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.
Global climate change is widely considered the greatest threat confronting societies and governments today. Over the last decade a consensus has developed among natural and physical scientists over the likely causes of global climate change. Businesses, governments, and citizens have begun to respond by developing a variety of strategies, policies, and institutional arrangements designed to reduce human contributions to climate change and promote adaptation to the environmental impacts that are beginning to emerge. These policy responses are truly diverse in form and scale, from voluntary carbon markets and business certification programs, to command and control type regulations, to international treaties.
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.
The course will examine connections between politics and economics beyond the single nation state, with an emphasis on policy implications in the 21st century. Students will be introduced to; free market (AKA liberal, neoclassical); institutionalist (AKA pluralist, multi-centric organizational); and historical materialist (AKA Marxist, structuralist). Each perspective will be presented by specifying its particular thought 'model', underlying assumptions, and application to real-world issues. The course will compare and contrast these perspectives with respect to core global political economy (GPE) issues such as trade, finance, transnational corporations, development and environmental sustainability.
This course examines the relationship between democracy and security. Each week, students will learn about how democracy interacts one of many different security challenges. We will conceive of security broadly and, therefore, will consider how democracies fare when it comes to: war, crime, human security, corruption, and the military as an institution.
Traditionally, security has meant freedom from military attack and has been synonymous with national security. More recently, the concept has expanded to include relationships among nation states that affect international security. Environmental and economic concerns have also become part of the fabric of international security as a global village begins to recognize that no crisis affects only one state or one region.
This course will discuss how the management of other natural resources in Latin America affect or are likely to affect international security in the forthcoming decades. Latin America is a large geographical area well-endowed with natural resources that are usually poorly regulated, which results in high levels of domestic and international conflict among myriad actors, both governmental and non-governmental.
This course will chart the progress of the recognition that gender is an important part of any discourse about security. One focus of the course is on the U.N. Tribunals on the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, on the development of the gender perspective written into the charter of the International Criminal Court, and the subsequent U.N. resolutions around gender and security. The second focus is on the effect of gender equality on human security, economic prosperity, and national stability.
This course focuses on the role international organizations (IOs) play in contemporary global politics. IOs have become an increasingly common feature of the political landscape. Institutions shape state behavior in areas such as trade, security, the environment, and human rights. The course provides background on the historical development of major multilateral IOs. We pay special attention to how institutions are designed. We then assess each organization's performance record. Specific questions include: Does UN peacekeeping promote post-war stability? Is the ICC an effective tool for protecting human rights? How do the IMF and World Bank approach global development?
The evolution of infectious diseases into a global security threat isn’t particularly novel but became official when the United Nations recognized HIV/AIDS as a security threat. As the world becomes more interconnected and humans encroach on natural habits, emerging infectious diseases, like COVID-19 and Ebola, have underscored the ability for diseases to severely impact critical infrastructure. Since the realization that infectious diseases pose unique threats to the stability of nation states, the notion of global health security was development as an approach to understanding and studying these unique vulnerabilities. Biodefense, biopreparedness, and biothreats are all increasingly used terminologies and studies that play into the security dynamics of infectious diseases. We will examine the concepts of global health security, as well as the spectrum of threats, which include natural, accidental, and intentional biological events.
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.