Presents theoretical and methodological frameworks for understanding international politics and the policy decisions that shape global outcomes. Considers major international trends, such as the rise and fall of great powers, cooperation and conflict between states, and the influence of non-state actors on security, economics, and politics. Explores the institutions, interests, and personalities behind international events, with an emphasis on contemporary world affairs.This course is open to enrollment by GPP students only.
Provides a graduate-level introduction to comparative politics. Covers the basic theories and methodologies used to understand comparative political analysis, including theoretical and historical understanding of nation-states; forms of, and transitions between political regimes; contentious politics and conflict; civil society and political participation; institutions of government, including presidentialism, parliamentarism, federalism and legal systems; and characteristics of governance. The course will also compare politics across regions and levels of development. Case and specific country experiences provide foundations for essential concepts.This course is open to enrollment by GPP students only.
The course will examine the basic theoretical models of international trade and discuss their empirical relevance in explaining the observed patterns of trade between nations. The course will also discuss a variety of trade policy issues such as the gains from trade, the use of alternative trade policy instruments and the organization of the international trade system. The course is designed to enable students to understand the gains from trade both domestically and internationally, properly frame issues around protectionism vs. free trade and develop an understanding of trade as an engine for economic development.This course is open to enrollment by GPP students only.
Provides an overview of strategic studies, which deals with the preparation and use of military power to serve the ends of politics. Discusses the development of warfare from the mid-19th century through the present and addresses major theoretical concepts, including those found in Carl von Clausewitz’s On War.This course is open to enrollment by GPP students only.
Examines major functional foreign policy issues facing the United States. Topics such as terrorism, humanitarian intervention and nation-building, migration, and democracy have gone to the top of the foreign policy agenda while regional issues appear less important. How the United States is organized to deal with these cross-cutting issues will also be a major focus.This course is open to enrollment by GPP students only.
This course offers an analytical framework to study the functioning of the economy as a whole. Such a study involves analyzing the behavior of several markets and how their interactions affect income, prices, employment, exchange rates, and international financial flows. In addition, the course develops the accounting frameworks to understand and monitor international transactions and central banks’ operations. The course’s framework helps answering various questions of interest: How can monetary policy counteract periods of low unemployment? How are interest and exchange rates determined? What are the consequences for prices, employment, and output of an expansionary monetary policy? This course is open to enrollment by GPP students only.
This course serves as a broad introduction to development and integrates economic, political and social dimensions. It introduces students to the multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary nature of development so that they may acquire a better understanding of the theoretical and practical debates around development. The course is underpinned by a discussion of factors driving economic growth and the distribution of income. The prominent role of institutional arrangements is explored including debates about the roles of state, markets and firms. Discussion of the role of individual motives and trust lays the basis for debates on social capital and civil society as well as corruption. Specific examples illustrate the debates such as micro-finance, the provision of healthcare and education, or support for small and medium enterprises. At the same time the examples shed light on popular debates about the “bottom of the pyramid,” “public private partnerships.” or “impact investing.”
Considers the role of treaty law, customary international law and peremptory norms, as well as problems of reconciling national sovereignty and international law. Also looks at dispute resolution, the rise of NGOs and who can bring a claim (states only? diaspora peoples? individuals?) and at problems such as secession, law of the sea, use of armed force, refugees and human rights. Asks whether international law is just a form of politics, or whether it has a logic and discipline of its own.
Examines phases of conflict and techniques that may be introduced at various stages of conflict to halt escalation, minimize violence, and move conflicts towards resolution. This includes an analysis of the prevention of violent conflicts, crisis management, the resolution and/or transformation of conflicts, and post conflict peace-building. The course also analyses the impact of the negotiation process on the outcomes of negotiations in both theory and practice, including the role of individual negotiators, domestic politics, cultural context, and the international environment. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of third parties, such as international institutions, state governments, eminent persons, and NGOs in conflict management.
Most violence in contemporary world takes place within and not between states. Millions of people around the globe are confronted with political violence on a daily basis. This class will discuss the different types of political violence, such as civil wars, terrorism, riots and genocide and unpack the different components of political violence, such as when, where and why it begins, who participates, and how violence ends. We will end the class by discussing the long-term impact of political violence on the societies and individuals that have experienced it and the ways to prevent and manage future violent conflicts. ?
The global energy landscape is in the midst of fundamental transformation due to strong growth in emerging economies, rapid technological innovation, and growing concern about climate change. These shifts are having profound impacts on global power relationships and are also shaped by international politics and security considerations. In this course we will look at the evolving nature of energy security and the close linkages between energy and geopolitics. The revolution in unconventional oil and gas production in the United States and the consequences of the rapid growth of renewable energy will feature prominently in our analysis.
In December 2017, the Administration published a National Security Strategy that outlined a different approach for the United States. The document articulated a security view that identified China and Russia as challengers to US power in a world of growing political, economic and military competition. The document characterized Iran and North Korea as active adversaries who seek to challenge US and allied interests within their region, and to some extent on a global scale. This course examines each of these actors from an economic viewpoint, proceeding from the premise that a national economic base provides the resources from which these nations provide for domestic living standards while at the same time resourcing their national security objectives.The course provides an overview of each nation in context to its reginal and the world economy, and in comparison to the US. The course will examine contemporary and projected trends for each nation and relate these to security and strategy. This is designed as an economics course for security professionals who are NOT economists. The instructor will familiarize students with basic macroeconomic concepts and provide a framework for inquiry which the seminar will apply to each of the actors. The seminar will then draw conclusions for strategy and decision makers.
In this interactive residency, students work in teams to research, write, and brief policy memos modeled on a template from the U.S. State Department. Lectures and seminars prepare students for similar research tasks throughout the GPP, with a special focus on building effective writing and briefing skills. Mentors from the SAIS faculty and U.S. policy community guide and assess the policy exercise.This course is open to enrollment by GPP students only.
In this three-day residency, GPP students take on the roles of world leaders, as they are presented with a developing international crisis scenario. The residency concludes with teams preparing presentations that outline the situations and courses of action. This residency requires students to stay overnight on the evenings of February 18th and 19th. This course is open to enrollment by GPP students only.
By Participating in a military staff ride, students study leadership and examine many challenges of decision-making.
This course examines issues related to international financial markets and institutions, foreign exchange exposure and management, and issues involved in the financial management of multinational firms. The course introduces foreign exchange exposure risks, political risks, hedging strategies, and then integrates these topics through the use of case studies. It provides theoretical framework as well as practical skills to help you analyze the macroeconomic environment for international finance situations.
The course serves as an introduction to the fundamental questions in studying and countering terrorism by using ISIS as a case study. It will begin by analyzing different definitions of terrorism and similar phenomena associated with political violence. In the following weeks, the course will consider ISIS’s motivations, its political project, and its expansion to explore three ongoing debates in terrorism studies: the role of culture in shaping behavior; the utility of brutality toward civilians; and the principal/agent problem. The course will conclude with an assessment of the various policies that have been proposed to defeat ISIS.
This course will explain how public and private organizations incorporate various forms of risk into their strategic and operational plans. Risk is the probability that any particular situation, event, or action will influence an outcome. It is the product of probability and impact. Politics affects risk on many levels (e.g., international, national, regional, and local), and is the result of the interaction of many different elements. This course starts with an examination of basic issues with regard to risk analysis as well as why forecasts often fall short. It then turns to a specific discussion of country structural fragility, problems with collective action policymaking, and operational breakdowns. Although the course focuses more on the risks that face countries than on how particular risks might impact corporations or NGOs, the latter is also examined. The course concludes with an assessment of how to prioritize and mitigate risk.
In his farewell address to the nation in 1961, President Eisenhower warned, “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with peaceful methods and goals so that liberty and security may flourish together.” This seminar proceeds from Eisenhower’s conception of the necessary balance between defense policy and foundational values. The course considers the actors and institutions involved in the formulation of U.S. Defense policy as well as the political ends that policy is intended to advance. It will also focus on contemporary debates about defense posture, fueled by multiple considerations including the re-emergence of traditional adversaries, the rise of non-state adversaries, and the rapid evolution of dangerous technologies. This course will conclude with an examination of the strategic environment as it is predicted to exist in the year 2030 and its implications for the trajectory of American defense.
The issue of energy demand growth and access to energy services in the developing world is one that will have increasing impact on international economic conditions, the global environment, and international relations. At current rates of growth, developing countries cannot sustain the level of capital investment required to maintain adequate energy services. Rapid rates of energy growth have already caused these countries to emerge as the principal greenhouse gas producers in the first half of the twenty-first century and have and will continue to contribute to significant increases in local and regional pollution. This course will open with an overview of the relationship between energy and development in developing countries and the economic, socio-political, and environmental implications of that relationship. The course will then assess the relative consequences of conventional energy strategies as well as newer, non-traditional options (e.g. energy efficiency, renewables, decentralized power generation) to deliver the needed energy services growth by these countries. The course will also explore the topics of oil and electricity needs, energy demand within different economic sectors, and energy poverty. The course will conclude with an examination of the roles of governments, donor agencies, and the private sector in addressing these challenges.
The international order is being challenged on many fronts, including the widespread anti-globalization backlash, backsliding European integration, new power dynamics in Asia, catastrophic intra-state conflicts, and historic refugee flows. Developing states find themselves especially vulnerable to many of these trends, as they lack adequate resources and capabilities. Yet exciting progress in other areas, such as technology, holds the prospect for "leapfrogging" to new trade and economic patterns in ways that could offer advantages to late developing states. This course assesses the current global flux from the perspective of developing states and considers policy lessons relevant to the developed world as well.
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the main international economic and financial institutions that have been developed in an attempt to manage conflicts among states, the powerful economic and financial forces that have driven the globalization process, and the pressures our policymakers now face. In this context, the course will examine efforts to bring the rising powers more fully into the management of the global economy, the economic reforms in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2007-2009, and the recent populist backlash against globalization. The course also will look at a number of special topics from the front lines of the current economic governance debate, including the use of trade/financial sanctions, new policies for resolving debt crises, and Brexit.
Hacking is now a tool of statecraft. This course will explore how states hack for offensive and defensive purposes, who the major threat actors are, what kinds of harm can be done, and how key strategic concepts apply to cyberspace.
This course will examine the on-going war with al-Qa’ida and ISIS from the perspective of the jihadi-salafis as well as from the perspective of the United States. Beginning with the ideological foundations of jihadi-salafism, this course will dissect and analyze multiple views about the origins of the war, its course, and its consequences. The class will also look at the strategies and tactics used by both sides on many fronts and end by asking if this is a war that can be won by either side.
The increased mobility of people, goods and services across national borders has become an integral part of the modern world. Over the last decades, countries across the world have faced increasing waves of migration, and the combination of these migrations and illicit networks have become a volatile economic and political issue, particularly in the United States, the European Union, and East Asia. The course looks at migration and illicit networks from a comparative perspective, bringing together insights from a variety of social science disciplines including political science, sociology, economics and geography. The course will: i) explore theories of the causes for migration and its interrelation with globalization, which requires to discuss the economic, humanitarian, cultural and security aspects of the phenomenon. ii) draws on European, American, and East Asian examples to zero in how immigration control, political inclusion of immigrant communities, and the linkages between illegal immigration and illicit networks is shaping the current discourse on immigration worldwide; and iii) discuss the role that the (traditional and new) media plays in both reflecting and shaping public opinion on immigration. Overall, this course will offer a global perspective on transnational migration and illicit networks, on the different reasons why people choose or feel compelled to leave their country of origin, and how receiving states respond to migrants’ presence, and the key policy and security concerns that are shaping immigration policy around the world.Open to MAGP students only.