SIA Electives

Applied Time Series and long-T Panel Analysis

INTAF Credits: 3 Prerequisites: INTAF 803 or equivalent (course dealing with multivariate regression analysis and diagnostics).

This course is designed to introduce the modeling challenges presented by time series data, and panel data with a large time dimension. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the distinction between stationary and nonstationary (constant mean, variance vs. nonconstant mean and variance data) for estimation purposes in time series contexts. Since nonstationarity is very prevalent in social science applications, understanding estimation approaches to nonstationary data is crucial for nonspurious estimation results. The course will place considerable emphasis on the development of maximum likelihood vector error correction mechanism estimation as a solution to nonstationarity. Throughout, problem sets and exercises place emphasis on real world applications and estimation challenges. 

Pre-requisite: INTAF 803 or equivalent (course dealing with multivariate regression analysis and diagnostics).

The course will cover the following topics.

  1. A Brief Reminder of OLS Analysis. Why OLS is misleading for Time Series Analysis.
  2. Methodological principles for time series analysis.
  3. Stochastic processes: white noise; random walk; random walk with drift; random walk with drift and trend.
  4. Stationarity. Autoregressive processes (AR). Moving average processes (MA). Autoregressive moving average processes (ARMA). Distinguishing variance matrixes. ARIMA.
  5. Autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity, General autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity (ARCH and GARCH). ARCH-M and GARCH-M.
  6. Estimation of Nonstationary Time Series Models. Univariate Characteristics of the Data. Vector Autoregressive Models (VAR's). Cointegration Analysis: meaning and importance of cointegration; Granger Representation Theorem. Unique cointegrating vectors (Engle and Granger, Engle and Yoo, Pesaran ARDL). Multivariate cointegration: the Johansen ML methodology; testing for the number of cointegrating vectors; estimating the cointegrating vectors; interpretation of the loading matrix; causality in integrated systems; identification & testing restrictions.
  7. Dynamic Panel Estimation: Pooled OLS, GLS, Fixed and Random Effects and their limitations. GMM. Dynamic Fixed Effects. Mean Group Estimator. Pooled Mean Group Estimator.

Corporate Social Responsibility

INTAF Credits: 3

This course provides an introduction to the law and policy issues that touch on the responsibility of enterprises for their activities.  It provides an overview of corporate social responsibility (CSR), as a subject of legal regulation within states, as a matter of international law and compliance beyond the state, and as a tool and methodology of corporate governance and finance with governance effect through contract. The emphasis is on the study of the legal and regulatory frameworks, both existing and emerging within states, in international institutions, and within production chains and the apex corporations that manage them. The course begins with definitional issues and variations in approaches between major jurisdictions.  It then turns to the existing law of CSR, focusing specifically on charitable giving and disclosure regimes. It then considers the rise of CSR regulatory regimes as privatizing law making using the mechanisms of contract to regulate CSR related conduct throughout a production chain.  It then considers the emergence of international standards as they inform regulatory efforts in states and enterprises and as normative standards in their own right.

Cross Cultural Conflict Resolution

INTAF510 Credits: 3

Across the globe there are more laws and provisions in place to protect human beings from discrimination than at any other time in history and yet there are more incidents of conflict, intolerance, bias, and violence than ever. How are we to make sense of these two competing realities? How can we become ethical leaders in the face of such contrasts and complications? This course combines perspectives from communications, psychology, sociology, political science, law and legal studies, human rights, identity-based studies, media studies, and cultural studies to engage questions of how cultural difference and discrimination play a role in conflict and resolution.

Cybercrime Seminar

INTAF 897 Credits: 3

This seminar provides an overview of legal, technical, and law enforcement issues involving cybercrime. Contemporary events have led to a growing awareness of the interrelationship between information security and data privacy. Prominent cyberattacks and hacking incidences have led to high profile cases and rapid developments in the law. The internet, ecommerce, social media, and other developments in the digital age has expanded the vulnerability of online identities to theft and misappropriation. At the same time, the digital economy vastly increases law enforcement access to digital evidence. Examining cybercrime and digital law enforcement tools allows for an interrogation of the strength of constitutional protections afforded to users, the law that governs cybercrime detection, and developments in prosecutorial techniques that are dependent upon cybersurveillance. Cybercrime is especially challenging as an area of law and policy where criminal activities can be hidden and where geographic boundaries for an investigation are not readily understood. Consequently, this seminar will provide an opportunity for students to learn not only about cybercrimes and digital forensic evidence, but also, about the tensions in constitutional law that may be strained under these emerging technologies.

Dealing with Dictators

INTAF Credits: 3

This course explores the dilemmas imposed on democratic states in dealings with authoritarian regimes. 

Deception and Counter-Deception

INTAF 897 Credits: 3

The course introduces students to the role of deception and counter-deception in competitive environments. The course covers fundamental theories of deception, cognition and the vulnerabilities of humans to deception. It also addresses the vulnerabilities of technical collection systems and sensors to deception. The course discusses deceptive practices in use by both attackers and defenders, including technical and non-technical means. A fully immersive semester-long exercise: “Legends: Network of Deception” provides practical, hands-on experience in detection of both technical and non-technical deception & counter-deception techniques. During the 12-week-long exercise, students, working in analytic teams, work to solve a Cold War deception operation and locate missing FBI agent; Code Name, Rafael. The broad goal of the course is to support overall curricular objectives of the through the application and practice of the core Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) acquired of the analytic workforce. By so doing the course helps to prepare future leaders to address the many security and risk challenges that face our nation and the world. The course also supports the core values of SIA: respect for people, technology, cultures, and the law. This course helps the student become familiar with the vocabulary, written form and skills of the analytic field. The individual goals of the course are summarized by the four learning objectives around which the course was designed. They include:

  • Deception Theory: Students will be able to define, recognize and put into practice the fundamentals that comprise deception theory across the three levels of engagement: strategic, operational and tactical.
  • Counter-deception Methods and Tools: Students will be able to define, recognize and put into practice the fundamentals of counter-deception techniques across the three levels of engagement: strategic, operational and tactical.
  • The Deception Environment: Students will be able to derive, analyze and apply the elements that define the deception environment at the individual, group and organizational level, including the characteristics, and strategies of deception at each level.
  • Bridging Theory & Practice: Students will apply their KSA’s to realistic geo-political deception exercises and be able to communicate the results of their analysis in cogent written and oral form. Students will also demonstrate their understanding by constructing realistic deception analytic products.

Diplomacy and Statecraft

INTAF Credits: 3

This course explores the role of diplomats in executing national security strategy including the relationship between diplomats and the military, economic and intelligence components of national security.

Domestic Influences on Foreign Policy

INTAF 508 Credits: 3

This course will examine how domestic politics influences the formulation and implementation of foreign policy in the United States and other major powers. The role of lobbyists, ethnic groups, special interests, bureaucratic politics and other factors will be considered.

Dynamics of International Economic Order: Law, Politics, and Power

INTAF 815 Credits: 3

In a globalized world, international economic order is defined, to a large extent, by legal frameworks and rules-based regimes governing various aspects of cross-border exchange. These frameworks and regimes are shaped, in their creation and subsequent evolution, by the relative distribution of power among states. At the same time, these frameworks and regimes can affect the distribution of power among states in important ways.

Dynamics of International Economic Order examines the cross-cutting relationship between political power and global economic governance. To this end, the course considers three inter-related sets of issues: first, how nation-states define international economic order through the creation of legal frameworks and rules-based regimes for cross-border trade, investment, and monetary relations; second, how shifts in the international distribution of economic and political power impact these frameworks and regimes; and third, how great powers—in the contemporary context more specifically, the United States (the emblematic established power) and China (the paradigmatic rising power)—approach global economic governance as part of their grand strategies to advance their interests and enhance their international position.

Economic Challenges of Africa

INTAF Credits: 3

This course offers a retrospective and prospective view of economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It examines a range of economic issues facing African countries today while emphasizing the role and importance of history and political economy shaping current economic outcomes.

Since the turn of the century the African continent has experienced a historical turnaround marked with growth resurgence and improvement in overall macroeconomic stability. Africa has been one of the fastest growing regions, and its growth prospects for the near future remain strong; a far cry from its label by ‘The Economist’ magazine in 2000 as ‘the hopeless continent’. Yet African countries continue to face daunting challenges, including widespread poverty, on-going conflict in some regions, and the stresses of providing infrastructure for fast growing populations.

The topics covered in the course may include: an introduction to political economy in Africa, focusing on institutional development, state formation, the role of the state and government policies; a review of economic development strategies (the role of agricultural and industrialisation strategies; commodities boom and the role of natural resources); an examination of the new development agenda (the Sustainable development Goals and the poverty reduction agenda in Africa); the challenge of domestic financing of development; the importance of illicit financial flows (cause and potential remedies); the impact of changing demographics; and the costs of conflict.

The focus of the course is applied and policy-oriented with extensive use made of illustrative country case studies. The course is aimed at graduate students who wish to develop a background on SSA economies.

Economic Development and the Environment

INTAF Credits: 3

This course will provide an introduction to the economics of environmental policy by focusing on the issue of environmental/resource management and sustainable development. It will discuss the role of government interventions in addressing environmental problems, such as pollution, climate change, resource management, etc. The course will seek to convey some of the basic concepts of environmental and resource economics and initiate in-class discussions through real-world examples.

Election Security and Foreign Interference in US Elections

INTAF 897 Credits: 3

Foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 midterm elections have exposed unprecedented vulnerabilities: shortcomings to national cybersecurity policy and the failure to develop effective cyber deterrents; underregulation of social media platforms and Internet governance; how best to safeguard voter data and consumer data; and what federal oversight of election administration and voting systems may be necessary while still respecting federalism principles and state sovereignty. Multiple intelligence reports have described the interference as an “influence campaign” that blended covert cyber operations, and overt propaganda and misinformation operations. This seminar explores how best to address the legal and policy challenges posed by the foreign interference in U.S. elections and vulnerabilities to election security.

Energy, International Security, and the Global Economy

INTAF 810 Credits: 3

This course explores the economic, political, and strategic implications of ongoing trends and structural shifts in global energy markets. It focuses especially on international markets for crude oil and natural gas; attention is also devoted to nuclear energy, the international nuclear industry, and nonproliferation challenges. Students will develop a deep appreciation of the role of energy, and especially hydrocarbon-based energy, in contemporary international affairs. They will learn about the historical development and evolution of hydrocarbon-based energy and the international oil and gas industry; about the various types of contractual arrangements for cross-border investment in upstream oil and gas development and what the differences among these types of agreements reflect regarding the shifting balance of power between resource-owning national governments and foreign investors; and about why and how major energy market players shape their interactions on the basis of political and strategic calculations, along with commercial and economic considerations. They will also learn about the economic and political factors affecting the contribution of nuclear energy to the global energy balance; about the major proliferation risks associated with civil nuclear technology; and about the international regime that has been developed to mitigate these risks and the most pressing challenges to this regime.

Ethical Dimensions in Food and Agricultural Governance

INTAF 511 Credits: 3

Famines around the world have long made news headlines, and in recent years the news includes a discussion of the so-called “diseases of affluence” that come about, in part, due to an overabundance of food (i.e., Type II diabetes, heart disease). While, the natural environment affects regions of food security and insecurity, the policy environment plays an equally strong role in constructing our global food systems. For example, how have changing agricultural policies shaped our food safety problems, such as E. coli contaminated meat or spinach? How have government policies related to labeling of organics shaped the growth of consumer demand for organic agriculture and food products? This class analyzes the socio-economic, political, and cultural construction of our food systems and the ways in which institutions and individuals involved with these systems have experienced dramatic changes in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We also explore and evaluate the ethical dimensions of agriculture and food policy at the global, regional, and national levels and the ways these policies impact the flow of food around the world (e.g., the World Trade Organization, transnational corporations, NAFTA, the European Union, and national governments). By the end of this course, students will be able to describe the institutions and organizations that are involved in the provision of food at national and international levels, identify problems with the dominant agriculture and food system, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of many of the proposed solutions for creating a more sustainable and equitable food system.

Gender and the Food System

INTAF Credits: 3

This course will analyze the relevance of gender in our food system from farm to plate. Gender, as a social relationship, is embedded throughout our food system and shapes not only what we eat, but how we eat. Gendered labor practices and consumption patterns have implications for thinking about the future sustainability of our food system. We will explore the contradictory relationships embedded in our food system as it relates to gender, as food and agriculture can be part of an individual’s identity, as well as sources of oppression. We will also examine the structured inequalities that have historically existed in the food system. Therefore, while the dominant theme and focus of this course is gender, we will also analyze the ways in which gender intersects with race, class, and nation-states in shaping our food systems.  Towards the conclusion of the course, we will turn our attention to considering alternative food movements that seek to create more just and equitable food systems and the ways in which these alternative food systems recognize and engage with gender inequalities. At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to identify the relevance of gender throughout the food system, recognize the diversity of gendered relationships in food systems globally, and analyze the degree to which proposed sustainable food systems engage with gendered relationships.

Global Health Policy

INTAF Credits: 3

In this course, students will become familiar with the principles and theories of global health problems and challenges, potential solution to these problems and challenges, as well as practical applications of quantitative methods to analyze and interpret issues and challenges for policy. Students will be introduced to the research and measurement tools needed to inform good policies and programs. We will critically examine the drivers that have resulted in diverse health outcomes between and within countries. An emphasis will be place on examining the structures and institutions that influence global health, including the economic, political, and social factors that shape health equity, global health governance and policy, health behavior and incentives, and health systems and financing. We will also study potential approaches in addressing health disparities both global and local.

Global Health Security

INTAF Credits: 3

Through a powerful combination of lectures, interactive discussions, case studies, and group work this course will introduce students to the major global health security threats that face the world and the strategies, policies, treaties/conventions and organizations/governance that are in place to defend against them. Throughout the course, we will discuss the importance of public health to national/international security, examine health security preparedness and response (resilience), and identify areas in which progress is still needed. Given their particular challenges and frequency with which they occur, preparedness for and response to biological threats to global health security will be a large focus of this class. Discussions of other health security threats and sharing of experiences are welcome.  Student performance will likely be evaluated based on course attendance and participation, a briefing memo for policy makers, concept maps and a research article.

Global Human Rights Movements and Non-violent Activism

INTAF Credits: 3

Freedom House reports that “democracy and pluralism are under assault” with 2019 marking the 14th consecutive year of a decline in global freedom. This decline in freedom has been accompanied by an increase in “the unchecked brutality of autocratic regimes and the ethical decay of democratic powers.” Amidst these disturbing developments there has been a global rise in nonviolent social movements as activists have learned to counter brutal force with effective peaceful resistance.  This course focuses on how global human rights movements are strengthened by using non-violent activist tactics. Students will spend the first half of class studying historical examples of non-violent human rights movements and the second half of class designing effective activist campaigns for contemporary human rights struggles. 

Global Media and Political Journalism

INTAF Credits: 3

This course traces the history of political reporting in a global context, addresses challenges brought on by the rise of social media and fake news, covers issues of propaganda and censorship, and offers students an opportunity to hone their own skills as political reporters.

The course helps students develop a thorough understanding of the way politics and government are reported in the media as well as gain the confidence to make reasoned judgments about the truth and relevance of media coverage, particularly in an international context. Students will develop an appetite for monitoring, analyzing and reacting to current changes in the relations between politicians and political journalists. Students will develop critical thinking skills about political issues and dynamics, strong instincts for finding good political stories, and sharp writing skills with an attention to detail and nuance in reporting.

Globalization and the Multinational Enterprise

INTAF 597 Credits: 3

Since the early 1970s, with their huge market power and advanced R&D capabilities, MNEs have been seen by some  as purveyors of global efficiency, while at the same time being accused by others of using their transnational leverage and largesse to foster economic and technological dependency, especially among the developing nations. This course examines the development and operation of contemporary economic globalization from the perspective of the modern multinational enterprise (MNE). Economic globalization has substantially challenged the traditional basis for the organization and regulation of society. The MNE has substantially challenged the understanding of the relationship between law and politics, and between public and private institutions. Where states were once the apex regulators within their respective national territories, networks of enterprises now exercise substantial authority over economic activity. Globalization is central to the study of the regulatory and policy framework of multinational corporations, and their relationships with states and other non-state actors, and MNEs are central to the understanding of contemporary economic globalization. The course will consider the conceptual framework fo globalization and the role of the enterprise within it. It will then consider the ways in which multinational enterprises interact with the state and civil society. Students will examine the relationship of national efforts to regulate enterprises and thus engage with globalization. They will then consider efforts at international regulation and management of policy. Lastly, they will consider the elaboration of non-state and non-public regulatory and policy initiatives, from the “business and human rights” movement, to the development of MNE self regulation.

Grand Strategies of Established and Rising Powers

INTAF Credits: 3

This course is about the grand strategies of the world's major powers -- states that independently exercise significant influence over their external environments in ways that help shape the overall character and trajectory of global politics. Depending on its foreign policy orientation and perceived standing in the international system, such a state may also be described as either an established or rising power. The course develops a framework for understanding and explaining a nation's foreign policy and applies it to analyzing the grand strategies of the most important established and rising powers in contemporary world politics, including the United States, Russia, Japan, China, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and India.

Hard Choices and Unintended Consequences: National Security Decision-Making

INTAF 897 Credits: 3

Determining the right balance between values and strategic interests is a challenge all U.S. national security decision-makers face.  In this course students will examine pivotal decisions during the Cold War and the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama to understand how different administrations sought to balance competing factors.  Case studies will provide the foundation to review pivotal moments such as the Cuban missile crisis and the arming of the Afghan resistance during the Cold War; whether to intervene in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Kosovo; going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq; and how best to respond to widespread demands for political change in Egypt and Syria.  Sharpening students’ ability to identify U.S. interests and priorities – and to ask the right questions about policy choices, including longer-term unintended consequences – are key objectives of the course. 

Hazards, Disasters, and International Affairs

INTAF Credits: 3

This course addresses the scientific and technical background of hazards (natural, man-made, cultural) and disasters; considers the risk model and disaster risk reduction, examines current policy and the disaster management cycle; and discusses costs and benefits of various actions in the international environment. The implications of disasters and complex humanitarian emergencies to national and international stability are considered using case study and theoretical approaches. The national and international hazard management and disaster response communities are examined (government, inter-governmental organizations, non-government organizations, private industry). Disaster management and resilience plans are considered.

Human Rights and Displaced Peoples

INTAF Credits: 3

Tracing the history of the displacement of people and the history of human rights, this course focuses on the contemporary human rights context for displaced people. The UNHCR reports that at the end of 2018 there were over 70 million displaced people. This course focuses on teaching students the different human rights issues that take place across distinct types of displacement and offers a chance to work on policy and activism plans to support their rights. 

Human Rights Culture and Activism

INTAF Credits: 3

“Human rights” refers to basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law. But these ideas have not always been a part of human thought and some scholars believe that without certain forms of culture today’s understanding of human rights would not exist. Through comparative analysis of a variety of human rights storytelling genres and cultural forms from a range of contexts, this course will suggest that it is impossible to understand and advocate for human rights without also thinking about the stories that create and sustain their idea.

One main premise of this course is that the representation of human rights violations is always a vexed undertaking.  It is both urgent and necessary, while also incomplete and inadequate.  In order to explore this dilemma, this course focuses on the intersection between human rights advocacy and the various cultural forms that explicitly attempt to protect human rights.  We will study comic books, movies, photography, novels, testimonials, poetry, plays, etc. that reflect on the atrocities of slavery, the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the dictatorship of Chile, South African apartheid, the Rwandan and Cambodian Genocides, and more. 

At the center of the course are questions about aesthetics, activism and ethics. What are the risks and obligations of human rights storytelling and how are these linked to specific cultural forms and aesthetic practices?  This course examines a range of human rights stories through a balance of context and close reading, where stories are studied both for what they say and how they say it.  And it studies the relationship between storytelling and human rights advocacy.  Why does human rights activism depends on stories to succeed? 

I Spy: U.S. Intelligence and National Security

INTAF 897 Credits: 3

What is the role of intelligence gathering in America's activities abroad?  What are the formal and informal U.S. intelligence tools and who are America's spies?  This course will focus on the role of spying in defending our democracy and future challenges for intelligence-gathering in an increasingly technological and interconnected world.  We begin with the basics of the Intelligence Community (IC) -- its formal authorities and organizations. Relying on field experienced experts and scenarios used against state and non-state actors, students will be given the opportunity to evaluate intelligence activities and plan their own intel operations.  Our course objectives include providing students a framework and contemporary context for evaluating the need for national intelligence capabilities, developing an understanding of the role of intelligence gathering in U.S. national security, and exposing them to the opportunities and challenges facing the IC.

Institutional Change and Development

INTAF Credits: 3

Over the past two decades, the phrase "Institutions matter” have become a leitmotiv in social sciences and policy circles.

The purpose of the course is to develop an understanding of the institutional foundations of an economy. The focus will be on the postulate that institutions constitute the fundamental driver for economic development, while also critically assessing the conventional discourse in the discipline.

In particular, the following questions will be examined: What are the main institutional theories that have informed development policy making? How have they been translated into practice, and why have the results often been mixed? Why have some countries been growing so much faster than others, while some do not grow at all? What are the policies governments can implement to influence the development trajectory of their country?

International Development and the Ethics of Development Assistance

INTAF Credits: 3

This course will introduce you to the study of international development as a field and as an idea. International development has changed considerably since post WWII, with some of the same organizations still participating in international development, but also with many new actors and organizations. Alongside organizations and actors, have been many academic fields that study and influence aspects of international development, including: anthropology, economics, history, political science, sociology, demography, and public health. We will explore major approaches to international development historically, and in the present, as well as consider the effectiveness of international development and the ethics of development assistance. The overriding goals of this course are for you to: cultivate a base of knowledge about international development, gain familiarity with topics that people in a variety of disciplines study and shape as it relates to international development, and develop an informed and critical perspective as it relates to the practice and ethics of international development.

Introduction to Law and Legal Systems

INTAF Credits: 3

The course focus is on American law as system, and through a study of that system, of the context within which national law systems intersect with international law and social norms.  To that end, the student would be exposed to the an understanding of the way "law" is created in the U.S. (common law, statute, administrative regulation), the relationship of these forms of law and the state (constitutional law, hierarchies of law, relationship between domestic and international legal regimes, etc.), an introduction to the ways in which law is interpreted (the role of courts, judicial interpretation of cases and statutes), and an introduction to the context in which law plays a role in policy and international affairs, by placing the US system within the world of comparative law and respective legal families, (this might as well help both the foreign and the US participants orientate themselves a bit better to the connection between law and policy). Short problems and examples would be drawn from the basic first year law curriculum (ie modern common law reasoning through tort or contract, modern statutory law through criminal statutes, administrative law through civil procedure or basic admin law, and domestic "soft law" such as NYSE listing rules and the methodologies for ranking US law schools). The last third of the course would be used to introduce materials from the core substantive legal concepts in tort, contract, procedure and constitutional law.

North Africa After the Arab Spring

INTAF 897 Credits: 3

The popular protests which began in Tunisia over a decade ago catalyzed the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East that came to be known as the Arab Spring.  The outcomes in the four countries of North Africa – Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia – have been dramatically different.  They therefore offer a fascinating platform for understanding the challenges of transition and stabilization.  This course will examine the unique characteristics and experiences of each country, as well as the drivers of popular discontent that they share.  It will also look at how foreign actors and transnational issues (e.g., migration and terrorism) affected developments in these four countries.  By the end of this course, students will have developed an analytical framework to  assess current and future developments in North Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.  They will be able to identify core U.S. interests in the region, understand the different tools available to policymakers, and explain  how best to orchestrate those tools.

This elective should be particularly interesting for students concentrating on the Middle East, Africa, and/or humanitarian response and human rights.  

Political Economy of Development and Growth

INTAF 504 Credits: 3

This course examines the reasons why different nations realize diverse long run levels of welfare. Possible determinants of the differential outcomes include different rates of accumulation in physical capital, rates of technological innovation, the impact of human and financial capital, and the impact of demographic changes with increasing levels of economic development. Further extensions include a consideration of the impact of the openness of economies, geographical location, and exposure to disease vectors. In addition, the course considers the impact of institutions, including domestic institutions, international institutions, as well as multilateral forms of cooperation between economies. Types of institutions to be considered will include micro-level institutions (those that function most obviously at the individual agent level), as well as institutions that govern societies at more aggregate levels. The course also examines evidence on whether there are interaction effects between the determinants of growth (for instance, whether the impact of openness is different under democratic or autocratic political governance). The course will consider both relevant theory, but will place an emphasis on examining available data sources in order to test alternative explanations. Given the International Affairs context, particularly strong emphasis is placed on drawing from literatures that reflect the strong interdisciplinary nature of International Affairs programs. This includes perspectives from economics, law, political science and sociology.

Political Economy of Extractive Industries in Africa (Oil and Mining)

INTAF 534 Credits: 3

This seminar aims to examine the impacts and implications of the expansion of extractive industries, oil and mining in particular to Africa’s sustainable socioeconomic development. Among key questions the seminar grapples with are the following:

  • What is Africa’s mining Vision? Are Extractive industries in Africa meeting the goals set by the African Union?
  • Do extractive industries contribute to poverty-creation or poverty-reduction in African countries? What innovative arrangements can be devised to make the industry instrumental in poverty alleviation?
  • Why are extractive industries infested by national and international corruption?
  • What industry codes and regulations would alleviate the environmental disasters that characterize much of the industry in Africa?
  • What problems are associated with artisanal mining in Africa and what innovative policy measures can address such problems?
  • Does the industry contribute to social unrest and conflicts in Africa and why? What policies would address such problems effectively?
  • What measures can be undertaken to integrate the industry, which often operates as an enclave, with the rest of the economies of African countries?
  • Does the industry promote external intervention and how does it impact Africa’s international relations?

Property, Poverty and Development

INTAF Credits: 3

This seminar is for those who are interested in property ownership and the role that it plays in economic development. Case studies will be taken from across the developing world, with a particular focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.

Since the time of the philosopher and social reformer, Jeremy Bentham, we have understood that the poor, like others, are more likely to invest in property if they own it. Hernando De Soto has famously argued that non-transparent legal systems, and titling systems in particular, pose severe impediments to the participation of the poor in capitalist economies. Without title, the poor are less likely to invest in their properties and are often unable to access credit. De Soto estimates that for the developing world, the total value of real estate held by the poor (but not formally titled) is more than 20 times foreign direct investment and more than 90 times all foreign aid for the last 3 decades.

The extent of De Soto’s influence can hardly be overstated. In the policy world, his work has inspired decades of World Bank-funded titling programs across several continents. In the academic world, his work has inspired soul-searching among economists and development scholars across the methodological spectrum. Some have argued for communal systems of collective land tenure. Others dispute his estimates of property currently owned by the poor and argue that granting legal title has not improved credit access. Some have also argued that titling systems simply replicate current inequalities. Moreover, in societies where women work the land but do not have equal status in society or in law, their land claims are unlikely to be recognized.

Yet others have criticized De Soto’s emphasis on titling arguing that land titling by itself is unlikely to make a significant impact on poverty reduction without parallel reforms such as improving access to the formal banking system, financial literacy and streamlining business regulations. Finally, others question whether extensive investments in titling systems represent a prudent investment in the conditions of extreme economic scarcity that characterize many developing countries, suggesting that in such circumstances, a more “modest” approach to legal reforms may be more prudent.

In summary, this seminar will focus on De Soto’s ideas on the importance of property reform in combatting poverty and the critiques, particularly in the context of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Research Design (former title: Empirical Methods)

INTAF 500 Credits: 3

(INTAF 500 is taken in the fall as a prerequisite for INTAF 803, which is completed in spring semester. In rare circumstances, students who can demonstrate quantitative ability through successful completion of the SIA Math Assessment (forthcoming) may be waived from the requirement to complete INTAF 500.)

The objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the importance and methods of empirical evaluations in international affairs and the ability to produce a properly organized and systematically explored, analyzed and argued international affairs research paper. Specifically, after successfully completing this course, a student will be able to demonstrate: 1) an understanding of the importance of empirical evaluation of theoretical propositions and policy effectiveness, 2) knowledge of experimental design, survey design, and methods to collect observational data, 3) how to manipulate and assess descriptive data, 4) the ability to specify, conduct and interpret a multivariate analysis, 5) a basic understanding of social network analysis, Bayes law, and selection effects, 6) capacity to employ Excel to input, manipulate, and graph data.

Science, Technology, and International Policy

INTAF 502 Credits: 3

Cultural differences between the science, technology, and policy making communities; how science and technology have influenced international policy in the past and is likely to do so in the future; domestic and international policies affecting science and technology; science and technology as they relate to diplomacy, national and global security, sustainable development, and international economics; individual scientific disciplines and discoveries and their implications to foreign policy. Ecological goods and services are explored as are methodologies and findings in geology, hydrology, meteorology, biology, ecology, chemistry, physics, medicine, nanotechnology, robotics, information science and technology, space science, and others.  The link between established and emerging science and technology issues and existing and potential policies is demonstrated.

Seminar on State-Making

INTAF Credits: 3

State making is the study of how states emerge, develop, and persist.  These topics are relevant to a number of the social sciences, and students will get a good idea of that this semester because the assigned readings are from not only American, Comparative and IR sub-fields of Political Science, but also from economics, history, sociology, geography, and various humanities disciplines as well.  Comparativists seem to care considerably more about state making than do IR scholars, since it so centrally involves questions of national development.  The tendency of IR scholars to take state making for granted, or to ignore it, is particularly puzzling since IR scholars mostly study what states do.  Since states not infrequently make other states, the phenomenon clearly has an international component.  We’ll spend the semester investigating how questions of state emergence, development, and survival inter-relate, and how they influence other aspects of state behavior.  Student performance will be evaluated based on seminar attendance and participation, and two take-home essay exams.

Strategy, Conflict, Peace

INTAF 505 Credits: 3

This course provides the analytical tools required to understand strategic interaction between agents, be they individuals, firms, or states. The objective is to understand under what circumstances such interaction leads to cooperative outcomes (peace), when it issues in adversarial interaction (conflict), and what and why might be the optimal forms of strategy under such alternative conditions. The basis of the analysis will be game theory.


INTAF 567/PLSC 567 Credits: 3

This seminar provides a general and cumulative investigation into the phenomenon of terrorism from a Political Science perspective. It is a study of terrorism with an attention to what it is - theoretically, conceptually, empirically -  how and why it is used by nonstate actors; its political, economic, and social root causes; its consequences to political, economic, and social institutions and outcomes; and the implications of current research on terrorism and counterterrorism. Although the study of terrorism has a long pedigree in the social sciences, research by political scientists became more extensive following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. This course critically evaluates this new literature, noting its contributions, limitations, gaps, and opportunities for future discovery. Much of the contemporary scholarly literature on terrorism makes use of state-of-the-art political science research methods and quantitative analysis.

The Role of Intelligence in International Relations

INTAF 812 Credits: 3

This course will examine how intelligence is gathered and how it is used in the process of formulating foreign policy. It will consider the various types of intelligence that are gathered, what government agencies are involved, how the intelligence is analyzed and what impact this information has on policy makers.

U.S. Foreign Policy Today: Competing Policies and Perspectives

INTAF 897 Credits: 3

This course will focus on the challenges and opportunities for American foreign policy in today's increasingly globalized and dynamic world.  The course will include broad discussions of current events.  We will start with an examination of U.S. foreign policy authorities and powers, then the basics of our strategies and tools, and build toward an understanding U.S. foreign policy objectives and activities today. American foreign policy is only one-half of the equation, however. Our goals include an attempt to better understand how our policies are actually implemented, the intended and unintended consequences of them, and how they are viewed by foreign, third parties.  Our course objectives include developing an analytic framework for understanding contemporary U.S. foreign activities (including their tremendous impact on our daily lives), enhancing our capacity to appreciate competing arguments and perspectives, and developing solid reading, policy, research and writing skills.

U.S. National Security

INTAF Credits: 3

What will U.S. national security look like as the war in Afghanistan ends? This course examines: 1) how states fight wars and use force; 2) how the characteristics of nuclear and conventional weapons affect strategic thinking; 3) the manner in which the states match interests with capability and domestic politics, 4) civil military relations and 5) how wartime assessment influences policy, and 6) how to present and write professional briefings. The course will focus on both the general pattern among all states and the application of these concepts to U.S. national security. Students will be expected to develop the knowledge and skills to think, speak and write knowledgeably about the dynamics of U.S. national security specifically and international security more generally.

U.S. Policy in the Middle East

INTAF 814 Credits: 3

This course focuses on the strategic challenges facing U.S. policymakers in one of the world's economically, politically, and strategically most important regions.  It draws on readings and class discussion to help students develop both a sense of the historical evolution of U.S. policy in the Middle East and an analytic framework for understanding current policy debates.  The course is divided into four parts:  1) Understanding American Grand Strategy in the Middle East:  Interests, Foundational Relationships, and Alternative Perspectives, 2) Indigenous Challenges to American Hegemony in the Middle East, 3) America and a Middle East in Transition, 4) External Challenges to American Hegemony in the Middle East.  [Note: For purposes of the course, "Middle East" encompasses the countries of North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia), the Levant (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria), and the Persian Gulf (Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf Arab monarchies, and Yemen).

War and Peace

INTAF 816 Credits: 3

The course will examine how wars begin, how the international community reacts to them and what tools it employs to end them and repair the damage once peace is restored.

Water and Sustainable Development

INTAF 501 Credits: 3

This course addresses the scientific theory and practical considerations necessary to manage water resources and their environment in an international and sustainable development context. Scientific and technical hydrologic issues needed for sustainable development form the course foundation. Water resources in a changing environmental and geopolitical context are examined. Specific topics include problem analysis, scoping, design, environmental impacts, financial management, data analysis, and issues of implementation, capacity building, and multicultural and cross cultural participation. The course includes a combination of lectures, seminar sessions, and problem solving projects and simulations.

Weapons of Mass Destruction and International Security

INTAF 817 Credits: 3

Although no nuclear weapon has been used in war in 73 years, they are used every day to affect international security decisions. This course will explore how nuclear weapons revolutionized thinking about war and peace among major powers and how they can become a primary focus of international diplomacy. It will examine why WMD programs (perhaps incorrectly) have come to be seen as a potential cause of war in some contexts and as a primary deterrent to war in others. The course will provide students with the technical understanding of the major classes of WMD (nuclear, chemical and biological weapons) and their effects and it will examine the evolution of international security thinking about their role. It will look both at how major powers (the U.S., Russia and China) conceive of the role of WMD and also how other countries and sub-national groups might consider them. The course will look at how nuclear and biological weapons in particular are for the first time in a generation becoming of increasing concern to strategic thinkers. Finally it will look at the means the U.S., other major powers and the broader international community have developed to limit and perhaps someday to eliminate the threat WMD pose to international peace and perhaps to human existence.