SA.600.702.  Contemporary Theory in International Relations.  4 Credits.  

Examines the leading contemporary theories of international relations, showing how each contributes uniquely to the larger literature. How are alliances formed? What is the relationship between absolute and relative gains? How do wars begin? Emphasizes interrelationships, divergences and cumulative developments, from the balance of power to the latest in structural, rational choice and regime theory.<a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.706.  Peace and War.  4 Credits.  

This course analyzes in historical context the major ethical questions posed by modern warfare. The course addresses in detail such issues as the right to self-defence to aggression, humanitarian intervention, preventive war, the status of civilians in warfare, and non-violent resistance. The course is a seminar and will be taught online primarily through the structured discussion of the set texts. (T&H, CM, Strategic Studies)

SA.600.714.  Transnational Crime, Conflict and the State.  4 Credits.  

Organized crime has traditionally tended to be studied from the perspective of sociology and criminology, and viewed as a law enforcement issue. Thus, for long, it evaded the interest of specialists of political science and international relations. But along with processes of globalization in the past two decades, the political and security implications of organized crime have become undeniable, if not always obvious. Serious and transnational organized crime erodes state institutions, exacerbates state weakness, and prolongs armed conflict, running counter to efforts to promote political and economic development and conflict resolution. This course will serve as an introduction to the political and security aspects of organized crime, combining conceptual aspects with deep case studies.<a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.720.  Ethics, Choice & A Just World Order.  4 Credits.  

This course on applied ethics in IR first discusses realism vs. idealism, the use of moral reasoning to choose between conflicting moral obligations, and Just War Theory, and then analyzes current issues with perplexing moral aspects, such a nuclear deterrence, humanitarian intervention, economic sanctions, preventive war, drone assassinations, cyber-warfare, terrorism, climate change, migration, and the effects of globalization on workers. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.721.  Leaders, Followers, and Political Power.  4 Credits.  

Leaders attract followers and utilize the resulting power to determine national and international outcomes. Power is accumulated in the interaction between leaders and followers featuring different combinations of coercion, charisma, traditional authority, economic rewards, or appeals to identity, ideology, and nationalism. The first six weeks covers leaders as diverse as Eisenhower, LBJ, Thatcher, Huey Long, Trump, and Hitler. The second half of the course concentrates on the 20 men and women who have largely determined Southeast Asia's post-colonial history: Ho Chi Minh; Sihanouk and Pol Pot; Soekarno and Suharto; Marcos, Aquino and Duterte; Aung San Suu Kyi; Lee Kuan Yew and Mahathir. Students from all concentrations are encouraged to participate and their term paper topics are not limited to Southeast Asian leaders. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.724.  Transcending Culture: Women as Agents of Change in the International Order.  4 Credits.  

This course explores the impact of women’s contributions on the central international system, including international political economy and security. Speakers from corporations and non-profit organizations will introduce projects in which they are partnering with women to increase both economic returns and welfare of the communities in which they operate. Session themes will offer a new angle and analytical approach to core SAIS curriculum in the fields of international relations, economics, development, security, politics, and the law. *The course provides a framework for a new Practicum for Women’s Leadership to be launched at SAIS in the fall of 2017. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.728.  Leaders and Leadership (2 credit).  2 Credits.  

The seminar will look at a variety of approaches and answers to the question, “What makes a good leader?” Students will also assess their own leadership skills and styles, meet with leaders and specialists in the field of leadership as well as participate in group leadership simulations. Students will write an analysis of a contemporary leader in either the public, non-profit or private sector. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.729.  SAIS Women Lead Practicum.  4 Credits.  

The SAIS Women Lead Practicum partners SAIS students with public, private, and non-governmental organizations and provides professional experiences through projects that advance women and contribute solutions to issues of global importance. Student teams work with clients to produce reports, policies or programs. Students will also be expected to participate in a research assignment during Winter Break (travel may be required). Upon their return, teams proceed to analyze, interpret and present results of findings to the SAIS community and clients. Students audit the course in the fall semester (in additional to their full load) and take the Practicum as a 4-credit course in the spring semester as part of their load. The application deadline is August 15. Students will be selected and notified on or before August 28. To be considered, please email the following to 1. A statement of interest, which answers the question: What is your goal in participating in the practicum and how do you think this experience will help you achieve your goal?, 2. A Resume/CV, and 3. An unofficial copy of your SAIS transcript (2nd-year students) and a prior degree transcript (first-year students). * Students audit the Practicum in the fall semester as their 5th course and take the Practicum as a 4-credit course in the spring semester as their 4th course. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.730.  Women, Peace and Security: Moving Beyond the Myth.  4 Credits.  

* Course includes two-day study trip (optional) to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City during SAIS spring break in March 2018 as part of the SAIS Women Lead Initiative. Course and study trip are open to SAIS women and men. Only students who apply during the fall semester will be accepted to the UN CSW Study Trip. Please Contact Starr Lee for online application. This course explores the relationship between women’s status and participation and the political and economic security of the nations and the international system. Students will develop a theoretical and historical understanding of the mechanisms by which women have been excluded from political and economic power structures and the contributions they have made to the transformation of the international order despite this exclusion. Students will be trained in Gender Based Analysis (GBA) and apply this methodology to topics relevant to their SAIS concentrations and professional areas of expertise. They will examine international relations theory and re-evaluate outcomes based on gendered language and bias. Finally, students will analyze the impact and efficacy of the United Nations Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. Guest speakers in the security sector, case studies, and analyses of the historical and cultural framework of the global women’s movement will give students the tools to articulate to policy-makers best practices for creating more peaceful, secure societies and nations. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.600.724[C]

SA.600.737.  Foreign Policy Analysis.  4 Credits.  
SA.600.738.  Psychology and Decision-Making in Foreign Policy.  4 Credits.  

Why do leaders, institutions, and states make the decisions they do? International Relations scholars are increasingly recognizing the importance of psychological and other decision-making approaches to understanding world affairs, particularly the crafting and implementation of foreign policy. In this course, we examine individual cognitive biases and heuristics, organizational culture, groupthink, and other dynamics that produce often surprising, suboptimal outcomes in international politics. A major purpose of the course is to think broadly about ways in which these approaches can help inform theoretical work done by political scientists and policy analysts to provide more nuanced understandings of otherwise confounding cases of foreign policy decision-making. We will also draw from numerous empirical examples of crisis decision-making, major foreign policy shifts, and intelligence failure across time and space to evaluate the relative efficacy of various approaches in explaining specific cases.<a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.739.  International Cooperation: The Pursuit of Security and Governance.  4 Credits.  

International cooperation is a central feature of contemporary world politics. It shapes the international system by structuring security relations between states and providing regional and global governance. As such, it is a daily business for practitioners of the international, whether in diplomacy and government, or the private sector. Why and how do states develop cooperation multilaterally, minilaterally, or bilaterally? What organizations, mechanisms and practices make cooperation effective? How does cooperation affect the way states define their interests? How do states interact with non-state actors in pursuing global governance? What are the limits of the existing global order, and is it in crisis? The course will address these questions by exploring the forms and levels of international cooperation in the contemporary international system, through various theoretical approaches, from macro-level systemic theories down to micro-levels analyses of interactions. It is structured around three learning axes: (i) the definition of cooperation and the analysis of its multiple contemporary forms; (ii) the deconstruction of international cooperation as a research object, through the study of its actors and mechanisms; and (iii) the use of case studies. The course will be held on the mode of a research seminar. We will collectively discuss theories and concepts in depth and apply them to relevant cases, and students will carry out one main research project based on a case study of their choosing. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.740.  Politics and Risk: Countries, Policies and Institutions.  4 Credits.  
SA.600.741.  Summit Diplomacy.  4 Credits.  

The Cold War did not explode in World War III. During 1985 and 1991 the face-off between the superpowers was resolved peacefully – unlike earlier international crises during the first half of the twentieth century (1914-18, 1939-45). This dénouement was a complex process, including defusing tensions between the two sides, real engagement, revolutionary change in former communist states, and Western triumph at least in the short run. Explanations for this outcome remain matters of historiographical controversy: American pressure, the Gorbachev factor, the bankruptcy of Communist ideology, people-power, Soviet imperial overstretch or Soviet implosion. This course concentrates on the contribution of international diplomacy in the Cold War endgame, asking how far and in what ways relations at the top between leaders helped construct a diplomatic settlement that facilitated radical arms control agreements, the liberation of Eastern Europe, and unification of the two Germanies. It will also look at how the processes of Soviet break-up was managed – by Eastern and Western leaders – so that conflict did not break out and Russia and the other post-Soviet successor states felt at least initially integrated in the post-Cold War world order. Professor Kristina Spohr.<a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.742.  International Advocacy.  4 Credits.  

The class will examine theories and practices of international advocacy. Students will examine different types of advocacy: from insider lobbying to people powered campaigns, from agenda-setting to rapid response and digital campaigning. They will read academic scholarship on advocacy alongside texts produced by and/or for practitioners. The first half of the course will focus on theoretical dimensions of advocacy – who drives norm change and who resists it? When is advocacy effective? The second half of the class will focus more on advocacy for refugee and migrant rights. Students will evaluate a campaign for refugee and/or migrant rights and develop their own campaign recommendations. Learning Objectives: critically assess theories of international advocacy; identify and compare different types of advocacy organizations, strategies and tactics; develop practical skills in designing and evaluating campaigns.

SA.600.743.  Thinking Power in International Relations.  4 Credits.  
SA.600.744.  The Geopolitics of Organized Crime.  4 Credits.  
SA.600.745.  Democracy in Crisis.  4 Credits.  

Around the world, from Italy to Brazil, and from Hungary to the United States, populist candidates are fundamentally changing the political landscape. In this course, we explore the nature of populism; investigate whether populism poses an existential threat to liberal democracy; explore the causes of the populist rise; investigate the ways in which populism is a response to demographic change; and discuss what strategies might allow non-populist political actors to push back.<a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.746.  International Political Thought.  4 Credits.  

The course gives students the opportunity to study political thinkers whose work is of important background interest to the contemporary theory and practice of international relations. In other words, its focus is the intellectual history of the discipline. The topics discussed include: the state of nature; the search for trust between nations; human nature and political institutions; nationalism; just intervention; imperialism; utilitarianism and patriotism; liberal internationalism; geopolitics; the concept of the political; power politics; morality in international politics; statesmanship; the analysis of historical trends; approaches to foreign policy.

SA.600.747.  The Geopolitics of Organized Crime (2 credits).  2 Credits.  

The course gives students a comprehensive understanding of contemporary patterns and characteristics of transnational organized crime, illicit markets and trafficking activities. It does so through a broad set of analytical tools, that are not limited to criminal justice, but rather include political science, international relations, political economy and political sociology. After offering an overview of what and how we know about organized crime, we will examine variations in its contemporary forms in the international arena, addressing key questions related to geopolitical stability and instability – therefore debating the nexus with state fragility, development and security (terrorism).

SA.600.755.  News Media & International Affairs.  4 Credits.  

The purpose of this course is to provide deeper understanding of the interaction between the operations of the news media and the conduct of international relations. This will include an emphasis on how rapidly the major medium of exchange has passed in barely 50 years from newspapers to broadcast to the internet. The instruction will be through a combination of lectures, guest lectures, student discussion and papers. There will be an emphasis on clear and good writing. Student evaluation will be based on participation in discussion and papers.<a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.757.  Heaven on Earth: Conflict, Democracy, and the Growth of Religious Toleration.  4 Credits.  

Does religious toleration increase under the impact of democracy? This formidable question is examined historically and in contemporary terms in this course. This question is as relevant as the Arab Spring or as Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. As democracy has spread in the late 20th century, has religious toleration within and among democracies increased as well? What is the explanation for the growth of toleration? Is there slippage? Can institutionalized intolerance such as that in the Nazi interval return? How does the emergence of greater religious toleration among the democracies compare to the political experience with religious toleration and intolerance among the non-democracies? Are the three concepts of toleration, democracy and modernity automatically associated in any process of political development? Or is it possible to have democratic institutions without religious toleration as the recent political developments in India show? The course will identify major variations in the interplay between democracy and toleration with implications for US foreign policy and national strategy. It aims to provide theoretical tools to address the role of religion in politics across regional and thematic approaches.<a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.767.  Research Design and Causal Inference.  4 Credits.  

This course introduces students to research methods that are commonly employed today in the field of international relations. The focus of the course is on research designs aimed at establishing causal inferences. There are four main sections to the class, each of which covers one major type of research design. The first section focuses on qualitative research methods. The second section turns to quantitative methods, particularly methods used for analyzing observational data (i.e. non-experimental data). In section III, we study experimental methods. The final section provides an overview of various quasi-experimental methods. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

Prerequisite(s): SA.340.710[C]

SA.600.774.  Theories & Methods of Qualitative Political Research.  4 Credits.  

Designed to familiarize doctoral candidates with basic epistemological and methodological issues connected with qualitative research. The first part of the course explores various ways that scholars approach matters of conceptualization and evidence. The second part examines how scholars move from the kernel of an idea to a testable research hypothesis and then to a research design. Priority for Ph.D. students. Other students are admitted on a space-available-basis and only with the instructor’s permission.<a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.782.  Classics of International Relations Theory.  4 Credits.  

Examines several classic texts of international relations theory: Waltz, Morgenthau, Jervis, Wight and others. Focuses on the policy relevance of these texts as well as on the development of theoretical knowledge of international relations. Adopts a “great books” approach: one book per week and class analysis of the text.<a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>

SA.600.787.  Intellectuals and Politics.  4 Credits.  

Oppressive regimes and ideologies are more common in world politics than democracy and liberalism. This course studies the reaction of twentieth century intellectuals to "the totalitarian mind." How intellectuals interpreted and resisted Fascism and Communism is naturally at the core of the course, but so, too, are issues such as sexism, apartheid, and racial and gender discrimination. Works (books, essays and films) by W.H. Auden, Simone De Beauvoir, Ayann Hirsi Ali, James Baldwin, Arthur Koestler, Milan Kundera, Doris Lessing, Primo Levi, Benito Mussolini, George Orwell, Leni Riefenstahl, Edward Said, Leonardo Sciascia and Ignazio Silone will all be the subject of seminars. All lessons will be characterized by the structured discussion of the set texts. (Cross listed European & Eurasian Studies/International Relations) (T&H)

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.710.709 OR SA.700.709.

SA.600.788.  World Order in the 21st Century.  4 Credits.  

As we look forward several decades, what problems of statecraft are likely to confront us? Will the fragmentation of world politics into three distinct conflict regions, contrasting modes of alliance behavior, and the advent of cyberwarfare threaten national security, thus undermining the capacity to maintain world order in the 21st century? In the face of nuclear proliferation, is deterrence subject to a lowering of the nuclear threshold? By mid-century world population will be in decline in most of the Great Powers. Will globalization suffer? How will oil politics shape future options? Will the advent of aging, urbanization, and increased wealth assist the search for stability and peace? Or will abrupt structural changes on the cycles of relative power of the big states unleash a return of the conditions that led to world war in the first half of the 20th century? What strategies of leadership and balance are available to the United States and to the other Great Powers? How can diplomacy help guide statecraft to surmount these problems in the effort to sustain world order?<a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>