of atrocities relying on art and how their actions impact society. Some of the questions posed include: 1) How do societies account for wrongdoings and create a collective memory? 2) Why are transition governments and other actors keen on creating their own -- often conflicting -- narratives about the past? 3) What role do international actors, such as non-profit organizations or states, play in this context? In recent years, the use of art -- including visual and performance art but in particular street art and performance activism -- has become a major catalyst of dealing with the past. Yet, the reliance on artistic forms of expression to cope with mass atrocities and human rights violations is far from being a cathartic element. Instead, it can also fuel tensions leading to the creation of contentious spaces in transitioning societies. The first part of this course consists of the sociology of politics of human rights; a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the role of art in transition processes; as well as an examination of collective memory against the background of dealing with the past. Part two and three of the course provide a large array of case studies ranging from South America to Southeast Asia, including a selection of countries that were affected by the Arab Spring. They serve as food for thought to discuss the theoretical underpinnings introduced at the beginning of the course.
Norms & Law of Modern War
INTRL-GA 1787. 4 points. Anna Di Lellio
Is cyberspace a battlefield? If so, how do norms and laws that govern war provide guidance for defense or retaliation in cyber-conflict? These are urgent questions arising from changes in both patterns of organized violence and the reaction to them, in the context of contemporary wars. Not all changes are necessarily “new," but they have the potential to evolve into new norms, providing ample opportunities for challenging the widely accepted foundations of ethics in war, on which customary international law is based. For example, within the paradigm of asymmetric warfare, of which “the global war on terror" is one case, exceptional responses to existential threats have argued for violating the prohibition to torture; have questioned traditional understandings of noncombatant immunity, and of human shields; have challenged the taboo of assassination, by stressing the precision afforded by targeted killings; and have used new technologies intended to protect lives, such as drones, to redefine standards of proportionality. On another note, the emerging practice of humanitarian interventions has been struggling to become a norm, challenging definitions of legality and/or legitimacy of aggression.
This course aims to provide an understanding of the dynamic relationship between laws, norms, and practices in contemporary warfare, beyond the classic argument of realism - i.e. interest and power always trump ethics – and beyond a static understanding of the rules of conduct in wars. It addresses the role of norms as well as interests, and norm entrepreneurs such as states and non–state actors, through a mix of theoretical discussions and case studies.
For example, the global “war on terror" argues for exceptional responses to existential threats, reevaluating the normally accepted notion of the equality of combatants; new technologies intended to protect lives, such as drones, redefine standards of proportionality; asymmetric wars, often intra-state, question traditional understandings of noncombatant immunity; and humanitarian interventions challenge definitions of legality and/or legitimacy of aggression.
The focus of this course is to provide an understanding of the gap between laws, norms, and practices of war, beyond the classic argument of realism - - i.e. interest and power always trump ethics – and beyond a static understanding of the rules of conduct in wars. It addresses the dynamic role of norms as interests, and norm entrepreneurs such as states and non–state actors, through a mix of theoretical discussions and case studies.
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U.S. Policy in Asia-Pacific
INTRL-GA 1792. 4 points. James Nolt
Since the pivot to Asia during the Obama administration, East Asia has loomed larger in U.S. foreign policy. The advent of President Trump portends some even greater changes in U.S.-East Asia relations, perhaps the most profound since World War II. This class examines U.S. relations focusing on China and Japan, but also including Korean issues and the South China Sea. Both security and political economy issues are covered. International relations here includes not just what governments do, but also the profound influence of private power and strategy, primarily involving business. Political, business, and military strategy will all be explained and examined.
Radicalization & Religion
INTRL-GA 1793. 4 points. Colette Mazzucelli
Cultural values, particularly religious ones, as well as emotions are underestimated in analyses that emphasizes rational decision-making. Some of the deepest yearnings in human beings can be of critical importance in sustaining what is defined in the literature as "intractable" social conflicts. Strict cost-benefit calculations figure prominently in instrumental decision-making pertaining to goals with adjustments necessary should the costs be too high to achieve specific objectives. What analysts may term " culturally sacred" values are less sensitive to calculations of cost and benefit - a fact ignored in Realpolitik explanations. This course investigates the issues pertaining to religious values and the limits of rational choice with a specific focus on the ways in which culturally sacred values in support of political violence are spreading across terrorist groups. In conjunction with NYU's on-going participation in the Peer 2 Peer (P2P) campaign, organized in cooperation with the US Department of State, this course assesses the ways in which countering such values with alternative value interpretations can eliminate or mitigate terrorist violence. The course also examines the extent to which religious values sustain clashes between political cultures.
Nationalism and Ethnicity
INTRL-GA 1794. 4 points. Shinasi Rama
Nationalism and ethnicity remain a common cause of conflict in international politics of the past two centuries. Yet, the intensification and the vengeful resurgence of nationalist and ethnic conflicts in the post-Cold War era have been most unexpected and surprising for policy-makers and scholars alike. The increasing frequency and deadliness of nationalist conflict at the international and the intra-state level, from mass expulsions to state-sponsored genocide, has prompted international and humanitarian interventions that have challenged time-honored norms of state behavior and its integrity. However, despite widespread recognition amongst intellectuals and policymakers of the virulent resurgence of nationalism, there is a widespread lack of consensus on the meaning and origins of, as well as the management strategies for dealing with, nationalist and ethnic conflict. To many, nationalism appears just an amorphous and protean form of organization that is difficult to be defined, described and controlled.
Most of the literature for this course will be drawn from the contemporary debates on the nation, ethnicity and international relations theory and practice, intentionally fusing together theory and case studies. However, while emphasis will be placed on achieving a better understanding of theoretical interpretations and frameworks for action, we will take good care to examine a number of case studies in a variety of contexts. This will familiarize us with the repertoire of strategies, justifications, and practices used by all actors. We will do so through assigned readings, but also by following events and conflict that unfold during this semester.
International Economic Development
INTRL-GA 1800. 4 points. Muserref Yetim
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the core concepts, processes, theories, and issues in international development. The focus will be on divergent theoretical approaches to international development and their empirical applications while studying different regions’ experiences of development. The field is characterized by contentious debates and we will explore these debates from multiple perspectives. Our objective is to gain an understanding of the problems of development and explore why some nations fail and others succeed, why some nations experience sustained economic growth while others grow and then stagnate by applying recently developed frameworks, i.e., Acemoglu and Robinson, North, Wallis, and Weingast, or Bates, to case studies from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.
International Organizations: Law & Diplomacy
INTRL-GA 2001. 3 points. Jose Enrique Alvarez
This course deals with global International Organizations (IOs), institutions created by treaty and generally having states as members that aspire to be global in scope and membership. It examines the legal impact of a few UN system organizations, namely the UN’s Security Council and General Assembly, the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO). It will also introduce the law-making impact of international courts that interact with UN system organizations.
The premise of the course is that IOs (including international courts) are political and legal tools but that understanding their legal impact requires how diplomats, as well as lawyers, engage with them. While the course examines, in passing, the substantive legal regimes in which these institutions are embedded, such as the international aviation law and international labor law, the focus is on the impact institutionalization has on these legal regimes. Throughout we will be examining how international organizations make an attempt to “enforce” law and how these organizational processes have affected (and change) the sources of international law as defined by legal positivism, namely treaties, custom, and general principles.
In the absence of an international police force, a world legislature, or a world court with truly universal jurisdiction, international organizations necessarily have been innovative in devising ways to create, enforce, and interpret the law. This course provides a different perspective on what law-making is and even what “law” is.
This course addresses select forms of institutionalized treaty making and regulation, as well as enforcement and dispute settlement. After some initial classes introducing the basic theme for the course, the later parts of the course examine distinct IOs in their legal/diplomatic settings.
Reading and Research
INTRL-GA 3991. 1-4 points.
Prerequisite: written petition stating the need for the course and including a preliminary bibliography, approved by the professor supervising the course and by the Program Director. No more than 12 points of reading and research may be taken during a student’s graduate program, of which no more than 8 points may be taken during work on the master’s degree.
Tutorial for students whose individual needs are not met by formal courses. A substantial research paper or final examination is required.