SA.503.100.  Comparative Political Economy.  4 Credits.  

This course is intended to bridge the gap between economics and politics as taught at SAIS. First examines some of the main “currents” in the literature and familiarizes the student with different variants of political economy. Presents an overview of the classical liberal, Marxian/Polanyian and Keynesian understandings of the economy, each of which serves as both a primer to political economy and as an introduction to the main contemporary approaches. Then engages with what many scholars argue is the major approach in comparative political economy: rational choice theory. By contrast, the next section looks beyond the rationalist tradition to the nowadays somewhat neglected historical tradition. Building on the historical tradition, next examines institutionalist approaches, explaining institutional change and stability over time through path dependence and earlier arrangements. Concludes with more social constructivist understandings of political economy, emphasizing the powerful role of economic ideas in the evolution of economic policymaking over time.

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.610.770[C]

SA.503.101.  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.

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.600.702[C]

SA.503.102.  International and Comparative Political Economy of Developing Countries.  4 Credits.  

This course welcomes any student pursuing a degree at SAIS. The main aim of the course is the study of the main international and domestic factors behind the economic and political development and under-development of the countries in the world that are not identified or categorized as ‘advanced’ or ‘mature’ capitalist economies.While the focus of the course is on countries that are not considered rich or developed (most countries in the regions of Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East), we will refer to and use material throughout the course that also covers the rich countries and emerging market ones inasmuch as: 1) they were once underdeveloped or have developed recently, and this experience sheds light on those that have not managed to develop or ‘catch up’; and 2) their own growth and development has been in many cases a cause why others have remained undeveloped (i.e. colonialism, imperialism, dependency).The main analytical tools for the study of the international component come from concepts, theories, case studies, and data from the sub-field of International Political Economy (IPE). In turn, the main tools for the study of the domestic component of developing countries come from the sub-field of Comparative Political Economy (CPE).Hence, the course identifies key overlapping international and domestic factors that have led some countries to be poorer, less developed and more vulnerable than the advanced or mature capitalist ones.

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.610.704[C]

SA.503.103.  International Investment Law.  4 Credits.  

Suitable for non-lawyers, this course analyzes the legal framework for private international investment. It considers: sources of international investment law; conditions for admission of foreign direct investment and its treatment; political risks involved such as expropriation; risk mitigation techniques such as political risk investment insurance; and the settlement of investment disputes between states and investors. We review the rights and responsibilities of foreign direct investors, shareholders’ rights and joint ventures. Given the professors’ professional focus, we take a particular look at project finance and sovereign wealth funds. The privatization-expropriation cycle is analyzed. The course delves into international anti-corruption treaties and relevant domestic laws. Aspects of the One Belt One Road initiative are discussed. Active class participation is encouraged.

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.650.740[C]

SA.503.104.  International Political Economy of Emerging Markets.  4 Credits.  

This course examines the relationship between politics and international economics in developing countries, with a focus on the emerging market economies. Throughout the course, we critically evaluate different political science theories of foreign economic policymaking in emerging markets. The course begins with an overview of theories of international political economy. The second section of the course focuses on developing countries’ embrace of economic globalization over the past thirty years. We examine different political reasons for why emerging market and developing countries have liberalized foreign trade, removed barriers to foreign investment, and reduced the state’s role in the domestic economy since the 1980s. The final section of the course of the course explores how globalization has impacted emerging market economies, and considers how governments in these countries have dealt with the new challenges that have emerged in this era of economic globalization

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.610.700[C]

SA.503.105.  Politics of International Economy.  4 Credits.  

How does globalization affect state power? The course examines how market outcomes shape both politics and economics. Develops a dynamic understanding of international political economy and assesses its impact in rich/poor gap models, inequality questions, the convergences of productivity, and problems of trade liberalization and neomercantilism. Applications include state breakup, the oil dilemma and currency crises. Uses this dynamic approach to identify key regional problems in North America, Europe and Asia and to offer policy solutions.

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.610.717[C]

SA.503.106.  Public Opinion as a Driver for Policymakers: Analytical Tools and Illustrative Case Studies.  4 Credits.  

A key driver in any democracy, public opinion determines who will govern and which policies will be likely to succeed. Contrary to general beliefs that public opinion is highly ephemeral, both practice and scientific evidence show that public opinion is a stable, measurable, and ultimately predictable phenomenon. To explore the issue both conceptually and in practice, the course will first offer a review and discussion of relevant literature on the subject and then analyze concrete case studies exploring the uses and misuses of public opinion and polling by political and policy stakeholders. Likely case studies will include primarily Latin American examples, such as the 2002 Lula election, but also extra-regional cases, such as the 2008 Obama election and the Arab Spring, among others. The final objective is to develop a critical eye when analyzing public policy and political problems.

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.810.705[C]

SA.503.107.  Research Seminar: Political Economy in the Shadow of Conflict.  4 Credits.  

This is a research seminar organized around key ongoing debates in international relations, such as the role of institutions, audience costs, leaders, bargaining, reputation, interdependence, and ideas. The course will emphasize critical engagement of the empirical evidence presented in favor of theoretical arguments, encouraging students to devise rigorous new ways to test their observable implications. Can bargaining theory help us understand the outbreak, as well as the termination of, international conflict? Has growing economic integration among states changed the nature of military conflict? Are certain economic interest groups more prone to support military expansion than others? Do democratic institutions enable states to better signal their resolve to adversaries? By the end of the course, students will be able to recognize, engage, and develop their own taste for theoretical arguments, as well as present the most compelling empirical evidence for or against them.

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.610.702[C]

SA.503.108.  Watching Wall Street from Washington: Financial Market Analysis for the Public Sector.  4 Credits.  

This course investigates the strategies for, as well as the relevance of, financial market analysis directed toward policy audiences. Students will develop a deeper understanding of global financial markets and learn how to leverage that understanding shape and achieve policy goals. The course will cover five major topics: 1) Basic techniques for financial market analysis across a variety of major asset classes; 2) The characteristics of financial market analysis – its forms, theoretical underpinnings, advantages, and deficiencies; 3) The hierarchy of policy relevance of financial market analysis; 4) Costs, risks, and difficulties of financial market analysis for the public sector; and 5) Future challenges and formulations of public sector market analysis given the technological developments in finance, money management, and trading.

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.610.703[C];SA.100.304[C] OR SA.300.701[C] OR SA.300.706[C] OR SA.999.701[C]

SA.503.109.  International Human Rights.  4 Credits.  
SA.503.110.  Soft Power in Hard Times. The Global Politics of Influence.  4 Credits.  

As the use of military force to resolve disputes between nations becomes less plausible in most regions of the world,the struggle for influence intensies. Among the results has been the rise to global fame of the concept of ‘Soft Power’, in theory a means to turn a country’s attributes and achievements into a lever for gaining advantage in international competitions of all sorts. Google lists 176m references to the term (11/1/13), China has invested in it heavily and consciously. Even nations such as Russia and Iran are using soft power language and tools. During the Syrian crisis, the term was everywhere. But the course will suggest that the land which gave birth to the term – the US – is still the one which enjoys the greatest advantages in this contest, since the most significant form of soft power leverage over time is the one which most successfully proposes models of modernity. No matter how much weaker the appeal of America’s military, its banks, its politics compared to their heyday, America’s products, icons, technologies, universities,media industries, personalities, etc. can still produce forms of presence and innovation which the rest of the world must reckon with. The course offers an historical perspective on this dynamic. Specifically it focuses on the great variety of models of modernity the US has produced over time and still can, and how the world has come to terms with them (including militant rejection). The course in its early stages is European in focus. Soon it opens out to other regions of the globe, especially Asia. So often the imperative of innovation that the US brings has encountered waves of anxiety about relations between the state and its citizens, between national communities and the market, between generations, genders, ethnic groups and religions. Efforts to understand ‘soft power’ and the outcomes of the world’s encounter with the American version: these are the central issues of the course.

SA.503.111.  Political Systems of the Developing World.  4 Credits.  

The course is meant to prepare the students to deal with the most important theoretical and substantive issues affecting the nature, functioning and transformation of the political systems of the developing world. It will be focused on the analysis of the most relevant regime-types: authoritarian, military, theocratic, and democratic, and of major political processes such as political development and social modernization, state-building and state failures, politicaltransitions and democratic consolidations. It will draw from a wide range of cross-national and cross-regional cases. Class time will be divided between lectures and discussion. Each topic will be introduced by the instructor. The readings constitute the background for each lecture, but we will build upon them and go well beyond. Occasionally, timely articles on especially significant events will be analyzed in depth. Hopefully, fertile discussions will follow on the assumption thatall students have done their reading. The course will end with a take-home exam.

SA.503.112.  After Afghanistan - Any Future for Pace Operations, Peacekeeping & Peacebuilding?.  4 Credits.  

In August 2021 the international media and most politicians reacted with much surprise to the dramatic events at Kabul airport. Thousands of Afghanis and their families were struggling to get on the last Western flights desperate to leave the country to escape the Taliban who were quickly advancing without any significant resistance by the Western trained army. It did not take long before prominent Western commentators proclaimed that the failure in Afghanistan would be the end of the longstanding Western inspired conflict management strategy to end violent conflict in failing states by deploying peace operations and getting involved in long term peace- and nation building processes. Indeed, “peace operations”, conducted by a variety of international actors like the UN, EU, NATO, AU, have become a strategic pillar of international peace and security policy since the end of the Cold War. In average, about 150 thousand military, police and civilians were annually deployed in missions worldwide in recent years. But does the failure in Afghanistan really imply that there is no future for peace operations and peacebuilding and that missions like those in Mali, Somalia, DR Congo etc. will suffer a fate similar to that in Afghanistan? This is what we want to explore in the class by having a thorough, field based look at the history, concepts, development and unsolved problems of UN-led peace operations and peacebuilding.

SA.503.113.  Civil Wars and Interventions.  4 Credits.  

The course aims to discuss key concepts and analytical framework for analyzing the various phases and facets of intra-state wars, and to show how international interventions can affect the course of these conflict and peace processes. In order to do so, the course first analyzes thecauses of civil wars and other major episodes of collective violence, the dynamics of violence in these conflicts, and early warnings measures that allow to “predict” the onset of conflict. It then examines the different ways in which external/international actors can intervene in domesticconflict, management techniques that may be introduced at various stages of conflict to halt escalation, minimize violence, and to move conflicts toward a sustainable peaceful settlement. This includes an analysis of peacekeeping, peacebuilding and state-building practices, and transitional justice. The course provides students with an advanced understanding of the thriving literature on civil wars and interventions, looking at both qualitative and quantitative scholarship, and offers students the possibility to engage with case studies to explore the real-world conflicts from their origin to their solution. In particular, the course offers detailed treatment of conflicts across continents, such as the wars in Bosnia, Colombia, Sahel region and Syria. Each case study will cover different aspects of the conflict, from their onset to evolution and the role of external actors. The expected outcome is that students will be able to engages with both academic and policy relevant literature in their quest for gaining a better understanding of the conflict cycle.

SA.503.114.  Constitutional Development and Democratization.  4 Credits.  

The spread of human rights and constitutional, representative government based on the rule of law, as either spurs for development or desirable outcomes of development, seems both possible and urgently necessary and yet we appear to be in a phase where many countries are undergoing a democratic retrogression. This course examines the nature, fate and prospects for constitutional development and democratisation across the globe. Employing both the diachronicand synchronic methods of analysis typical of comparative constitutional law, the course addresses topics such as constitution-making and constitutional amendment; forms of state and forms of government as well as the role and functions of constitutional and supreme courts with the aim of understanding how a given institutional framework may facilitate or obstruct transitions to democracy. The experience of so-called ‘consolidated’ democracies will often be used to examine the transition to democracy of other countries.

SA.503.115.  Russia and Ukraine in Peace and War.  4 Credits.  

… forthcoming.

SA.503.116.  Law and Institutions of the European Union.  4 Credits.  

The spread of human rights and constitutional, representative government based on the rule of law, as either spurs for development or desirable outcomes of development, seems both possible and urgently necessary and yet we appear to be in a phase where many countries are undergoing a democratic retrogression. This course examines the nature, fate and prospects for constitutional development and democratisation across the globe. Employing both the diachronic and synchronic methods of analysis typical of comparative constitutional law, the course addresses topics such as constitution-making and constitutional amendment; forms of state and forms of government as well as the role and functions of constitutional and supreme courts with the aim of understanding how a given institutional framework may facilitate or obstruct transitions to democracy. The experience of so-called ‘consolidated’ democracies will often be used to examine the transition to democracy of other countries.

SA.503.117.  Great Powers.  4 Credits.  

forthcoming

SA.503.118.  21st Century Trade Rules: Basic Principles and Emerging Issues.  4 Credits.  

Designed for non-lawyers, we will explore the 21st century challenges that face the international trade system in a very interactive setting. The emphasis will be on the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and important free trade agreements, including rules governing trade in goods and services, and intellectual property protection. Policy considerations will be emphasized – such as the environmental, developmental, and public health implications of WTO rules, including human and labor rights, as well as security concerns. Particular attention will be given to the 21st century challenges (i) posed by the globalization backlash, (ii) Covid-19 and access to medicines, (iii) climate change, (iv) social policy gaps in the trade regime (environmental, labor and human rights norms), and (v) national security considerations, including the use of trade preferences and sanctions as an arm of foreign policy.

Prerequisite(s): Cannot enroll if you previously received credit for SA.650.743[C]

SA.503.119.  Global Summits and International Affairs.  4 Credits.  

Leaders of the world gather at global summits to discuss international affairs and governance. Why do summits take place, and how can we evaluate them? What are the conditions for “successful summits”? What prevents states from engaging in productive summit discussions, and how do domestic factors shape international summit negotiations? How can leaders, aides to leaders, and third parties prepare for summits? This course will address these questions by exploring two-level game theory, which views international negotiations as simultaneous discussions at both the domestic and international levels. After an overview of security, trade, development, and environmental issues typically considered at summits, seminar participants will review three types of summits with which the instructor has personal experience: the G 7/8; the trans-Pacific partnership (TPP); and US-Japan bilateral summits. The first half of each course will be conducted as a research seminar, followed by a guest-speaker series and simulations. The course is structured around three learning objectives: (1) understanding the theory of two-level games; (2) applying theory to real-life issues and cases; and (3) experiencing negotiations, press conference, and briefings, which are the daily activities of practitioners in international affairs.

SA.503.120.  Japanese Grand Strategy.  4 Credits.