Teaching

International Politics

This course is an introduction to the major theories and issues in international politics. The purpose of the class is to give students a broad familiarity with the field of international relations, and to help them develop the skills necessary to think critically about international politics. The course is divided into four parts: 1) Concepts and Theories of International Relations; 2) War and Security; 3) The Global Economy; and 4) Emerging Issues.

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International Security

This course introduces students to some of the major theories and issues in the field of security studies. The goal of the course is to give students a set of analytic tools to help them think systematically about issues of war and peace, power, alliances, and the role of force in international politics. The course will teach students 1) to identify the theoretical disputes that lie at the heart of most policy debates over international security issues; 2) to evaluate these theoretical claims using evidence drawn from history; and 3) to use these insights to develop informed positions on the critical military policy questions of the present and future.

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War and Peace in the Modern Era

This course is designed to give students a broad exposure to many dimensions of the phenomena of war and peace. We will examine the roles of military and civilian leaders in formulating and implementing foreign policy. We will investigate how war affects civil society and how the characteristics of states' domestic political arrangements affect the ways they fight. We will study how warfare has changed in the past few decades. Finally, we will use first-person accounts, novels, and movies to develop insight into what war is like for those - both combatant and non-combatant - that experience war on a daily basis. This is not a class on current events or U.S. national security policy. We will touch on current events but they will not serve as the focal point for the course.

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Nuclear Weapons: Physical and Strategic Effects

This course examines the effects of nuclear weapons on the conduct of international politics. It begins by examining the physical properties of nuclear weapons, and then uses evidence from the Cold War and post-Cold War period to address the following questions: Why did the United States and Soviet Union build such large nuclear arsenals? What did they plan to do with these weapons? How did nuclear weapons fit into U.S. and Soviet military strategy at various phases of the Cold War? And what effects might nuclear weapons have on international politics in the coming decades? The course uses evidence from the Cold War to evaluate theories of nuclear deterrence and the so-called "nuclear peace." The second half of the course focuses on current issues relating to nuclear weapons: the spread of nuclear weapons in the developing world, the dangers of nuclear terrorism, the potential (and challenges) for effective missile defenses, and the changing strategic nuclear balance of power. The class does not require that students have any previous technical or military background.

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Military Statecraft in International Politics

The seminar has two main goals. First, it will acquaint students with the capabilities and limitations of modern conventional military forces. Second, it will teach students the basic tools of military analysis: i.e., to estimate the likely costs, risks, and outcomes of military operations, and to use that information to shed light on important foreign policy questions. This course will use theoretical works and historical cases to familiarize students with modern military forces and prepare them to conduct a detailed military analysis that bears on an important current foreign policy question. Each student will conduct a military analysis - which is a major research project which will take the entire term. No prior familiarity with military forces is needed to excel in this class. In fact, students with no knowledge about military forces prior to the class have done very well in this class over the years.

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