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AGS Course Catalog

Listed below are suggested American Grand Strategy courses relevant to national security and foreign policy.
Courses may be scheduled during any academic term.

Jump to Spring Courses

FALL COURSES

Listed in numerical order. Courses may not be offered each fall semester.

Law of Digital Platforms
Course Number TBA
Professors Stuart Benjamin, Matt Perault and Barak Richman
This course will cover the law of digital platforms, including the economic and policy foundations of internet and telecommunications regulation, the regulation of spectrum and telephony, antitrust law, and First Amendment constraints on technology policy reform. It will also examine efforts to reform the law of digital platforms, including recent proposals to alter Section 230 and antitrust law.

Intro to International Relations: Security, Peace and Conflict | AGS CORE COURSE
POLSCI 160
Professor Peter Feaver
This course aims to help students make sense of the confusing daily stream of headlines coming from around the world. The course provides the background and conceptual tools students need to understand contemporary international relations (IR) and the related challenges of security, peace and conflict (SPC). The course introduces students to the study of international relations, but does so in a way that prepares students for follow-on courses in the Security, Peace, and Conflict concentration within Political Science. This concentration involves the study of security issues at the inter-state level – the core of traditional international relations – as well security issues that transcend traditional states (such as transnational terrorist networks) or that reside primarily at the sub-state level (such as civil war and ethnic conflict).

Globalization and Public Policy
PUBPOL 212 / POLSCI 358
Professor Bruce Jentleson
How the various aspects of globalization affect, and are affected by public policy at the international, national and local levels. Development of an analytic framework for thinking about globalization and its core concepts, major institutions and political dynamics; survey of a range of major policy areas affected by globalization; focus on a policy area of particular interest.

Use of Force: Cyber, Drones, Hostage Rescues, Piracy, and more
LAW 227

Professor Charles Dunlap
This fall-only seminar is designed to introduce students with limited familiarity with international law to principles involved in the use of force during periods of putative peace. It will explore, for example, what circumstances constitute an “act of war” in variety of situations. The course will analyze when and how force may be used in self-defense and will survey topics such as humanitarian intervention, hostage rescue, air defense identification zones, freedom of navigation operations, use of force in the cyber domain, and the legal aspects of international counter-piracy and counterterrorism operations (including drone strikes). Efforts to limit the use of force in outer space as well as the implications of nuclear weapons and the emergence of autonomous weaponry will be explored. Case studies and current news events will be examined in conjunction with the covered issues. In addition, students will get an overview of the practical issues associated with the use of force, to include the weaponry, planning, and military techniques involved.

Introduction to Terrorism
POLSCI 232
Professor David Siegel
This course addresses the nature of terrorist organizations and government responses to them. Topics covered include analysis of different aspects of terrorism: historical, social, cultural, economic, political, religious context; determinants of terrorism at state and individual level; organizational structure of terrorist groups' weapons and tactics; mobilization and recruitment within terror networks; terrorist finance; and methods of counterterrorism. It also details different methods of the study of terrorism.

Nuclear Weapons
POLSCI 233
Professor Kyle Beardsley
Are nuclear weapons a source of security or insecurity? How do they figure into the foreign policy of the United States? How do they figure into the foreign policy of other nuclear states? Non-nuclear states? This course will use readings, lectures and class discussion to consider the role that nuclear weapons have played, currently play and will play in international politics. Much of the material will provide students with a rich foundation for understanding the history of nuclear proliferation, the evolution of U.S. nuclear strategy, theories of international politics, the international non-proliferation institutional infrastructure, and the particular details of the nuclear programs in places such as Iran, North Korea, Israel, India and Pakistan. Such knowledge will help students better engage the world around them, and it will serve as a resource from which students can draw in formulating their own perspectives on the issues and in better understanding international politics writ large.

The United States Intelligence Enterprise
POLSCI 254S/PUBPOL 296S
Professor Andrew Vail
This course is intended for sophomore and junior undergraduate students who possess an interest in the US Intelligence Apparatus and generally in the intelligence profession. During the semester, we will learn about the intelligence function associated with US National Security. Specifically, we will investigate how our national security decision-makers (Congress and the Executive branch) have designed and employed the US intelligence system as a key component of national power. While this is coded as a lecture course, students will be placed into teams and will conduct multiple active learning sessions during the semester. Case studies and in-class simulations are designed to complement the readings and lecture. In developing a broader understanding of the US intelligence system—its organizations and processes—students will discover how the insatiable appetite for accurate and timely intelligence support has driven the creation of a complicated and confusing, yet effective, intelligence architecture. This class will not make anyone an intelligence professional; nor will it reveal anything other than unclassified publicly available information. The goal is to offer an objective look at the intelligence apparatus that tirelessly works to protect the United States.

Russia in the World: From Cold War to Putin's Wars
PUBPOL 290 / POLSCI 290 / HISTORY 290 / RUSSIAN 390 / SES 290
Professor Simon Miles
On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation launched an invasion of its neighbor, Ukraine, with the stated intent of regime-change in Kyiv. Just a few decades ago, newly democratic, post–Soviet Russia seemed full of possibility and poised to make the most of improved relations with the West. What happened in the intervening thirty years? This course will trace the evolution of Russian foreign policy through the presidencies of Boris Yeltsin, Dmitry Medvedev, and Vladimir Putin. It will survey interactions between Russia and its neighbors, Europe, and the United States, as well as the relationship between domestic and foreign policy in the Russian context. We will examine all the elements of Russian grand strategy to understand how the world got to this point, and where Russian foreign policy might go from here in a new era of great-power competition.

Introduction to Cyber Policy
PUBPOL 290 / COMPSCI 390
From the President’s Situation Room to the CEO’s Board Room and from the General’s War Room to the Chief Technology Officer’s Server Room, the policy and technical elements of activity in cyberspace will continue to impact and shape global society. This interdisciplinary course is open to all undergraduate students and will provide a basic understanding of fundamental of cyber technologies and threats, national and international cyber policies and frameworks, and key topical issues in cyber. Students will be required to complete a written mid-term based on lectures and readings, present short classroom briefings, and engage in class discussions. The final will be a team capstone written and oral presentation on a realistic cyber scenario applying knowledge from classwork and their own research. No prior skills or knowledge is required.

The United States Intelligence Enterprise
POLSCI 254S/PUBPOL 296S
Professor Andrew Vail
This course is intended for sophomore and junior undergraduate students who possess an interest in the US Intelligence Apparatus and generally in the intelligence profession. During the semester, we will learn about the intelligence function associated with US National Security. Specifically, we will investigate how our national security decision-makers (Congress and the Executive branch) have designed and employed the US intelligence system as a key component of national power. While this is coded as a lecture course, students will be placed into teams and will conduct multiple active learning sessions during the semester. Case studies and in-class simulations are designed to complement the readings and lecture. In developing a broader understanding of the US intelligence system—its organizations and processes—students will discover how the insatiable appetite for accurate and timely intelligence support has driven the creation of a complicated and confusing, yet effective, intelligence architecture. This class will not make anyone an intelligence professional; nor will it reveal anything other than unclassified publicly available information. The goal is to offer an objective look at the intelligence apparatus that tirelessly works to protect the United States.

Democratic Erosion
POLSCI 264S
Jason Todd, Ph.D. candidate in Political Science
The course examines the perceived global trend of democratic erosion, in which democratic regimes are undermined from within. After tackling definitions of democracy and authoritarianism, consolidation, and erosion, we will address the causes, symptoms, and consequences of democratic erosion. We will then cover mechanisms for defending democracy. Finally, we will explore a series of case studies—including the contemporary U.S.

Public Policy as Values Conflict
POLSCI 302D
Professor Simon Miles
In this section of the required ethics core course for Public Policy majors, we will focus on the ethics in international affairs and beyond America’s borders. Is it wrong to torture suspected terrorists, or to kill them via drone strikes? How much right do citizens have to transparency from their governments, and how should this be balanced against questions of national security? Should the United States intervene to stop atrocities like the Rwandan genocide? This course explores the ethical dilemmas inherent in the process of making foreign policy, and also draws on readings in political philosophy to equip students with the intellectual tools to make informed choices.

Religion and Public Policy
PUBPOL 290.01
Professor Abdullah Antepli
Faith and faith communities are one of the most powerful--yet one of the least understood--forces in American public life and public policy circles. America is the most religious developed country in the world by almost every measure of study. Individual religious frames of references, values and moral imaginations as well as the influence and impact of USA’s incredibly diverse religious communities continue to shape our local, national and global policies in such consequential fashions. In this course we will broadly study this largely understudied intersection of Religion and Public Policy. We will examine both historically and in present: How the American version of the Anglo-Saxon school of secularism’s dance with “separation of the church and state” has been unfolding in the US? How each majority/minority faith communities have been navigating their ways to public decision mechanisms? We will focus on understanding the unique roles of individual and collective faith realities in contemporary USA through the lenses of public policy and politics as they are heavily affected by these realities. Special focus will be given on what skill sets, knowledge base and tool boxes often required to navigate this ever controversial and sensitive field of study for future policy makers.

Public Policy as Values Conflict
POLSCI 302D
Professor Simon Miles

In this section of the required ethics core course for Public Policy majors, we will focus on the ethics in international affairs and beyond America’s borders. Is it wrong to torture suspected terrorists, or to kill them via drone strikes? How much right do citizens have to transparency from their governments, and how should this be balanced against questions of national security? Should the United States intervene to stop atrocities like the Rwandan genocide? This course explores the ethical dilemmas inherent in the process of making foreign policy, and also draws on readings in political philosophy to equip students with the intellectual tools to make informed choices.

Introduction to Middle East Politics
POLSCI 322
Professor Abdeslam Maghraoui
The Middle East & North Africa region is in the midst of political, social, and religious transformations of tectonic proportions. This course explores the main forces, ideologies, and institutions that drive these transformations in key countries. We will assess the internal dynamics, their interconnectedness, and their implications for the region and international politics. This is an introductory course that assumes little or no prior knowledge of the covered topics. It is designed to build from the most general to the more specific and complex aspects of Middle East politics. We will begin with a general overview of the region to cover the issues that affect all or most of the countries. These include for example the weight of history and religion and the challenges of social modernization and economic development. We will then focus on the political system of each country and how it affects a country’s domestic policies and international behavior. For our purpose, the Middle East includes the Arab-majority states stretching from Morocco to the Gulf, in addition to the region’s non-Arab states: Iran, Israel, and Turkey.

Statecraft and Strategy | AGS CORE COURSE
PUBPOL 320 / POLSCI 328 / HST 322
Professor Simon Miles
How do states reconcile the limited resources they have at their disposal with the virtually boundless range of things they want to do in the world? How can policy-makers use power — be it cultural, diplomatic, economic, military, or otherwise — to achieve their goals effectively and efficiently? How might leaders begin to make sense of a dynamic and seemingly infinitely complex world and identify priorities, opportunities, and threats? The answer to these questions is one of the most elusive concepts in public policy: strategy, the reconciling of large ends with limited means. In this introductory lecture course, students will be introduced to the concept of strategy as it has been practiced by examining key concepts and texts in the field as well as historical cases of its successful (and unsuccessful) employment. It will introduce students to the politics, economics and other drivers of international affairs, and will be a semester-long exercise in applying the lessons of history to contemporary public-policy challenges. These insights from the past are relevant not only to students envisioning careers in foreign policy, but also to those whose interests lie in activism, business, politics, and other fields.

Global Environmental Politics
ENV 348
Professor Erika Weinthal
This course examines the international community’s responses to various global environmental problems. Because many environmental problems cross national borders, solutions require some form of global governance such as state-led mechanisms in the form of international environmental regimes. The course will thus explore how and why states both succeed and fail to negotiate international governance mechanisms. The course will also examine why some international environmental regimes are more effective than others and why states choose to comply with environmental regimes.

International Security
POLSCI 362 
Professor Rachel Myrick 
The various causes, processes and impacts of international conflict in contemporary international affairs. Topics include: causes of war; factors that make international conflict more or less likely; domestic politics of international security; impacts of scientific and technological developments; ethical arguments and beliefs associated with the use of violence; contemporary and non-traditional security threats. No formal prerequisite, but Political Science 160 recommended.

Political Violence, Repression, and Organized Crime
POLSCI 364
Professor Livia Schubiger
This course introduces students to a research agenda on intra-state armed conflict, repression, and organized crime. The primary focus lies on how political and criminal armed groups interact with state agents and with civilian populations; how they recruit and maintain control over their members; how and why their internal institutions and their strategies of violence vary; and what the consequences of these patterns are. The course also explores the role of the state, particularly when it comes to the effects of wartime repression, mass incarceration, and the war on drugs. Not open to students who have taken Political Science 361.

America and the World, 1898 to the Present
POLSCI 396
Professor Susan Colbourn
How has the United States engaged the world around it? Who makes US foreign policy? And how do they implement it? This course considers conventional turning points in US foreign relations history, along with understudied episodes and actors, to answer these questions. Throughout the course, we will consider the process of making foreign and national security policy in the United States and how others have responded, as well as understanding the experience and consequences of US power at home and abroad. Lectures will focus on key episodes in US diplomatic history throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, considering the implications at home and abroad.

World in Your Hand
POLSCI 427S
Professor David Siegel
Focuses on simulation of security peace and conflict related topics.
Your chance to hold the (simulated) world in your hand. First half of class provides background and tools needed to create computational, simulation models of political, social, and economic phenomena. Second half provides practical experience with class-chosen group computational modeling project(s) that will be submitted for publication. No prior computer programming experience required or expected, and skills gained in class will translate beyond academia.

International Conflict Resolution
POLSCI 428S
Professor Kyle Beardsley
This course will consider the roots of international conflict and the various means that actors try to resolve their disputes. A large component of the course will be focused on understanding the theories behind war initiation and termination, paying special attention to how actors interact with one another strategically.  The students will learn both how to conceptualize conflict situations and about how actors practically go about resolving their disputes in the international system. Throughout the course, students will work on a study that relates to the analysis of an ongoing conflict in three separate writing assignments.

American Grand Strategy Seminar | AGS CORE COURSE
PUBPOL 501S | POLSCI 562 | HST 567
Professors Peter Feaver and Simon Miles
Note: You must apply for admittance to this course.
This course examines the global challenges and opportunities confronting the United States and the efforts of U.S. policymakers to craft a grand strategy that adequately addresses them. The course covers key historical junctures in the development of American Grand Strategy, ranging from pre-World War II to the present. The class will examine both the theory and the practice of grand strategy, and will consider both defenses and critiques of the choices US leaders have made. The class is capped as a seminar and so there will only be a very few seats available for each category of student, undergraduate and graduate. Admission to the class will be by permission only, based on an application.

Contemporary American Foreign Policy
PUBPOL 502S / POLSCI 670S
Professor Bruce Jentleson
Focus on challenges and opportunities for American foreign policy in this global age including the impact of interests, ideals and values. Draws on both the scholarly literature and policy analyses. Addresses big picture questions about America's role in the world as well as major current foreign policy issues that raise considerations of power, security, prosperity and ethics. Open to undergraduates with permission of instructor and priority to Public Policy Studies and Political Science majors, and to graduate students. (permission of instructor required)

Counterterrorism Law & Policy
PUBPOL 504 / POLSCI 543
Professor David Schanzer
This course examines in-depth a series of counterterrorism issues that involve both legal and policy considerations such as preemptive use of force, targeted killings, detention of enemy combatants, treatment of citizens who join terrorist organizations, use of military commissions, interrogation techniques, use of profiling for counterterrorism, communications surveillance, data surveillance, encryption, and many others. Students will complete a major research project that will be presented at the end of the course. As such, the course may be especially useful for juniors interested in pursuing an honors thesis in this field. Sophomores may enroll with the permission of the instructor and a waiver from their academic dean.

National Security Decision-making
PUBPOL 505
Professor Tim Nichols
The US national security environment is characterized by competing interests, politics, information, analysis, national capabilities, and, most importantly, decision-making. To affect successful national security decision-making, our leaders must understand and apply all the elements of national power with a keen eye towards the intended impact (and secondary effects) in a constantly changing, complex, global arena. This course explores this delicate art in three main components: first, we will strive to develop a deeper understanding of our national security apparatus (i.e. responsibilities of the different areas of government and organizational design); secondly, we will analyze the elements of national power and examine historical examples of their application; finally, we will apply our analysis to assess the merits of various approaches to national security decision-making.

Politics of US Foreign Policy
PUBPOL 506 / POLSCI 547
Professor Bruce Jentleson
This course focuses on the politics of U.S. foreign policy: who influences U.S. foreign policy, how, with what impact, and why. We focus principally along five dimensions: President-Congress, intra-executive branch decision-making, interest groups, the media, and public opinion. The scope is both historical and contemporary. Our approach combines theory and policy analysis. While we touch on a number of issue areas, focus is principally on three: war powers, the tension between national security and civil liberties, and trade policy politics and for the contemporary period also climate change.

The Global Cold War
PUBPOL 590 / POLSCI 690 / History 590
Professor Simon  Miles
This course delves into the history of one period of both profound global change and significant impact on our contemporary world: the Cold War. Weekly seminar sessions will explore the Cold War as a global phenomenon, spanning the world to consider how and why the East-West rivalry became an international conflict, and with what consequences. This course also seeks to bring history into the conversation over contemporary policy-making. It is, therefore, an extended exercise in applied history; students should think about the topics we will discuss both historically and in their present context. Course assignments will reflect this focus.

Mission Driven Startups (formerly Hacking for Defense)
PUBPOL 590 /POLSCI 590 / I&E 590 / SCISOC 590
Professors Tommy Sowers and Steve McClelland
NOTE: You must apply for admittance to this course.
Join some of the university’s brightest minds for a unique, interdisciplinary educational experience and solve real world problems next Fall. Hacking for Defense (H4D) offers students the opportunity to work in teams to tackle some of the nation’s toughest challenges in a collaborative learning experience. The course is designed for graduate students and advanced undergraduates in all schools and programs, and takes an entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary approach to America’s hardest national security challenges. H4D covers policy, economics, technology, and national security. You will be at the forefront of changing the paradigm of problem-solving and solution development for the U.S. Government. The course is demanding; you’ll present at every class, you’ll work closely with your team, you’ll receive relentlessly direct feedback, your problem sponsors, mentors, military liaisons, corporate partners, and investors may be in the room-- you’ll be solving real problems for real customers. H4D is designed to provide students the opportunity to learn how to work with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) to better address the nation’s emerging threats and security challenges in weeks, not months or years.
Listen and read a WUNC report about this class: Unable to Recruit Enough Techies, the Military is Partnering with Universities and Start-ups
Listen and read the NPR report, Military Seeks Tech Talent In New Ways
Read in Duke Magazine: A little help from civilians - Class invites students and alumni to work on problems faced by the military.

Major Biden Administration Foreign Policy Challenges
PUBPOL 590S
Professor Bruce Jentleson
Complementing the broad foreign policy and grand strategy courses I and others teach, this course focuses in-depth on three major foreign policy challenges the Biden administration faces: climate change, pandemic prevention (COVID and beyond), and relations with China. We study and discuss these as a seminar and form three groups to develop research papers/projects developing policy options. The course is taught as a seminar, permission of instructor required, open to upper division undergraduates as well as graduate students from any major or discipline relevant to these issues.

Policy & Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
PUBPOL 590S.04
Professor Abdullah Antepli
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most intractable, complicated and long-lasting disputes of our modern times with enormous impact on a wide spectrum of US policies both domestically and internationally. There is no any another international conflict that is internally divisive and controversial as this one in the US. The ongoing conflict and USA’s unique and central role in it as a mediator continues to show up and complicate US decision making mechanisms in expected and unexpected ways in an increasingly partisan fashion. The course will examine this international conflict and it’s ever increasingly divisive nature through the foreign and national security policy involvements of USA’s role both historically and in recent times. The class will be very careful examination of conflict resolution and peace-making policies that are mainly led by USA in recent decades. What foreign, national security and economic policies were proven helpful or obstacles in designing and implementing this conflict resolution and peace-making policies? Why once one of the very few bi-partisan issues in the US is at the core of policy conflicts and partisan clashes in American policy circles? We will tap into multiple US, Israeli and Palestinian policy makers’ decades long experiences, accumulated wisdom and future predictions. The course will aim to train future policy makers to have more constructive civil discourse and productive policy analysis on the issue.The course material will include careful examination of historical, cultural, religious and civilizational roots of this conflict that centrally contributes both in creation and potential reconciliation of this more than century long bloody dispute. Careful analysis of how any and every policy conversation should take these so deeply rooted personal and collective narratives into consideration in potentially bringing this conflict to an end. We will study the economic, social, political contexts in which major stakeholders of this conflict emerges out of and functions at. We will examine what regional and global realities has been at play as this conflict went on over the decades that affected US policy makers did or should have pay attention to. We will pay attention to economic and political policy incentives and deterrents has and should have played in designing and implementing conflict resolution and peace making policies led by US in partnership with other local and international actors. We will examine how this political and military conflict in so many ways manifestations of cross-cultural, cross-civilizational and cross-religious clashes. We will study what aspects of central, deeply held personal and collective imaginations and narratives contribute to the unbridgeable policy divides on the issue. We will focus on what has been often lost in unsuccessful cultural and civilizational translations that contribute to the failures of so many peace initiatives and policies. How different ethical and moral frames of references and or significantly different rankings of the same set of ethical values, by all involved parties including US, is at the core of Israeli-Palestinian will be one of the central inquiries of this course. How do you imagine, design and implement conflict resolution and peace making policies with groups who fundamentally operate out of different and often mutually exclusive modes of ethics will be one of the main guiding questions that we will explore in this class.

Cybersecurity and National Security Law and Policy
PUBPOL 590
Professor David Hoffman

This class will focus on national security implications of cybersecurity issues. The course will be constructed around weekly case studies examining specific cybersecurity incidents and the week’s materials will be divided into three parts. The first portion will explore the technical background of the cybersecurity incident. The second component will provide analysis of the relevant law. The final segment will focus on discussion of policy alternatives to better address the issue. The class grade will evaluation in equal parts class participation and attendance, a 2-page policy memo, a class presentation and a final capstone project on a topic of the student’s choosing.

National Security Simulation - Great Power Competition, Non-State Actors & Human Rights
PUBPOL 590-01 (1/2 credit course; open to undergraduate and graduate students)
Professor David Schanzer and David Gartenstein-Ross, terrorism scholar and CEO of Valens Global
Students will participate in a seven-week national security simulation where they will have an assigned role as a state or non-state actor and work with teams to develop policy responses to a security crisis that changes and develops over time. This simulation will involve great power competition between the United States and China, as both powers pressure the other through non-state actor proxies. Participants will need to gain an understanding of the facts through a complex information environment that is polluted with misinformation that allows actors to engage in manipulation and deception. Students should have two prior courses relating to foreign policy, national security, or international relations, or relevant job experience in the field.

Technology Policy for the New Administration: Antirust, Speech and Other Emerging Issues
SCISOC 613S
Professor Matt Perault
A seminar that will explore the technology policy agenda for the administration that will begin in January 2021. The course will examine how the new administration should consider policy design for technology, and will evaluate the potential impact of various policy proposals in consideration. Topics will include antitrust policy, harmful content, and free expression. Additional topics may include privacy, cybersecurity, law enforcement and national security, and artificial intelligence. The focus of the course may shift based on current events.

Repression and State Violence
POLSCI 652S
Professor Livia Schubiger
This course engages with research on state-sanctioned violence against individuals and groups. Topics covered include the relationship between repression, state violence, and political order; the perceived (il)legitimacy of different types of state violence; logics and effects of state-sanctioned violence against different segments of civilian populations in times of war and peace; patterns of human rights violations around the globe; repression in democratic and autocratic regimes; mass killings; disappearances; police violence; mass incarceration; the war on drugs; the implications of new information and communication technologies for repressive practices and surveillance.

Political Economy of Terrorism
POLSCI 658S
Professor David Siegel
Seminar in the formal, quantitative study of subnational terrorism. Addresses historical terror examples, aggregate and individual determinants of terrorism, mobilization and terror networks, methods of terror and counter-terror and their consequences, organization of and competition between terror groups. Focuses on unsolved problems and opportunities for research. One course / 3 units.

Civil Wars
POLSCI 659S
Professor Livia Schubiger
In-depth examination of internal armed conflict. Exploration of micro and macro level approaches to causes of civil wars; types of civil wars; ethnicity and conflict; warfare; repertoires and dynamics of violence in conflict; armed group organizations and their tactics; relationship between armed groups and the state; duration and termination of internal conflicts; consequences of conflict and processes of transitional justice after conflict termination. Overview of both classical and more recent works on these topics.

Theory and Practice of International Security
POLSCI 668S

Professor Rachel Myrick 
Analysis and criticism of the recent theoretical, empirical, statistical, and case study literature on international security. This course examines promising areas of current and future political science research in security studies. Topics include: dynamics of international conflict; alternatives to the use of force; and domestic politics of international security. Aimed at graduate students but open to undergraduates.

Contemporary Issues in National Security
PUBPOL 890
Professor Tom Taylor
This course is required for a Master in Public Policy national security concentration, but many who take the course have no national security background and just want to round out their knowledge. Beginning with a review of the national security landscape, threats, and institutions, your class will consider the major public policy issues concerning civilian-military relationships, including the impact of retired flag officers’ weighing in on partisan political issues and serving in senior political positions. The second half addresses management challenges that include the impact of the sequester and the “military-industrial complex” on budget decisions, the implementation of the decision to end restrictions on women in combat and transgender persons, and concerns about civilian contractors performing security-related duties. Finally, the course examines the military’s role in domestic activities (such as border control) and the role of states in homeland security (such as identity checks and restrictions related to immigration).

Religion Restrictions Violence
Undergrad: RELIGION-JEWISHST-AMES 301D / POLSCI-ETHICS 303D / PUBPOL 313D
Grad: RELIGION 889D / HISREL 889
Professors Abdullah Antepli, Ellen Davis, and Laura Lieber
Contrary to learned predictions in the middle of the twentieth century, religion has in the last fifty years emerged as a major social-political force around the globe. Religious extremism in various forms is a significant factor in exclusion, disenfranchisement and violence, including state-sponsored acts, as well as those planned by individuals and resistance groups. At the same time, religion is beginning to be recognized widely by governments and non-governmental organizations as a critical factor in strategic modes of peacemaking and positive social change. This course looks at both kinds of religious expression within Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, as phenomena that are never isolated from other social forces. We will pay particular attention to the two intersecting themes of gender and Israel-Palestine, consider how these themes highlight core values and points of tension within the three religions and also call for deeper modes of engagement, social and spiritual, in North America and around the globe.

Presidents & Their National Security Councils from Truman to Trump
Dr. Seth Center, Senior Fellow and Director of the Brzezinski Institute’s Project on History and Strategy, CSIS
This course examines the design, functioning, and evolution of the National Security Council, the coordination body established in the 1947 National Security Act that is the primary day-to-day extension of the President as national security policymaker. The course will look at both how Presidents made the NSC system work for them as well as how Presidents were frustrated by how the system did not always do what they wanted in response to changing international and domestic conditions. The instructor served on the NSC staff as a Historian in the Obama Administration and as the Director for National Security Strategy and History in the Trump Administration. The class is designed for advanced undergraduates and graduate students focused on national security policy.

SPRING COURSES

Listed in numerical order. Courses may not be offered each spring semester.

Globalization and Public Policy
PUBPOL 212 / POLSCI 358
Professor Bruce Jentleson
How the various aspects of globalization affect, and are affected by public policy at the international, national and local levels. Development of an analytic framework for thinking about globalization and its core concepts, major institutions and political dynamics; survey of a range of major policy areas affected by globalization; focus on a policy area of particular interest.

Introduction to Terrorism
POLSCI 232
Professor David Siegel
This course focuses on the nature of subnational terrorist organizations and government responses to them. It aims to provide the tools necessary to become educated consumers of news in a post-9/11 world, absent the typical polemics, through the careful analysis of different aspects of terrorism: its historical, social, cultural, economic, political, and religious context; the determinants of terrorism at the individual and state level; the organizational and financial structure of terrorist groups; the available weapons and tactics of subnational terrorist organizations; mobilization and recruitment within terror networks; and methods of counterterrorism. We will also briefly discuss different methods employed in the academic study of terrorism.

Nuclear Weapons
POLSCI 233
Professor Kyle Beardsley
Are nuclear weapons a source of security or insecurity? How do they figure into the foreign policy of the United States? How do they figure into the foreign policy of other nuclear states? Non-nuclear states? This course will use readings, lectures and class discussion to consider the role that nuclear weapons have played, currently play and will play in international politics. Much of the material will provide students with a rich foundation for understanding the history of nuclear proliferation, the evolution of U.S. nuclear strategy, theories of international politics, the international non-proliferation institutional infrastructure, and the particular details of the nuclear programs in places such as Iran, North Korea, Israel, India and Pakistan. Such knowledge will help students better engage the world around them, and it will serve as a resource from which students can draw in formulating their own perspectives on the issues and in better understanding international politics writ large.

The United States Intelligence Enterprise
POLSCI 254S/PUBPOL 296S
Professor Andrew Vail
This course is intended for sophomore and junior undergraduate students who possess an interest in the US Intelligence Apparatus and generally in the intelligence profession. During the semester, we will learn about the intelligence function associated with US National Security. Specifically, we will investigate how our national security decision-makers (Congress and the Executive branch) have designed and employed the US intelligence system as a key component of national power. While this is coded as a lecture course, students will be placed into teams and will conduct multiple active learning sessions during the semester. Case studies and in-class simulations are designed to complement the readings and lecture. In developing a broader understanding of the US intelligence system—its organizations and processes—students will discover how the insatiable appetite for accurate and timely intelligence support has driven the creation of a complicated and confusing, yet effective, intelligence architecture. This class will not make anyone an intelligence professional; nor will it reveal anything other than unclassified publicly available information. The goal is to offer an objective look at the intelligence apparatus that tirelessly works to protect the United States.

9/11 & Its Aftermath: How Bin Laden Impacted America & the World
PUBPOL 290/590
Professor David Schanzer 

This course will be offered simultaneously at the 290 level for undergraduates and the 590 level for graduate students and advanced undergraduates.
The course will examine, with the perspective of two decades, the impact of the 9/11 attacks and the response to these attack on America and the world. We will first study the historical, political, and sociological forces that gave rise al Qaeda and its ideology. With this foundation in mind, the bulk of the course will chart and assess the response to the attacks by the United States and its allies, including military actions (such as wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,  targeted killings via drones, and the counter-ISIS campaign), U.S. foreign policy, especially with respect to the Arab Uprisings, intelligence collection (both abroad and against citizens), law enforcement policy, and homeland security. The course will address thematic issues such as the impact of the attacks on American history, politics, foreign policy, culture and national cohesion.  It will also consider global themes such as the effect 9/11 had on Muslim communities around the globe, international relations, international law, the role of the United States in the world, and human rights.

Contemporary Issues for the IC
PUBPOL 290S

Instructor: Susan Gordon
This course examines the discipline and role of intelligence in national security and how current challenges portend its future. It is divided into three parts: the context in which modern American intelligence services perform their missions, the impact of the practice of intelligence collection and analysis, and the challenges that a changing world will place on the field. During each class, we will discuss a case, with guest speakers, (ranging from Cuban missile crisis, to Iraq WMD, to Russian interference in the 2016 election) to tease out the various issues involved in the practice of intelligence. There are no prerequisites for the course other than a general understanding of international relations and politics.

Public Policy as Values Conflict
PUBPOL 302D
Professor Simon Miles
In this section of the required ethics core course for Public Policy majors, we will focus on the ethics in international affairs and beyond America’s borders. Is it wrong to torture suspected terrorists, or to kill them via drone strikes? How much right do citizens have to transparency from their governments, and how should this be balanced against questions of national security? Should the United States intervene to stop atrocities like the Rwandan genocide? This course explores the ethical dilemmas inherent in the process of making foreign policy, and also draws on readings in political philosophy to equip students with the intellectual tools to make informed choices.

Public Policy Choice as Value Conflict
PUBPOL 302D.002
Professor Abdullah Antepli

The readings and class discussions will be posing questions about the ethical and moral dilemmas of personal and public life.  How do conscience, character, and varieties of moral reasoning can help us in facing deception, corruption, war, or injustice in our current societies?  How can irony, imagination, faith and history illuminate individual commitments and collective moral choices?  How can values-based arguments help in understanding, supporting, or opposing large-scale social changes?  How can a society function harmoniously with competing and contradicting answers to these questions?
This class will be an ethical, moral and intellectual inquiries and interrogations of these fundamental questions and their intersections with public policy issues. The class will cover a broad spectrum of pressing contemporary policy topics and issues through the ethical and moral dilemmas associated with them.

Public Policy as Values Conflict
PUBPOL 302D.003
Professor Jennifer Siegel
In this section of the required ethics core course for Public Policy majors, we will examine how and why studying ethics and history are intrinsically linked to any effort to address pressing collective action challenges of our times.  This course will explore the ethical dilemmas inherent in the process of making foreign and security policy in the domestic and international realms.  We will utilize works of history, films, original documents, and other sources to prompt our interrogation of historical examples and contemporary issues.  There is also a required discussion section each week that will be led by students.  These sections will provide a chance to go into more depth on the issues raised in class, as well as to discuss how the past is implicated in the present.

Statecraft and Strategy | AGS CORE COURSE
PUBPOL 320 / POLSCI 328 / HST 322
Professor Simon Miles
How do states reconcile the limited resources they have at their disposal with the virtually boundless range of things they want to do in the world? How can policy-makers use power — be it cultural, diplomatic, economic, military, or otherwise — to achieve their goals effectively and efficiently? How might leaders begin to make sense of a dynamic and seemingly infinitely complex world and identify priorities, opportunities, and threats? The answer to these questions is one of the most elusive concepts in public policy: strategy, the reconciling of large ends with limited means. In this introductory lecture course, students will be introduced to the concept of strategy as it has been practiced by examining key concepts and texts in the field as well as historical cases of its successful (and unsuccessful) employment. It will introduce students to the politics, economics and other drivers of international affairs, and will be a semester-long exercise in applying the lessons of history to contemporary public-policy challenges. These insights from the past are relevant not only to students envisioning careers in foreign policy, but also to those whose interests lie in activism, business, politics, and other fields.

US Policy in the Middle East
POLSCI 352S
Professor Abdeslam Maghraoui
Middle East is one of the most strategic and challenging areas in the world for U.S. foreign policy makers. The region’s vast energy resources, volatile regional system, and political instability impose complex trade-offs and difficult options. This course explores the challenge of balancing US immediate interests with a long-term strategic vision. While the U.S. remains the main external powerbroker in the Middle East, regional and foreign powers are vying to extend their influence. We will analyze the complexity and interconnectedness of key challenges facing the U.S. such as Iran’s nuclear program, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the threat of terrorism. We will approach these challenges critically, grounding them in the region’s modern state system, international relations theory, and U.S. interests and political constraints.

Political Violence, Repression, and Organized Crime
POLSCI 364
Professor Livia Schubiger
This course introduces students to a research agenda on intra-state armed conflict, repression, and organized crime. The primary focus lies on how political and criminal armed groups interact with state agents and with civilian populations; how they recruit and maintain control over their members; how and why their internal institutions and their strategies of violence vary; and what the consequences of these patterns are. The course also explores the role of the state, particularly when it comes to the effects of violent repression, mass incarceration, and the war on drugs.

American Foreign Policy
POLSCI 365
Professor Peter Feaver

The objective of this course is to help students become informed observers of (and perhaps participants in) American foreign policy. The course is divided into four sections: (1) the broad traditions that shape foreign policy decisions generally; (2) how domestic institutions and societal forces influence the process by which foreign policy decisions are made in the United States; (3) the tools that American leaders use to pursue their interests in the foreign policy arena; (4) special foreign policy challenges facing the United States today.  Weekly discussion sections apply the relevant theories learned during lectures to case studies of specific foreign policy decisions that proved pivotal in the evolution of American Foreign Policy.  This course is designed as the follow-on to PS 160 Intro to International Relations, but a well-prepared student could take it without having taken PS 160 first.

The Politics of Pandemics in Democracies and Autocracies
POLSCI 490S

Professor Abdeslam Maghraoui
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the public health and economies of countries across the world with significant degrees of variation.  While China and other Asian countries responded swiftly and effectively to the virus, the pandemic is lingering in the United States and Western Europe.  This seminar focuses on how the nature of a political system might affect responses to public health challenges.  We will study what is specific about autocratic or democratic forms of government that makes them more or less prepared to deal with public health challenges.  Beyond the nature of the political systems, the seminar will consider the issues of policy formulation/implementation and state capacity to explain variations.  The seminar is divided into two parts.  During the first six weeks, we will study comparatively the various institutional settings that condition responses to COVID-19.  During the last six weeks of the course  students will develop the different components of a compelling research proposal on a question of their choosing that relates to the seminar’s topics.

AGS Through Film Course | AGS CORE COURSE
POLSCI 497
Professor Peter Feaver & General Martin Dempsey
The course examines how American Grand Strategy has been depicted, commented upon, and/or interpreted through popular film since the end of World War II. American grand strategy refers to the way leaders conceive of America’s role in the world, interpret the challenges and opportunities confronting that role at any given point in time, and craft a way for the country to respond.  While there is substantial continuity in grand strategy over time, it does evolve in interesting ways as circumstances and politics change.

This change and continuity can be traced through popular film, which depict a certain understanding of America’s global role, usually in a time-bound way.  This course will explore these themes with an examination of key films from the end of World War II through to present day.  We focus on popular film because they, more than other films that might be more critically acclaimed, were likely to capture the public imagination and thereby reflect and possibly influence public opinion and policymakers.

Put another way: grand strategy is a “theory of the case,” a set of propositions about who America is and ought to be globally, and what threats and opportunities America must address in order to fulfill that role, that collectively give a higher logic to what otherwise looks like a foreign policy consisting of a string of ad hoc cost-benefit calculations.  These films, in turn, are different “theories of the theory of the case,” each pegged to a different time period.  Often the films focus on only some of the aspects of grand strategy – for instance, the ineptitude of policymakers or the unintended consequences that follow the use of force – and so part of the class discussion will be to explore what the film left out, what it could have said but didn’t.  We will ask whether there are patterns that reappear across the films or across similar time periods.

This course is designed to be a capstone of capstones – a follow-on course for students who have already completed the American Grand Strategy capstone seminar, or who by virtue of their other extensive coursework are prepared to engage the course material at a suitably advanced level.  Students enrolled in this course are expected to participate actively in the other activities of the American Grand Strategy Program.

Contemporary American Foreign Policy
PUBPOL 502S / POLSCI 670S
Professor Bruce Jentleson
Focus on challenges and opportunities for American foreign policy in this global age including the impact of interests, ideals and values. Draws on both the scholarly literature and policy analyses. Addresses big picture questions about America's role in the world as well as major current foreign policy issues that raise considerations of power, security, prosperity and ethics. Open to undergraduates with permission of instructor and priority to Public Policy Studies and Political Science majors, and to graduate students. (permission of instructor required)

Counterterrorism Law & Policy
PUBPOL 504 / POLSCI 543
Professor David Schanzer
This course examines in-depth a series of counterterrorism issues that involve both legal and policy considerations such as preemptive use of force, targeted killings, detention of enemy combatants, treatment of citizens who join terrorist organizations, use of military commissions, interrogation techniques, use of profiling for counterterrorism, communications surveillance, data surveillance, encryption, and many others. Students will complete a major research project that will be presented at the end of the course. As such, the course may be especially useful for juniors interested in pursuing an honors thesis in this field. Sophomores may enroll with the permission of the instructor and a waiver from their academic dean.

Politics of U.S. Foreign Policy
PUBPOL 506 / POLSCI 547
Professor Bruce Jentleson
This course focuses on the politics of U.S. foreign policy: who influences, how, with what impact, and why. We focus principally along five dimensions of the politics: President-Congress, intra-executive branch decision-making, interest groups, the media, and public opinion. The scope is both historical and contemporary, the approach combines theory and policy analysis. While we touch on a number of issue areas, focus is principally on six: going to war/use of military force, the tension between national security and civil liberties, trade policy, immigration, race, and climate change.

Intelligence for National Security
PUBPOL 507
Professor Tim Nichols
This seminar is intended for upper level undergraduates, graduate students, and professional Fellows who possess an interest in US National Security and intelligence-focused issues. During the semester, we will learn about the intelligence function associated with US National Security. Specifically, we will investigate how our national security decision-makers (Congress and the Executive branch) have designed and employed the US intelligence apparatus as a key component of national power. Case studies, guest lecturers, and in-class simulations are designed to complement the readings and seminar discussions. In developing a broader understanding of the US intelligence system—its organizations and processes—students will discover how the insatiable appetite for accurate and timely intelligence support has driven the creation of a complicated and confusing, yet effective, intelligence architecture. This class won’t make you an intelligence professional; nor will it reveal anything other than publicly available information. The goal is to offer an objective look at the intelligence apparatus that tirelessly works to protect the United States.

International Law of Armed Conflict
LAW 546
Professor Charles Dunlap
This seminar will examine the international law of armed conflict, and it focuses on the jus in bello context. Students will consider the rationale for the key concepts of the law of armed conflict, and examine their practical application in various contexts. Case studies (contemporary and historical) will be examined in conjunction with the topics covered. This historical context for the law of armed conflict agreements, the status of conflicts, combatants, and civilians, targeting, rules of engagement, war crimes, are all included among the topics the class will address. Students will be encouraged to relate legal and interdisciplinary sources in order to better understand the multi-faceted interaction between law and war. There is no examination for this course but a 30-page paper (constituting 60% of the grade) is required on a legal topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructor. Students desiring to use the course paper to fulfill Substantial Research and Writing Project (SRWP) and possibly other writing requirements must obtain instructor. The remainder of the grade (40%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation. Students should be aware that this course may include discussion and visual depictions (still and video) of armed conflict and other acts of extreme violence. The textbook for this course is Gary D. Solis's "The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War" (2nd ed., 2016). This course will only be offered in the spring.

Privacy, Technology & National Security
PUBPOL 550
Professor David Schanzer
This course will explore the impact of new and developing technologies on personal privacy and individual liberty. It will begin with an in-depth examination of conceptions of privacy and the extent to which privacy rights are protected by the Constitution, statutory law, and policy. This discussion will be juxtaposed against the post- World War II development of the national security state and again we will look at both historical development and the legal framework that both authorizes but also restrains governmental power in this area. With this background in mind, the remainder of the course will consider how the government's use of new technological capability for security purposes are impacting personal privacy and liberty. Topics to be explore include, but are not limited to, government collection of personal data, communications surveillance (including, of course - a close look at the Edward Snowden revelations and the NSA), use of GPS to track location, video surveillance and use of unmanned vehicles (drones), and collection of biometric, genetic, and other personal physiological information. The ethics and legality of governmental use of these technologies will be compared to how private sector entities like Google and Facebook use similar techniques for commercial purposes. We will conclude by broadening our lens to consider the global implications of these issues in terms of their impact on the Internet, the role of the United States in international relations, the new realities of cyber-crime and cyber-warfare, and artificial intelligence.

The Global Cold War
PUBPOL 590 / POLSCI 690 / History 590
Professor Simon  Miles
This course delves into the history of one period of both profound global change and significant impact on our contemporary world: the Cold War. Weekly seminar sessions will explore the Cold War as a global phenomenon, spanning the world to consider how and why the East-West rivalry became an international conflict, and with what consequences. This course also seeks to bring history into the conversation over contemporary policy-making. It is, therefore, an extended exercise in applied history; students should think about the topics we will discuss both historically and in their present context. Course assignments will reflect this focus.

Modern Intelligence History from John Buchan to James Bond
PUBPOL 590
Professor Jennifer Siegel

This course will examine the role of diplomatic and military intelligence in the making of policy.  The function of intelligence gathering, appraisal and assessment has often been overlooked in the exploration of policy making, especially in times of peace.  It will be our undertaking to examine some of the most significant international events of the twentieth century in light of the contribution, or lack thereof, of both covert and overt intelligence.  After an introduction to the field and the origins of the modern intelligence services, we will analyze the histories of several of the major 20th century intelligence organizations.  We will then discuss the influence of the assessment and utilization of intelligence on the perceptions of policy makers and public opinion in both war and peacetime.  The course will not be concerned with the intricacies of tradecraft, but with the interplay between intelligence and international policy making in the origins and encounters of the First and Second World Wars and the establishment of the intelligence rivalries and relationships which played their part in the Cold War.  In our final week, we will consider the correlation between the growth of intelligence communities, their legitimization and delegitimization, and the popular image of spying represented contemporaneously in fiction and film.  This course is open to upper division undergraduates as well as graduate students from any major or discipline relevant to these issues.

Political Economy of Terrorism
POLSCI 658S
Professor David Siegel
Seminar in the formal, quantitative study of subnational terrorism. Addresses historical terror examples, aggregate and individual determinants of terrorism, mobilization and terror networks, methods of terror and counter-terror and their consequences, organization of and competition between terror groups. Focuses on unsolved problems and opportunities for research. One course / 3 units.

Civil Wars
POLSCI 659S
Professor Livia Schubiger
In-depth examination of internal armed conflict. Exploration of micro and macro level approaches to causes of civil wars; types of civil wars; ethnicity and conflict; warfare; repertoires and dynamics of violence in conflict; armed group organizations and their tactics; relationship between armed groups and the state; duration and termination of internal conflicts; consequences of conflict and processes of transitional justice after conflict termination. Overview of both classical and more recent works on these topics.

Civil-Military Relations | AGS CORE COURSE
PUBPOL 667 / POLSCI 667
Professor Peter Feaver

The study of civil-military relations addresses a simple puzzle: can we have a military strong enough to protect civilians yet not so strong as to ignore or subvert civilian direction?  After all, a military that is strong enough to defend the state from its external enemies might also be strong enough to seize power so as to rule for itself. But if you keep your military small and weak so it will not pose a threat to society, will it be strong enough to carry out the national security policy?  How do you ride the tiger of military capability without being swallowed by it?

Does this problem become more acute as civilian society loses its connection with the military?  How distinctive must the culture and institutional setting of the military be from its host society to fulfill its special mission?  Does the military’s focus on the management of violence require military culture to stand apart from or even contrary to the civilian society from which it springs?  Or should the military, particularly in a democracy, adapt to the culture of civilian society, reflecting civilian values and norms of behavior? What is the gap between military and civilian culture and what is its significance for public policy in America?

How is the military instrument of national power integrated with other instruments in America’s national security strategy and what are the challenges for civil-military relations that result from trying to integrate military with diplomatic, economic, psychological, and other elements of national power?  What are the implications for civil-military relations of making strategy in public?  Finally, how can we develop long-term strategies against both state and sub-state actors within a system that is biased toward near-term decisionmaking and near-term calculations?

This course will look at the classic and recent literature addressing all of these questions and give students a chance to do original research on some aspect of the topic.  The course will focus primarily on the U.S. case, but the theoretical frameworks covered have broad application to other advanced democracies and, indeed, have spawned a large literature considering civil-military relations in developing countries.

This course has a special structure owing to the extraordinary opportunity of having General Martin Dempsey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as co-teacher.  As senior military advisor to the President and to Congress, General Dempsey has been “the dash in civil-dash-military relations” and so brings a distinctive and exceptionally timely perspective to our discussions.  He will be able to join us for about half of the sessions, but to accommodate his schedule, we need to add extra sessions.

Public Policy and Veterans: A Social Policy Seminar—The Case of Returning Military Veterans
PUBPOL 830
Adjunct Professor Paul A. Dillon
NOTE: Course qualifies as a “Social Policy” concentration course for Sanford MPPs.
The plight of our military personnel, who have left the service after returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, is “front page” news in the media every day. Often, stories of veterans suffering from post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, debilitating physical injuries, poverty, homelessness, and unemployment lead the daily newscasts, and are the featured stories on media web sites. Less understood, and often left unreported, are the many positive skills and valuable experiences that veterans bring to both the workplace and the communities in which they live. Even less understood or publicized are the policy responses and myriad programs that governments, NGO’s, labor organizations, and the private sector have implemented to improve the lives of veterans returning not just from the most recent conflicts, but from all wars, including the Gulf War and the Vietnam War. This course covers the social policy issues of veterans. The public policy responses and programs that have been implemented to meet the needs of those who have served our country will be analyzed in light of how these initiatives have influenced programs that apply to the general population, as well as veterans. Students will have the opportunity to engage with subject matter experts on mental heath and substance abuse issues, the problem of homelessness and housing, community and NGO support services, legal issues relating to veterans and veterans’ courts that are similar to civilian drug diversion courts, entrepreneurship, and employment programs. Through readings and individual research, it is expected that students will be fully prepared for each class session to have a robust discussion with the subject matter experts on these vital topics.

Contemporary Issues in National Security
PUBPOL 890
Professor Tom Taylor
This course is required for a Master in Public Policy national security concentration, but many who take the course have no national security background and just want to round out their knowledge. Beginning with a review of the national security landscape, threats, and institutions, your class will consider the major public policy issues concerning civilian-military relationships, including the impact of retired flag officers’ weighing in on partisan political issues and serving in senior political positions. The second half addresses management challenges that include the impact of the sequester and the “military-industrial complex” on budget decisions, the implementation of the decision to end restrictions on women in combat and transgender persons, and concerns about civilian contractors performing security-related duties. Finally, the course examines the military’s role in domestic activities (such as border control) and the role of states in homeland security (such as identity checks and restrictions related to immigration).

Presidents & Their National Security Councils from Truman to Trump
Dr. Seth Center, Senior Fellow and Director of the Brzezinski Institute’s Project on History and Strategy, CSIS
This course examines the design, functioning, and evolution of the National Security Council, the coordination body established in the 1947 National Security Act that is the primary day-to-day extension of the President as national security policymaker. The course will look at both how Presidents made the NSC system work for them as well as how Presidents were frustrated by how the system did not always do what they wanted in response to changing international and domestic conditions. The instructor served on the NSC staff as a Historian in the Obama Administration and as the Director for National Security Strategy and History in the Trump Administration. The class is designed for advanced undergraduates and graduate students focused on national security policy.