Course Schedule

You can choose from courses in several thematic tracks. Visit our course schedule to see which courses are currently being offered.

All courses are three credits, with the exception of the capstone. POL 695A is one credit.

Spring 2023, Session 1 (January 9th - March 5th)

Instructor: Tolga Turker

 The region of Central Asia has emerged from obscurity in recent decades to become a key front in the war against international terrorism and radical Islam. This course explores the political and cultural history of Central Asia, as well as religious and social issues that impact the region's governmental structures, foreign relations, and security. We will explore the impact of Russian conquest and Soviet domination of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan before moving on to an analysis of contemporary issues in government and politics in the region. Emphasis will be on the authoritarian regime variations, rise of Islamism, great power politics, economic and social development, and energy geopolitics.

Instructor: Eva-Maria Maggi

This course provides an introduction to the politics of cybersecurity in the U.S. as well as the European Union (EU). Starting with a discussion of key concepts of cybersecurity, the class continues to analyze how U.S. and EU cybersecurity policy making differ. Recently, both the U.S. and EU passed new cybersecurity legislation laying different emphasis on privacy protection, crime prevention and the involvement of tech businesses in the policy process through public private partnerships. Why are the U.S. and Europe applying different approaches to cybersecurity policy? The goal of the course is to answer this question by comparing the institutions, actors and process of cybersecurity policy making in the U.S. and the EU. While both follow different approaches to cybersecurity policy as such, they agree on the need of enhanced international cooperation on the issue. The course ends with a unit on the current state of cybersecurity cooperation across the Atlantic and the implications of the politics of cybersecurity on the future of transatlantic relationship.

Instructor: Christina Sciabarra

This course is designed to give you an overview of armed conflict in its many forms, with a focus on interstate and intrastate war. The course will begin by considering the concept of armed conflict and its many forms, and the empirical trends in armed conflict across time and space. Theoretical and empirical work will then be drawn upon to address the question of why armed conflict occurs and what explains the onset of war, as well as what explains the conduct of opposition forces during war along with war's severity, duration and conclusion.

Instructor: Barbara Norrander

Domestic politics and foreign policy were once considered to be separate entities, such as in the old fashioned statement that governments could afford either “guns or butter.” A more contemporary account notes the various ways that domestic politics and foreign policy are intertwined. Domestic politics shapes the foreign policy decisions of a country, and foreign policy often impinges on domestic politics. Topics covered in this class will include the role of the president, Congress, the bureaucracy and the courts in determining foreign policy. Conflicts and cooperation between these government entities will be highlighted. How public opinion and interest groups influence foreign policy also will be covered. Finally, the effects of foreign policy decisions on domestic politics will be considered. Upon completion of this course, students will have a fuller understanding of how domestic politics and foreign policy are intertwined

Instructor: Nick Thorne

This course examines the international arms trade from several perspectives and at different levels of analysis. The purpose of the course is to acquaint students in the with the literature, questions, and debates about the role that military equipment and technology plays in international relations.

Spring 2023, Session 2 (March 6th - April 30th)

Instructor: Michael Burgoyne

In U.S. policy and strategy documents, Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) has been identified as a threat to American national security. The growing consensus is that globalization with its associated revolutions in communications and transportation has greatly enhanced the capabilities and power of Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs). Understanding the diverse criminal groups, their methodologies, and their networks is the critical first step in developing effective policies to confront them.

Instructor: Lisa Sanchez

U.S. Immigration policy is vast and complex. Passed at the federal and state level and implemented at the local level, immigration policies have a myriad of consequences- intended and unintended. We will explore the various types of immigration policies, their goals, and consequences with an eye toward evaluating their efficacy. In particular, we will consider immigration policy from the perspective of border flows- who and what flow across our borders and the ability of the U.S. government to control those flows.  We will also consider the historical and political context underpinning immigration policy today as well as explore the feasibility and need for reforms in the future.

Instructor: Jennifer Cyr

Latin America is a region that faces multiple political, social, and economic challenges. Some of these are cross-cutting, including the very real problems of crime and violence. In Latin America, crime and violence are common occurrences. They have multiple sources and have wide ranging impact. We will consider the causes of crime and violence, as perpetrated by state and non-state actors, as well as violence toward particular groups. We will also examine how countries address crime and violence and the extent to which reform is possible.

Instructor: Matias Bianchi

The digital revolution is changing politics. From Barack Obama's use of the Internet to drive his presidential campaign, to the upheaval of the Arab Spring and the emergence of new social movements like #OccupyWallStreet, digital technology is challenging and changing established institutions on a number of fronts. This course introduces students to the history of the Internet and the emerging technologies that are defining the Digital Age. It places emphasis on the role of technology in politics and its implications for democracy and citizen rights. The course will cover a wide range of issues related to governance of the internet, privacy and security, the role of the media and open source development.

Instructor: Mikhail Beznosov

This course will focus on energy policy and energy security understood in the context of global and Eurasian politics and international relations. The course offers different perceptions of energy security in importing and exporting nations, and aims at identifying contemporary developments in providing energy security on global, regional and national levels.

Instructor: Paulette Kurzer

Final paper project for ISS Masters with presentation and discussion. Capstone project, in which students develop a portfolio that overviews their academic work in the context of their professional goals. This should be taken as the final course of the M.A. degree.