SA.501.100.  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.

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.600.755[C]

SA.501.101.  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 full load. Note: successful completion of this course fulfills the capstone requirement for second-year MAIR students. <a href=",-Professional-Skills-Courses.aspx" target="_blank">Click here for Capstone course application information</a>

Prerequisite(s): Students may not register for this class if they have already received credit for SA.600.729[C]

SA.501.102.  Transnational Advocacy.  4 Credits.  

The class will examine theories and practices of transnational advocacy. Students will learn about different types of advocacy: from lobbying to mobilizing and organizing, from agenda-setting to reactive, rapid response. Students will read academic scholarship on advocacy alongside texts produced by and/or for practitioners. The course explores current theoretical debates: Why do activists build transnational networks? When does advocacy have an impact? They will also engage with broader debates: How can we evaluate the effectiveness of advocacy? And what drives someone to become an activist? Students should take away an understanding of the benefits and limitations of various strategies, tactics and organizational forms.

SA.501.103.  Multiculturalism & the Human Rights of Women.  4 Credits.  

The first part of this course is designed to explore the complex inter-relationship between the quest for gender equality and multiculturalism, with an emphasis on the special dilemmas posed by religious systems which have or seek a significant measure of self-governance but do not accept liberal egalitarianism. The course, however, is not confined to an analysis of the "conflicts" generated by the anti-feminist and patriarchal nature of certain minority cultures, but seeksgender/culture connections in broader terms, taking into account liberalism's own dfficulties in granting full citizenship to women. Questions to be examined include the following: Is the partnership of feminism and multiculturalism necessarily agonistic? In a culturally diverse world, what constitutes gender (in)equality? To which extent should democracies accommodate communal cultures inimical to liberal gender equality? Is there an emerging international and/or European model of accommodating cultural diversity which nevertheless adequately takes into account the gender dimension? The second part of the course analyzes the relationship between culture and the regulation of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, with special emphasis on domestic and sexual violence, abortion, and pornography.

SA.501.104.  Artificial Intelligence: The Science, Ethics, and Politics.  4 Credits.  

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have emerged as increasingly significant areas of inquiry and debate in science, technology, and society. From search engines, advertising, and chatbots to autonomous weapon systems, driverless vehicles, financial risk management, law enforcement, and medical diagnosis, AI and ML are being integrated within many services and products across a range of industries. At the same time, AI-enabled technologies are facilitating discrimination, raising questions on privacy and transparency, fueling fears about labor shortages, and feeding competition on the international stage. The challenge of today and tomorrow is taking a human-centered approach to filling the gap between technology, ethics, and policymaking. We will review and discuss industry use cases to better understand the complexity and evolution of AI. Students will work on a semester-long group research policy project on a topic of their choice.

SA.501.105.  Technology and Geopolitical Risk Practicum.  4 Credits.  

From the printing press and nuclear reactor to the internet, advancements in technology have historically been major drivers of geopolitical shifts. Today, technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology, have become indistinguishable from national and inter-state interests. This course gives students the tools to understand and integrate disruptive technologies in their analysis of geopolitical risks in the twenty-first century; examine how technology affects our societies, international development, and the use of force; and the demands on regulatory institutions in a world increasingly reliant on machines. The course is interactive and employs a suite of learning techniques, including academic scholarship, business case studies, and discussion with subject-matter experts. Simultaneously, students collaborate on a group consulting project with an outside client related to a relevant set of social, political, and/or economic risks concerning a technology solution. Findings are presented as an oral pitch and final whitepaper. Students aspiring for careers in government, technology, or political risk consulting will find this practicum especially beneficial.

SA.501.106.  Technology, Innovation, and Public Policy.  4 Credits.  

Technology and governance are in perpetual tension. Relative power and wealth can be created, destroyed, enabled, denied, checked, and balanced when technologies emerge, and governments react. In this course students will prepare and present business case studies focusing on the role of governments in each case and how policy related to innovation altered the trajectory of markets, domestic politics, and international relations. The case studies will be a starting point for discussions of alternative strategies that firms and states might have employed to their respective advantage and any case specific lessons with broader application for innovators, investors, policymakers, and citizens.

SA.501.107.  Clashing Information Orders.  4 Credits.  

People thought until recently that global information flows would lead to the global spread of liberal values and democracy, as social media platforms allowed citizens to talk and organize freely. Now, we are starting to understand that global information politics doesn't have predetermined winners. States - both democratic and authoritarian contending with each other over who should set the rules for information flows, each trying to impose its own national information order on others. In this class, we will examine where the different information orders of the major powers—the U.S., the E.U. and China—come from, and how each sees the politics of information as bound up with the survival of its own regime. We will examine the different vulnerabilities of democracies and autocracies to global information flows, and how each looks to shore up these vulnerabilities, as well as how each tries to project and spread its own approach to information to other countries, creating a new realm of global power politics.

SA.501.108.  Media Wars.  4 Credits.  

Is social media making our politics more extreme? How does the circulation of “fake news” differ from propaganda efforts of the pre-digital age? Does it affect our politics in the long-term? How are states using media today not only to inform their own citizens, but as a weapon in larger geo-political contests? Are algorithms racists, and what does that say about the future we are building? This course will take a critical look at the production, circulation, and consumption of media in the contemporary world. We’ll particularly focus on the development of technology, surveillance, cyberwar, militarized media, social movements, and the social life of algorithms. We will explore cases through the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

SA.501.109.  Technology, Innovation and Strategy.  4 Credits.  

Description will be forthcoming in June 2023.

SA.501.110.  Data Analytics and Visualization (using R).  4 Credits.