Elective Course Descriptions (CAS in Security Studies)

Anthropology Courses (ANT)

Culture and Politics of Afghanistan and Pakistan (ANT 600/PAI 626)

This course is an introduction to the histories, cultures, and current politics Afghanistan and Pakistan, with a strong anthropological leaning. Students will gain an understanding of the factors leading to the current dilemmas in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the need to understand the histories of these two nations. In particular, students will explore the rural and urban social structures, marriage patterns, and gender relationships in various ethnic groups, as well as the effects of migration and the roles of Russia, India, China, Iran, and the US play.

Culture in World Affairs (ANT/PAI 707)

A systematic survey of the ways in which local, organizational, and transnational issues in world affairs are affected by culture.

Middle East Anthropology (ANT 668)

Anthropology of the social, cultural, geographical, and political realities of the Middle East.

Multilateral Peacekeeping (PAI/ANT 701)

(Meets in New York City and Syracuse) This seminar addresses the problems and prospect of multilateral peacekeeping through a combination of peacekeeping theory and analysis and practice of operations. Through sessions at the United Nations, meetings with UN and NGO representatives, case studies of contemporary peacekeeping operations, and simulation exercises, students will explore the theory and practice of multilateral peacekeeping operations (UN and NATO) with expert practitioners from around the world.

Peace and Conflict in the Balkans (ANT/PAI 673)

This course is divided into three parts:

  1. History, culture, and society of the Balkans.
  2. Ethnic nationalism and the wars of Yugoslav dissolution.
  3. Local effects of international humanitarian interventions, with a special focus on reconciliation and reconstruction in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Although the course concentrates on the former Yugoslavia and its successor states, other postwar regions will be referred to in collateral reading and discussion. Students are free to pursue their own interests in Balkan societies not touched upon in this course.

Violence and its Aftermath (ANT 600)

This course looks primarily at violence associated with conflict over resources, many tangible—such as oil and water—but many intangible, such as ethnic identity. The aftermath of the violence also will be studied, as well as the cultural ways used by nations and societies to recover from resource-based conflicts.

Women, War, and Peace (ANT 676)

This course, which looks at global politics, war, and violence through a gender-sensitive lens, is divided into three main parts:

  1. Women, war, and violence in the cross-cultural and global contexts—In this part the focus is on global issues that combine gender dynamics and different forms of symbolic and structural violence, such as trafficking and prostitution, militarization of everyday life, and feminization and medicalization of poverty.
  2. Forms of gender-based political violence, including war rapes, women in the military, and female suicide bombers.
  3. Case studies that focus on the role of women in the processes of social reconstruction and analysis of the relationship between global processes and women’s experiences of reconciliation, rebuilding, and recovery.
Communications Courses (COM, CRS, & PRL)

Communications, Crises, and Leadership (PRL 530)

This course examines the importance of planning and preparedness and efficient and effective communications during and after crises. It explores several different types of crisis and shows the importance of the public relations practitioner in crisis management.

Rhetorical Frames of War (CRS 862)

In this course, students will attend to major instances when US presidents have utilized rhetoric to frame, justify, and declare states of war. Specific attention will be paid to Abraham Lincoln (US Civil War), Woodrow Wilson (World War I), Franklin D. Roosevelt (World War II), Harry S. Truman (Cold War), and Lyndon B. Johnson (Conflict in Vietnam).

War, Media, and Propaganda (COM 600)

This course offers an overview of the impact of globalization on media practices. It examines the processes behind media coverage of war, sophisticated propaganda techniques, the dynamics of public opinion, and the effects on human affairs and communication. It also explores cultural-political implications for the US and analyzes recommendations and solutions to key problems of media globalization.

History Courses (HST)

Genocide, Atrocity, and Political Violence (HST 600)

History of International Relations (HST 645)

This course will offer a broad overview of the history of international relations with readings from theorists, historians, and practitioners.  Using case studies it will explore major global issues, including human rights, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and energy security. The grade will be based on papers, presentations, and class participation.

The focus will be on the US role as the anchor of the international state system and how the American-led international order has faced serious challenges. The following research questions will guide the course:

  • What are the origins of the international system?
  • How has it evolved?
  • How have non-state actors and non-governmental organizations influenced the state-based system?
  • Will American hegemony continue for the foreseeable future?

Israel and Palestine: Historical Approaches (HST 644)

The course focuses on theoretical literature, social history, popular culture, and gender studies, with the intent of placing an understanding of the Middle East in comparative and global contexts.  Students discuss monographs and case studies that pertain to Israel and Palestine, analyzing major themes in Middle East history—including colonial legacies, the construction of national identities, national memory, and the significance of gender—in order to understand social, cultural, and political issues in the contemporary Middle East. Students will lead and participate in class discussion, submit response papers on weekly readings, and undertake a research project.

Modern Korea (HST 690)

An examination of Korean political, economic, and social history from 1860 until today. Topics include: colonialism, the Korean War, nation-building, democratization, inter-Korean affairs, nuclear issues, the diaspora, and the “Korea Wave.”

The Modern Presidency (HST 615)

This course will analyze the evolution of the modern presidency and its present operation, since World War II. It also will examine the roles and influence of unelected officials (e.g., senior White House staff) and popular attitudes toward both the symbolic and the practical presidency, especially as they have been shaped by the mass media.

Perspectives on Terrorism (LAW 790/PSC 600/HST 600)

World at War (HST 615)

A study of the major developments in the military history of  World War I and II.

On World War I:

  • The struggle for mastery in Europe to 1914.
  • The Schlieffen Plan.
  • Western front trenches by 1915.
  • The battles of Verdun, the Somme, and Flanders.
  • The war in the east and its implications for Russia.
  • The war at sea to Jutland and after.
  • The war in the air.
  • American entry in 1917.

On World War II:

  • The heritage of Versailles and the rise of Hitler.
  • The Fall of France and the Battle of Britain.
  • Barbarossa and Hitler’s run of victories in Russia.
  • The Holocaust.
  • Counter-attack in the west and the closing of the ring in Europe.
  • Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific, Iwo Jima, and the atomic bomb.
Information, Science, & Technology Courses (IST)

Information Security Policy (IST 728)/Cybersecurity Law & Policy (LAW 832)

This is a three-credit, one semester course on the legal, policy, and management aspects of cybersecurity. It is conducted through a series of seminars co-taught by a professor from the School of Information Studies and a professor from the College of Law’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism. The course combines legal, political economy, and technology perspectives, examining cybersecurity from the standpoint of private sector activities, national governments, and international law and politics. In recognition of the interdisciplinary nature of cybersecurity problems, the co-teaching between Law and iSchool provides a richer environment for the students. The course also welcomes students from public administration, policy studies, communications, and computer science. Students will be exposed to some basic technical material regarding the nature of the Internet, cyberspace, vulnerabilities, exploits and incident response techniques and methods, but this is not a technical course and does not require computer science expertise.

Law Courses (LAW)

Atrocity Law (LAW 899)

International criminal law has developed at an exponential rate. Cutting edge rulings and decisions are setting the cornerstones in international criminal law for years to come. It is a rare opportunity for teachers, students, practitioners, and policymakers to be present at the beginnings of a new area of the law. Rarer still is the opportunity for students to be able to take a seminar from one of the senior international practitioners in the field, using his work as the basis for this seminar. Drawing upon unique experiences in West Africa, a great deal of the new ideas and fresh thinking began with Professor Crane’s work as the Chief Prosecutor of the international war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone, called the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

The seminar will use, as a case study, the entire creative process in West Africa of establishing the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone; from planning, preparation, and executing the many tasks necessary to prosecute war criminals in a forgotten and tragic land. Using real world and contemporary cases, vignettes, and scenarios this two-credit seminar will allow students to study and research with the practitioner who created the entire plan to prosecute those who bore the greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity that resulted in the murder, rape, maiming, and mutilation of more than 1.2 million human beings.

Taught by David M. Crane.

Counterterrorism and the Law (LAW 790)

This course concerns US and international law responses to terrorism and include a brief overview and history of terrorism. Topics include:

  • Legal definitions of terrorism.
  • Investigation and intelligence collection in the US and abroad.
  • Apprehension of terrorists across borders.
  •  Immigration and border controls.
  • Prosecution of terrorists.
  • Sanctions against terrorism and its supporters, including reprisal, assassination, and asset freeze and forfeiture.
  • Crisis and consequence management in the event of terrorist attacks, including martial law and detention, domestic use of the military, catastrophic emergency measures, and hostage and rescue operations.
  • Law reform issues.

Cybersecurity Law & Policy (LAW 832)/Information Security Policy (IST 728)

This is a three-credit, one semester course on the legal, policy, and management aspects of cybersecurity. It is conducted through a series of seminars co-taught by a professor from the School of Information Studies and a professor from the College of Law’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism. The course combines legal, political economy, and technology perspectives, examining cybersecurity from the standpoint of private sector activities, national governments, and international law and politics. In recognition of the interdisciplinary nature of cybersecurity problems, the co-teaching between Law and iSchool provides a richer environment for the students. The course also welcomes students from public administration, policy studies, communications, and computer science. Students will be exposed to some basic technical material regarding the nature of the Internet, cyberspace, vulnerabilities, exploits and incident response techniques and methods, but this is not a technical course and does not require computer science expertise.

Energy Law & Policy (Law 865)

This course serves an introduction to the way the international legal regime governs the exploration, extraction, exploitation, regulation, and arbitration of natural resources (predominantly fossil fuels). The courses also focuses on resources located in the developing world.

International Human Rights (LAW 778)

This course provides an apparatus for analyzing the major social, legal, and political changes occurring on every continent, for critiquing governmental policies that precipitate and respond to them, for understanding the conceptual underpinnings of the human rights system, and for acquiring the tools to conduct legal and political advocacy of human rights. A research paper and oral presentation are required.

Law of Armed Conflict (LAW 840)

Any student interested in practicing national security law or going into international criminal justice must have a clear understanding of the law of armed conflict. Humanity has attempted to regulate the horror of war for centuries. This seminar will review those attempts, focusing on the modern era. Particular attention will be paid to recent challenges related to the war on terror and the ramifications for future enforcement of these key principles. The student will have the opportunity to be involved in several practical exercises that will reinforce his or her learning and to write a paper on various cutting edge issues related to the law of armed conflict.

Law of Genocide (LAW 804)

This seminar examines the historical, philosophical, and political origins of statutes that outlaw crimes against humanity and genocide. It then focuses on:

  • The first post-World War II trial of the SS personnel at the Nazi concentration camps of Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz.
  • The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.
  • The Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem
  • The Tel Aviv trial of the head of the Jewish police of a Polish ghetto
  • -he trial of former Serbian and Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
  • Prosecutions before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in particular those relating to incitement to genocide on the part of the media.

Also discussed is the impact of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and consideration of the development of the law relating to genocide and crimes against humanity over the course of the past 70 years and its contemporary implications. The goal of the seminar is to provide the students with a broad awareness of the jurisprudential, historical, political, and social dimensions of criminalizing and prosecuting ethnically, religiously, or racially motivated atrocities.

Law of the Sea (LAW 729)

This course will focus on the public international legal regime governing the seas. It will provide students with an understanding of the major maritime zones and the legal principles governing them. Special attention will be paid to the role of customary international law in the development of the major twentieth-century treaties that constitute the main body of the law of the sea; the role of international tribunals in dealing with maritime boundary dispute resolution; the growth of conservation regimes governing the marine environment, and; contemporary maritime security challenges such as drug trafficking, hijacking, piracy, and terrorism.

Military Law and Procedure (LAW 817)

Military Law and Procedure is an overview of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and how its procedural applications ensure proper discipline within the ranks of today’s armed forces. The course will trace …

  • The history of discipline within the armed forces.
  • The development of military rule of law.
  • The practice aspects of advocating before courts martial.
  • Non-judicial and administrative aspects of military discipline.

Additionally, students will study the application of the UCMJ on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the new challenges faced by commanders and their legal advisers in the battlefields of tomorrow.

Perspectives on Terrorism (LAW 790/PSC 600/HST 600)

Prosecuting Terrorists (LAW 779)

This comprehensive course examines:

  • Principles of Counter-Terrorism Prosecutions.
  • Legal Authority and Creation of the Courts Systems.
  • Definitions of Terrorism and Selected US Code Criminal Statutes.
  • Criminal Offenses Under the Military Commissions Act, in International Tribunals, and in Special Courts.
  • The Law of Conspiracy.
  • Overviews of the Intelligence Community and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.
  • International Investigations and US Agents Acting Abroad.
  • The Fourth Amendment.
  • Electronic Surveillance.
  • Interviews & Interrogation, Grand Juries, and Material Witnesses.
  • Jurisdiction.
  • Pretrial Detention.
  • Protecting Classified or Confidential Information.
  • Entrapment and Rules of Evidence.
  • Physical Security and Witness Protection.
  • Sentencing Options.
  • Case Studies, such as US v. Moussaoui.

Public Health Law (LAW 862)

This course is useful to law students who anticipate working with governments, schools, hospitals, healthcare providers, the military, and insurers. It should be useful to non-lawyers who anticipate working with those entities or who plan to research in areas linked to public health, either domestically or internationally.

It investigates laws that empower and/or limit federal, state, and local government efforts to protect the health of the general population. It will make use of case studies of government educational and regulatory efforts in several areas of historic and very current controversy to examine common issues. Topics include:

  • The constitutional foundations and limits on the power of governments to protect the health of individuals.
  • Conflicts between health laws and other rights, in relation to reproductive health, “immorality,” and religion. Case studies will look at seat belts, ferrets, and fluoridation.
  • Quarantine and other liberty-restricting methods in the context of tuberculosis, typhoid, HIV/AIDS, influenza, and biological terrorism.
  • Public health “surveillance,” the collection of health information, and its use in biomedical research. Case studies will include environmentally-related cancers and DNA banking.
  • The regulation of health-harming activities (i.e., tobacco use) and their advertising.
  • Encouraging healthier behaviors and efforts to address drug abuse and obesity.
  • Public health responses to the use of guns and other non-traditional threats to public health.
  • Planned responses to bioterrorism and other global threats to public health.

This course will blend in experiential learning by linking students to public health work being done locally and in New York State.

Rule of Law in Postconflict Reconstruction (LAW 813)

The course addresses the legal challenges faced by the international community in reconstructing societies following armed conflict or other crises. The course is divided into two sections:
Part 1 focuses on core issues, including:

  • Defining and identifying the rule of law.
  • The relationship between the law and reconstruction.
  • The question of transitional justice and international criminal law.
  • International human rights.
  • Protecting vulnerable populations.
  • Regulating the security sector.

In Part 2, case studies—South Africa, Rwanda, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and East Timor—test some of the theoretical premises and stimulate debate.

Smart Grid: Security, Privacy, & Economics (LAW 868/PAI 730)

This highly interdisciplinary, team-taught course covers the fundamental engineering, economic, and legal principles underlying the smart grid. It focuses on building the skills needed to design and test the protocols, policies, and specifications for enabling technologies that will guarantee the security and integrity of the smart grid while preserving personal privacy and providing maximum market flexibility with minimal need for new regulation.  Students who complete the course will be able to integrate four perspectives—technology, security, economics, and law—allowing them to lead the development of the next generation electric grid.

War Crimes Trials (LAW 869)

This seminar will examine legal and ethical issues raised in these and other trials of Nazi war criminals and individuals accused of collaborating with the Nazis in perpetrating crimes against humanity, including the Eichmann Trial; the Auschwitz Trial of former SS officials and guards; the Tel Aviv trial of Hersz Barenblat; and the trials of Klaus Barbie (1987), Paul Touvier (1994), and Maurice Papon (1997-98).

Management Courses (BUA)

Seminar in Resource Management (BUA 600)

This course provides students a broad perspective of the core competencies of defense financial management and the application of those competencies within the US Department of Defense and with external stakeholders. The course emphasizes:

  • The management of resource/financial management.
  • Simulations involving federal budget prioritization, congressional processes, and program and budget formulation.
  • Examination of Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution, from a process perspective, as well as interpersonal, cross-functional, and organizational processes.
  • Analysis of data and how to market results to decision-makers at various organizational levels, with stress on consensus-building.
  • Other critical topics, including outsourcing and privatization, Base Realignment and Closure, manpower and personnel policy, fiscal law, and controls and ethics.
Political Science Courses (PSC)

American Foreign Policy in the Islamic World (PSC 600)

Challenges in Crisis and Disaster Management (PSC/PAI 700)

Crises and disasters are unwelcome but also unavoidable features of modern society. They can emerge within any domain, may be of human or of natural origin, and can last anywhere from hours, to days, to months and beyond. While sometimes the crisis itself is the undoing of an organization or society, it is the way that we response to crises that often makes the difference between catastrophe and greater resilience. Challenges in Crisis and Disaster Management will examine the dynamics and processes that occur as policy makers, scientists, engineers, and citizens struggle to cope with crisis and disaster situations. We will identify the reasons why crises and disasters are so difficult to deal with as well as identify skills and practices that have proven to be effective in forecasting, preparing for, managing, communicating about and learning from crises. A wide range of crises will be examined across the course including: humanitarian emergencies, political instability and civil unrest, terrorism, natural disasters, health pandemics, industrial accidents, financial crises, and foreign policy fiascos. The workshop is dynamic, offering a combination of seminars, lectures, group exercises, and concluding with a simulation exercise.

Comparative Foreign Policy (PSC 783)

A survey and critique of approaches to understanding foreign policy decision-making from the perspective of the practitioner who must deal with problems of individual choice, small groups, bureaucratic politics, and organizational constraints in the conduct of foreign policy. Case studies and simulations are used to provide first-hand experience in policy decision-making in the United States and other countries.

The course begins with an overview and critique of competing world views, such as realism and neo-realism, pluralism, globalism, feminism, and post-modern perspectives. After exploring these world views, it focuses on the challenges of decision-making. In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in policy research projects and report their findings to “clients” in other countries.

Comparative Foreign Policy: Korea (PSC 760)

This course examines major sociopolitical developments on the Korean Peninsula over the last two decades to analyze the impact of these foreign policy issues on the formulation and implementation of multilateral security policy and public diplomacy. Topics include:

  • Diplomacy of major state actors in the environs of the Korean Peninsula.
  • Educational, scientific, and cultural exchange diplomacy.
  • Government-to-government interactions.

Crisis Management (PSC 759/PAI 700)

This course examines leadership, cooperation, and conflict in times of crisis. An emphasis is placed on understanding the key dynamics that influence the way that decision makers perceive and respond to crises and the kinds of processes that facilitate constructive crisis management. Real life case illustrations, exercises, and simulations are used to give participants an interactive experience and a realistic understanding of the limitations and opportunities that arise in high-pressure crisis management situations. The course familiarizes students with contrasting points of view on crisis management from across disciplinary boundaries; in particular, international relations, public administration, and public communication.  Students write a case study on a crisis of their choosing that follows a pre-set research methodology developed at the Maxwell School.

Democracy in the Middle East (PSC 690)

This course investigates the role that politics, religion, media, law, culture, and history play in the ongoing state and societal transformations currently underway in the Middle East. Discussions will revolve around on topics related to regime change and state/societal transitions, including:

  • Sources of the “democratic deficit” in the Arab world.
  • US democracy building in the Middle East.
  • The impact of new media, including al-Jazeera.
  • The rise of political Islam.
  • The nexus between oil and women’s rights.

International Conflict and Peace (PSC 754 /PAI 700)

International Law and Organizations (PSC 752)

An examination of the foundations and application of international law; the institutional and political capability of international organizations; and recent theoretical and methodological development.

International Relations of the Middle East (PSC 600)

This course’s objective is to introduce some of the central issues of contemporary Middle Eastern politics while discussing the region within the larger framework of international relations theory. This course will specifically emphasize the historical and contemporary interaction between the Middle East and the US. Theoretically, the course will demonstrate the interconnectedness of regional and international political conflict and change. In the process, the students will be given the opportunity to develop a deeper appreciation of the internal and external factors that contributed to the emergence of the Middle East state system as well as how they continue to influence its politics.

International Security and the Asymmetric Use of Force (PAI 730/PSC 700)

This course will explore the theoretical, doctrinal and policy implications of postmodern warfare, focusing in particular on the emergence of asymmetrical warfare as a rational response by those unable to counter the US through conventional means. After laying the conceptual groundwork through an examination of the contemporary (and likely future) international security environment, the course will explore a variety of asymmetrical threats, including:

  • The use of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons).
  • Cyber attacks.
  • Attacks on civil infrastructure (transportation, communications, electrical grids, etc.)
  • Attacks on agriculture and other, similar attacks.

The course will be taught as a seminar. Each member will prepare and orally defend a policy memorandum to the National Security Council inter-agency process concerning a selected asymmetric vulnerability. A second writing assignment will function as a take-home exam.

International Security Theory (PSC 749)

The course will focus on various perspectives and approaches for studying international security and foreign security policy, and on a number of “hot” security debates in the subfield. The course is organized thematically and will cover security issues across multiple regions and time periods. The course will encourage students to begin thinking about areas for future research and topics of interest for the Ph.D. dissertation. Although there are no prerequisites for the course, it is expected that students are coming into it with a basic familiarity with the general approaches and debates in international relations theory. The course is not intended to serve as a review or substitute for the IR field survey course. Students who have not yet taken the field survey course
may need to do additional background readings in order to keep up with some of the course material.

In the first part of the course, we will consider how security studies has been delineated as a distinct subfield and we will revisit approaches that focus on power, material capabilities, and rational choice versus those that emphasize ideas, identities, and institutions. In the second part of the course, we will cover a number of debates in the subfield, and consider how various theoretical approaches are applied to specific security topics, such as terrorism, military effectiveness, small wars and insurgencies, military alliances, ethnic conflict and mass killing, and nuclear proliferation. The course readings will primarily focus on contemporary (post-2000) literature, rather than on classic texts covered in the IR survey course.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (PSC 600)

Most courses on the Israeli‐Palestinian conflict tend to cover this enduring rivalry via the lens of rational choice and contesting nationalisms. But these explanations fail to consider the role of emotive factors and are partial at best in accounting for a conflict with significant religious and cultural dimensions. This graduate course will facilitate a discussion of the merits and limitations of political science approaches to conflict studies in general, and the advantages of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Israeli‐Palestinian conflict in particular. Students will learn about:

  • The links between religion, state, and society in Israel and Palestine, the nature of Israeli democracy, and the Palestinian national movement.
  • The ways religion informs the politics of resistance.
  • Local and international religious attachments to the Holy Sites.
  • The ways religion can be a force for peace, particularly by advancing a “dialogue approach” to the process.
  • International aspects of the conflict, such as the role of the US “Israel lobby” and Christian Zionist movement.
  • Whether the media is a spoiler or facilitator of peace.

The focus will be on contemporary scholarship, supplemented with newspaper editorials, blog entries, film, and guest speakers.

Law and War (PSC 700)

Law and War uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine historical and emergent challenges in regulating conflict and warfare, including security incidents that may not rise to classical definitions of war (i.e., terrorist attacks, cyber incidents, etc.) The course draws on international law, national security law and policy, conflict and peace studies, and longstanding intellectual traditions in the humanities and social sciences for contemplating problems of conflict and security.

Law, Courts, and Human Rights (PSC/PAI 700)

Non-State Actors in World Affairs (PSC 757)

Analysis and assessment of the causes of transnational non-state activism, the means and goals chosen by activists, and the effects of non-state actors in international and domestic affairs.

Perspectives on Terrorism (LAW 790/PSC 600/HST 600)

Political Leadership (PSC 788/PAI 700)

This course focuses on answering the question, “What is the relationship between political leaders and the political behavior of the institutions they lead?”

It seeks to understand the kinds of leaders that are recruited and selected in various types of political systems and the effects of cultural variables on who becomes a political leader and what political leaders can do. It also explores links between leadership style and political decision making, as well as among leaders’ individual characteristics, ingredients of leadership, and conditions under which political leaders’ personalities and experiences shape political units.

Students examine the activities and leadership style by completing projects and mini-papers on a political leader of interest, focusing on:

  • A social background study on the leader of choice.
  • The leader’s style, using assessment-at-a-distance techniques.
  • A case study of a decision in which the leader was involved, to link leadership style and experience to political behavior.

Politics of the Middle East (PSC 600)

This course addresses the following over-arching research question: “Is there anything particular or peculiar about the Middle East?”

The collective aim is to critically contemplate a wide range of answers that have been offered, beginning by probing how and why we should be studying the Middle East and what are some of the salient geographical, historical, and religious features of this area. Students then will scrutinize the nature of contemporary politics in the region and try to shed some light on the factors that have inhibited the growth of democracy in the region.

Republic to Superpower (PSC 600)

From its founding through its rise to a superpower, the United States has grappled with its role in an ever-changing world. This course will explore the internal debates and external events that shaped America’s international relations throughout its history. We will address the nature of these debates through key points in American history, including the founding and early debates over government, the Civil War, American expansionism, the two World Wars, the Cold War, and the post-Cold War world. We will discuss both the decisions the U.S. government made in its foreign relations as well as the critiques offered by those opposed to these decisions. We will also consider the perspectives that political science and international relations theory contribute to the historical understanding.

As we move through the history of American international relations, we will use the debates over America’s place in the world to understand contemporary policy choices. To that end, students will be expected to follow current news closely and complete regular blog assignments discussing current issues.

Class discussion will also be driven through readings of primary documents from the period as well as secondary sources offering overviews of the history. Class exercises will include two simulated debates.

Graduate students will be expected to complete additional readings and attend 2-3 additional grad-only meetings to discuss these readings with the instructor.

Russian and Post-Soviet Politics (PSC 786)

This is a graduate-level survey of major issues in contemporary politics in the post-Soviet region and Russia, since 1991. Topics include:

  • State collapse and state formation.
  • Political and institutional change.
  • The politics of economic reform.
  • Domestic determinants of foreign policy.

This is a course in comparative politics, so it is most interested in understanding what post-Soviet developments tell us about classic issues of comparative analysis, such as the sources of political change, the consequences of different institutional arrangements, and state-society relations.

Social Theory and the Middle East (PSC 682)

The aim of the course is to probe the following research question: “To what extent are Western social science theories and the narrative of Western modernity appropriate for the study of non-Western societies?” To answer this question, this course will examine a wide range of historiographical traditions, theoretical paradigms, and methodological debates that have shaped the field of Middle Eastern Studies. Then the course will examine such topics as fundamentalism, secularism, modernity, patrimonialism, authoritarianism, and transition to democracy.

Track Two Diplomacy & the Korean Peninsula (PSC 760)

Transnational Crime, Drugs, and Terrorism (PSC 700)

This course looks at transnational organized crime (TOC) in various guises, including drug trafficking, piracy, money laundering, and terrorism. It studies environments in which TOC is most likely to operate, including failing and failed states and Black Spots. It traces the evolution of some of the most notorious criminal and terrorist organizations over time and analyzes how they have been transforming and adapting to the changing global reality in pursuit of their goals. The course also studies different policy approaches that have been employed to counter TOC challenges.

Public Administration & International Affairs Courses (PAI)

Challenges in Crisis and Disaster Management (PSC/PAI 700)

Crises and disasters are unwelcome but also unavoidable features of modern society. They can emerge within any domain, may be of human or of natural origin, and can last anywhere from hours, to days, to months and beyond. While sometimes the crisis itself is the undoing of an organization or society, it is the way that we response to crises that often makes the difference between catastrophe and greater resilience. Challenges in Crisis and Disaster Management will examine the dynamics and processes that occur as policy makers, scientists, engineers, and citizens struggle to cope with crisis and disaster situations. We will identify the reasons why crises and disasters are so difficult to deal with as well as identify skills and practices that have proven to be effective in forecasting, preparing for, managing, communicating about and learning from crises. A wide range of crises will be examined across the course including: humanitarian emergencies, political instability and civil unrest, terrorism, natural disasters, health pandemics, industrial accidents, financial crises, and foreign policy fiascos. The workshop is dynamic, offering a combination of seminars, lectures, group exercises, and concluding with a simulation exercise.

Civil Wars & State-Building (PAI 730)

Why do civil wars occur? What explains patterns of violence and displacement? How do wars end? This course will introduce students to a variety of questions on and approaches to the study of civil wars. It will be organized around three dimensions of civil wars: onset, dynamics, and termination. The course will challenge students to evaluate critically how well social science research explains a range of civil wars from different regions and time periods. We will approach the analysis of civil wars comparatively, and focus on various levels of analyses, from the
behavior of individuals and groups in the context of communities, to armed groups and state agencies. By the end of the course, students should be able to evaluate cutting-edge social science research and to analyze actual cases. In addition, students will have substantive knowledge of various civil wars and violent conflicts.

Contemporary US-Mexico Relations (PAI 730)

Few countries matter as much to one another as the United States and Mexico, and yet understand one another so little. Beyond trade integration, and the headline-grabbing challenges of migration and organized crime, each country is pivotal to the other’s capacity to protect public health, provide environmental protection, promote growth and create jobs, and enhance global economic competitiveness. The purpose of this course is to help students understand Mexico better, in part through familiarity with the history of US-Mexico relations, to illuminate the international and domestic drivers of this peculiar bilateral relationship and to consider current challenges and opportunities and how these are apt to shape the future relationship.

Crisis Management (PSC 759/PAI 700)

This course examines leadership, cooperation, and conflict in times of crisis. An emphasis is placed on understanding the key dynamics that influence the way that decision makers perceive and respond to crises and the kinds of processes that facilitate constructive crisis management. Real life case illustrations, exercises, and simulations are used to give participants an interactive experience and a realistic understanding of the limitations and opportunities that arise in high-pressure crisis management situations. The course familiarizes students with contrasting points of view on crisis management from across disciplinary boundaries; in particular, international relations, public administration, and public communication.  Students write a case study on a crisis of their choosing that follows a pre-set research methodology developed at the Maxwell School. Offered by Bruce Dayton.

Culture and Politics of Afghanistan and Pakistan (ANT 600/PAI 626)

This course is an introduction to the histories, cultures, and current politics Afghanistan and Pakistan, with a strong anthropological leaning. Students will gain an understanding of the factors leading to the current dilemmas in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the need to understand the histories of these two nations. In particular, students will explore the rural and urban social structures, marriage patterns, and gender relationships in various ethnic groups, as well as the effects of migration and the roles of Russia, India, China, Iran, and the US play.

Culture in World Affairs (ANT/PAI 707)

A systematic survey of the ways in which local, organizational, and transnational issues in world affairs are affected by culture.

Defense Challenges for the 21st Century (PAI 715)

(Taught in Washington, DC)

Economic Dimensions of Global Power ( PAI 716)

This course’s central objective is to delineate and analyze the principal instruments of economic power and their effective deployment. In pursuing this perspective three crucial objectives will be met:

  1.  Students will receive a rigorous exposure to economic principles and concepts, with a relative emphasis on macroeconomics. These principles will be explicated in the context of an “open economy;” hence, the course will survey many of the key issues in international trade, commercial policy, international macroeconomics, and finance.
  2. The course will examine competing hypotheses emerging from the major schools of thought in international relations, notably realism, liberal internationalism (hegemonic stability theory), institutionalism, and constructivism.
  3. The course will discuss the most important historical episodes that provide an indispensable backdrop for current challenges and controversies.

Food Security (PAI 730)

This intensive course assesses the status of people’s access to food around the world, analyzes what is being done to extend it, and makes recommendations for what more is necessary. It is a collaboration among the Maxwell School, the World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Fundamentals of Conflict Studies (PAI 601)

This course provides students with a broad overview of the interdisciplinary field of conflict analysis and resolution, introduces them to faculty and the work they are doing in this field, and helps them to develop a framework for diagnosing and responding to conflicts within their own area of interest.

Over the course of the semester we will explore the diverse range of theories of social conflict found across social science disciplines.

Of particular interest will be the uncovering how our theories about the nature of social conflicts result in our making particular choices about which conflict resolution activities make sense under which conditions. Relying on a number of guest speakers, documentaries, and group projects, we will consider how conflict manifests across multiple topics and levels of analysis.

Fundamentals of Postconflict Reconstruction (PAI 719)

The goal of this class is to familiarize students with the main concepts of postconflict reconstruction, the various dimensions and goals of postconflict work, the types of actors that conduct it, the trade-offs and dilemmas they face, and the lessons learned from its application across various settings.

The course will devote considerable attention to the applied side of postconflict reconstruction; that is, the techniques and tools used by international intermediaries (states, IOs, and NGOs), as well as local stakeholders, to transition societies from violence to sustainable peace. It will also address many of the key issues that frame the debate in postconflict reconstruction work:

  • The tension between externally and internally generated recovery efforts.
  • The possibilities and weaknesses of formal peace and reconciliation commissions.
  • The challenges of civilian-military cooperation in postconflict zones.
  • The trade-offs between stability and liberty.
  • The quest for viable exit strategies for international actors.

In the first half of each class, students will meet in plenary session for a formal lecture given by a member of the faculty team or by a guest speaker either from within the Maxwell School or from the applied world of postconflict recovery. During the second half of each class students will meet in their respective course section for discussion of weekly readings and small group work.

Geopolitics of South Asia (PAI 715)

This course looks at South Asia against the historical backdrop of its relations with the world, with a focus on the dramatic developments within the region during and since the 1990s and on the region’s evolving relations with the US, China, Russia, Japan, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Topics include how the US is helping India realize its aspirations to become a “big power,” Pakistan’s efforts at reform, Pakistan as a US partner and potential target in the war against religious extremism and terrorism, and the US war against the Taliban and al Qaeda, being fought with the help of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Offered in Washington, DC.

Homeland Security: Federal Policy and Implementation Challenges (PAI 730)

This course provides students with a thorough, broad-based understanding of the multiple challenges faced by the federal government in protecting the nation from a variety of threats, both human and natural. Upon completion of the course, students will understand the complexities of the current security environment and the most important policy and operational questions facing federal, state. and local government.

Class discussions, case studies, and a simulation will provide an opportunity for students to become directly engaged in the implementation of various policy options. There are no prerequisites for this course. Even students who do not plan to work in a security agency will find this course invaluable as security issues pervade policy decision-making in almost every sector of the government.

Homeland Security: State and Local Government Preparedness and Response (PAI 730)

This course provides students with an understanding of state and local governments, the public safety functions that they provide, and the critical leadership competencies and collaborative relationships necessary for their successful management.

Class lectures will address theories and concepts that students explore through current events. Topics include:

  1. Roles of state and local governments in the US federal system.
  2. Political and social aspects of preparedness and response functions.
  3. Structures of state and local governments and management implications.
  4. Public safety services and functions provided by federal, state, and local governments.

Humanitarian Action: Challenges, Responses, Results (PAI 765)

This course will examine major humanitarian activities worldwide since 1992, including disasters caused by nature and by man, such as conflicts and major economic stress. While the course will be organized around those themes, it also will …

  • Discuss key challenges for women and children, refugees, and displaced peoples.
  • Review the involvement of governments, UN agencies, NGOs, militaries, donors, the press, and others.

Multimedia presentation will include books, articles, and videos. Students will be graded on class participation, presentations, and written reports. Offered by Catherine Bertini.

International Actors & Issues (PAI 710)

Policymakers generally do not explicitly articulate theoretical approaches, but policies are informed by their interdisciplinary conceptions of politics and the nature of the international system. Social science theories underpin these different approaches. Effective practitioners need to become proficient with these analytical tools and their application. Therefore, this course has three main aims:

  • To expand familiarity with a wide range of actors and issues in international affairs.
  • To develop an understanding of key concepts and theories that inform policy choices.
  • To improve writing and other modes of communication crucial to careers in this field.

The course is divided into four parts:

Part 1: Actors in the International System.
Part 2: War and Peace.
Part 3: Wealth and Poverty.
Part 4: New Challenges and Opportunities.

International Conflict and Peace (PAI 700/PSC 754)

International Security and the Asymmetric Uses of Force (PAI 730/PSC 700)

This course will explore the theoretical, doctrinal and policy implications of postmodern warfare, focusing in particular on the emergence of asymmetrical warfare as a rational response by those unable to counter the US through conventional means. After laying the conceptual groundwork through an examination of the contemporary (and likely future) international security environment, the course will explore a variety of asymmetrical threats, including:

  • The use of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons).
  • Cyber attacks.
  • Attacks on civil infrastructure (transportation, communications, electrical grids, etc.)
  • Attacks on agriculture and other, similar attacks.

The course will be taught as a seminar. Each member will prepare and orally defend a policy memorandum to the National Security Council inter-agency process concerning a selected asymmetric vulnerability. A second writing assignment will function as a take-home exam.

Latin America’s Crisis of Citizen Security (PAI 730)

Investigates how citizen insecurity has now become the primary obstacle for Latin American development, giving students an understanding of what explains the state of insecurity in Latin America, as well as its economic and social costs. Based on best practices, the course explores possible public policy solutions to this growing crisis.

Law, Courts and Human Rights (PAI 700/PSC 700)

Multilateral Peacekeeping (PAI/ANT 701)

(Meets in New York City and Syracuse) This seminar addresses the problems and prospect of multilateral peacekeeping through a combination of peacekeeping theory and analysis and practice of operations. Through sessions at the United Nations, meetings with UN and NGO representatives, case studies of contemporary peacekeeping operations, and simulation exercises, students will explore the theory and practice of multilateral peacekeeping operations (UN and NATO) with expert practitioners from around the world.

National Security & Defense Transformation (PAI 715)

Political, military, legal, and economic factors will affect both US national security strategy and policy in the 21st century. This course assesses those factors and their effects on possible solutions to significant challenges, and it will emphasize a practitioner’s approach to issues using lectures, readings, and original source documents, class discussions, and guest speakers from the national security community.

Students deliver short written papers, mostly in the form of one-page memos, and undertake group assignments leading to oral class presentations. The primary focus is on contemporary issues and events, but the instructive value of history is prominent. Prior knowledge of national security is recommended but not required.

Offered in Washington, DC.

Negotiation of International Conflict (PAI 715)

This course examines international conflict management and resolution. Students will be introduced to a number of core theoretical perspectives on topics such as:

  • Conflict analysis
  • Communication and conflict
  • The role of history in conflict
  • Systems of enmity
  • Conflict intervention and prevention
  • Negotiation, mediation, and facilitation

Offered in Washington, DC.

Obstacles to Democracy in the Muslim World (PAI 700)

The emphasis in this seminar will be on alternative opinions, approaches, and policies of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

  • The first part of the course begins with a description of the role of personalities in the Oslo peace process. It then analyzes US and Norwegian approaches to conflict resolution in the Middle East.
  • In the second part of the seminar, psychological dynamics as obstacles to peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict will be examined.
  • In the third part, focus will shift to the propaganda war in the Middle East.
  • The fourth part of the course will focus on how conflict resolution in the Middle East might be achieved.

Peace and Conflict in the Balkans (ANT/PAI 673)

This course is divided into three parts:

  1. History, culture, and society of the Balkans.
  2. Ethnic nationalism and the wars of Yugoslav dissolution.
  3. Local effects of international humanitarian interventions, with a special focus on reconciliation and reconstruction in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Although the course concentrates on the former Yugoslavia and its successor states, other postwar regions will be referred to in collateral reading and discussion. Students are free to pursue their own interests in Balkan societies not touched upon in this course.

Political Leadership (PSC 788/PAI 700)

This course focuses on answering the question, “What is the relationship between political leaders and the political behavior of the institutions they lead?”

It seeks to understand the kinds of leaders that are recruited and selected in various types of political systems and the effects of cultural variables on who becomes a political leader and what political leaders can do. It also explores links between leadership style and political decision making, as well as among leaders’ individual characteristics, ingredients of leadership, and conditions under which political leaders’ personalities and experiences shape political units.

Students examine the activities and leadership style by completing projects and mini-papers on a political leader of interest, focusing on:

  • A social background study on the leader of choice.
  • The leader’s style, using assessment-at-a-distance techniques.
  • A case study of a decision in which the leader was involved, to link leadership style and experience to political behavior.

Responding to Proliferation of WMDs (PAI 727)

This course analyzes dangers caused by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and strategies to address this threat, such as national and international efforts ranging from diplomacy to arms control to counter-proliferation strategies.

Smart Grid: Security, Privacy, & Economics (LAW 868/PAI 730)

This highly interdisciplinary, team-taught course covers the fundamental engineering, economic, and legal principles underlying the smart grid. It focuses on building the skills needed to design and test the protocols, policies, and specifications for enabling technologies that will guarantee the security and integrity of the smart grid while preserving personal privacy and providing maximum market flexibility with minimal need for new regulation.  Students who complete the course will be able to integrate four perspectives—technology, security, economics, and law—allowing them to lead the development of the next generation electric grid.

Strengthening Inter-Agency Coordination (PAI 715)

(Taught in Washington, DC)

Terrorism in the 21st Century (PAI 700)

The attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001 began an international campaign to combat the phenomena of transnational terrorism. This campaign  has changed the way nation states and international and regional organizations interact to combat the new threat. The aim of this course is to provide the students with an introduction of how states, IGOs, and regional organizations function within the challenge that a new (asymmetric, fourth-generation) brand of terrorism poses to the world.

Theories of International Relations (PAI 651)

This course explores alternative perspectives on power in the international system, covering global, state-centric and transnational approaches. Readings cover both classics and newer exemplars. While we will relate theories to contemporary controversies, students should be prepared to embark on more than a current events course. By introducing the basic vocabulary and some of the major debates of the field, the course serves as a foundation for the field exam, additional coursework, and research.  Non-PSC Ph.D. students must enroll with permission from instructor.

UN Organizations: Managing for Change (PAI 764)

This course analyzes the processes for change in UN organizations. It begins with brief summaries of types of UN organizations, including their purposes, funding systems and governance structures. Half of the course will focus on the process of change in UN organizations funded by assessed contributions, highlighting the UN secretariat. The other half of the course will highlight the World Food Program as an example of the process of change in a voluntarily funded agency. Students will be graded on class participation, memos, a final paper, and occasional unannounced class assignments.

Who Will Rule the 21st Century? (PAI 700)

This seminar examines the economic success, military strength and rise and fall of great powers within the international system to help students assess the emerging power structures of the 21st century and determine how they think the United States as well as other countries can best adapt to—or alter—the tectonic shifts that are already evident and only likely to intensify.

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