INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE

SISU-306
Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Application of research methods in international studies to an original research project. Rotating topics focus on a specific research methodology or a specific subject area. Methodologies covered include survey research methods, comparative case study analysis, game theory, discourse analysis, and ethnographic research methods. Areas include foreign policy, civil war and intervention, and nationalism. Usually offered every term. May be taken A-F only. Prerequisite: SISU-206.

SISU-306
001
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Social Science Theory

Specifically designed for Olson Scholars, in addition to providing each student with support and feedback for an original research project, this course provides an opportunity to reflect critically on theoretical questions about the relationship between knowledge and ethics. The course incorporates readings that take up the development of the human or "social" sciences from a broad historical perspective. With the help of texts from antiquity through the present, students discuss questions including why knowledge has traditionally been seen as dangerous; what is the relationship between scientific knowledge and ethics, values, and religion; is science by definition monolithic and imperialist; what assumptions are contained in alternative approaches to research and can they be transcended. Consideration of these broad philosophical questions helps students to think more deeply and critically about their roles as researchers on the global stage. Prerequisite: Olson Scholars and permission of SIS Undergraduate Advising Office.

SISU-306
008
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Research on U.S.Foreign Policy

Students investigate the politics behind U.S. foreign policy. They learn how to use case study methods to test hypotheses informed by existing theories of foreign policymaking.

SISU-306
002
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Discourse, Hegemony, Ideology, Nationalism

This course introduces the concepts of discourse, ideology, hegemony, and their relationship to the society at large, with a specific focus on nationalism. The course starts with a theoretical exploration of these concepts and their place in larger scholarly debates, and then moves on to building up skills to critically engage ideological texts in an in-depth manner using critical discourse analysis (CDA). This is a methods course with intensive reading of primary sources, writing, and analysis. Throughout the course, students are not only exposed to essential readings in critical language studies, but also learn the basics of qualitative research design, culminating in a research paper.

SISU-306
005
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Game Theory: Analyzing Choice & Strategy in Int'l Relations

This course explores formal models of strategic interaction among actors in international relations--how citizens, politicians, interest groups, international organizations, and states fight for their interests. It uses game theoretic analysis and equilibrium solution concepts to predict how actors behave, and applies these techniques to the study of policy bargaining, cooperation in international regimes, counterterrorism, trade relations, compellence and deterrence, and war. Students develop and carry out a research project analyzing strategic interaction on an international topic of their choice.

SISU-306
006
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Game Theory: Analyzing Choice and Strategy in International Relations

This course explores formal models of strategic interaction among actors in international relations--how citizens, politicians, interest groups, international organizations, and states fight for their interests. It uses game theoretic analysis and equilibrium solution concepts to predict how actors behave, and applies these techniques to the study of policy bargaining, cooperation in international regimes, counterterrorism, trade relations, compellence and deterrence, and war. Students develop and carry out a research project analyzing strategic interaction on an international topic of their choosing.

SISU-306
013
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Conflict/Peace Microeconomic Modeling

This course teaches students about the fundamentals of conflict economics. Students learn models of productions possibilities, consumer choice, game theory, and bargaining models of conflict, among others, and learn to apply them to novel phenomena in the international system. The course culminates in a research assignment in which students employ the models learned in class.

SISU-306
011
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Language, Symbols, Practices & Identities in Int'l Studies

This course focuses on the theory and application of discourse analysis--the way in which our worlds are constructed and understood through language, symbols, practices, and identities, and the ways in which each of these elements structures politics and societies--in international studies research. After examining of the history and evolution of discourse analysis in the social sciences, students develop a research question, literature review, and research design for their research projects. As students research and refine their individual projects, the class also examines examples of discourse analysis drawn from diverse substantive and geographical areas in international studies research. Students also receive training in NVivo qualitative analysis software. Each student produces a full independent scholarly research project, including an original research paper and a presentation, that should serve as the basis for future research, conference presentations, and even potential publication.

SISU-306
012
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Making the Case on Global Energy

This course is devoted to a thorough application of the comparative case study method in the field of energy, environment, and security. In addition, it explores the intersections with broader theoretical issues, including the concept of power in international relations. The course places an emphasis on building the theoretical underpinnings of each case and the related methodological decisions taken by the researcher. In terms of the methods toolkit, the course is centered around process tracing, discourse analysis, content analysis, and the differences or complementarity between them.

SISU-306
009
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

International Courts

In 1989, when the Cold War ended, there were six permanent international courts. Today there are more than two dozen that have collectively issued over thirty-seven thousand binding legal rulings. To many, the rapid rise of international courts represents a broad trend toward the legalization of world politics. This course examines the emergence of international courts, the factors that shaped their formation, the politics of their design, and their impact on international society. These elements are examined in depth through a study of international criminal courts, including the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and the International Criminal Court. Although the readings and lectures emphasize international criminal courts, students have the opportunity to develop an independent research project on an international court of their choosing. Students consider the types of scholarship that characterize this vast literature, identify areas where further research is needed, develop a focused research question, and formulate an appropriate research design and methodology.

SISU-306
019
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

The Euro Crisis and the EU

The European debt crisis of 2010-2013 has profoundly challenged the European Union and its currency the euro. The euro area, moreover, must adopt new reforms in its institutional architecture in order to surmount problems that continue to plague its member states. This course is devoted to European integration and the causes, responses, and consequences of the euro crisis. Students conduct a research project related to this topic. Case studies ("small-n neo-positive" studies) and qualitative methods are emphasized in the course and are expected to be used in research papers.

SISU-306
007
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Commodity Chain Analysis

Commodity chains are composed of the social relationships, physical assets, governance structures, and technological processes involved in raw material extraction, processing or manufacturing, distribution and marketing of a particular commodity. This course engages with the theory and practice of commodity chain analysis. Analyzing where, by whom, how, and under what conditions a given commodity moves from initial conception to final sale helps to understand how the modern global economy works, and how its structures and processes lead to highly varied outcomes for different regions, populations, and environments.

SISU-306
014
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Commodity Chain Analysis

Commodity chains are composed of the social relationships, physical assets, governance structures, and technological processes involved in raw material extraction, processing or manufacturing, distribution and marketing of a particular commodity. This course engages with the theory and practice of commodity chain analysis. Analyzing where, by whom, how, and under what conditions a given commodity moves from initial conception to final sale helps to understand how the modern global economy works, and how its structures and processes lead to highly varied outcomes for different regions, populations, and environments.

SISU-306
010
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Ethnography and Washington, DC Diaspora Populations

This course introduces the use of ethnographic research methods to study questions of international relations related to diaspora populations including why and when members of diaspora populations send money "home," do diaspora populations contribute to conflict or peace in their home countries, how are nationalisms changed through the experience of living in the United States, and how inter-generational relations within diaspora populations affect reverse brain drain. Ethnography requires the researcher to understand cultural phenomena from the point of view of the subjects of the study by observing and participating in naturally occurring settings. Students select a research question related to a Washington, DC diaspora population, and then become participant-observers among that population to gather ethnographic data. The class discusses negotiating access, taking ethnographic field notes, ethical issues, data analysis, and write up. Students learn NVivo qualitative data analysis software. The final product is a substantial original research paper.

SISU-306
021
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Modern World Order in Historical Context

Global in scope and comparative in its research approach, this course provides students with the opportunity to use qualitative research methods in the social sciences, such as historiography, ethnography, case studies, counterfactuals, discourse analysis, and archival research. The course further acquaints students with the nature of political science as an intellectual enterprise that is soundly grounded in a broader historical context.

SISU-306
023
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Big Data Analytics and Text Mining

This course helps students understand the opportunities and challenges of "big data" analytics in international affairs research by introducing the tools and techniques used to analyze large-scale unstructured textual data. While the concept of big data is relative to each field, as much as 75 to 80 percent of available data is unstructured text, including email archives, websites, social media, blogs, speeches, annual reports, and articles. These sources can grow to thousands or hundreds of thousands of items, challenging the analyst using traditional forms of content analysis. Data of this size even challenges scholars using Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS). Text mining techniques are applicable for a wide range of social science research topics, such as identifying core themes in State Department speeches; analyzing sentiment in Twitter feeds; detecting emerging areas of concern in an email archive; and highlighting similarities and differences in national reports on international treaty commitments. The course includes some theoretical background, but focuses on learning the tools and techniques to find the proverbial needle in the international affairs big data haystack. Students develop an original text mining project and produce an original research paper.

SISU-306
025
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Field Research Methods

This course prepares students for independent field research. Students acquire methodological skills and data collection strategies that have broad application to both academic research and international program evaluation. The course covers a range of field methods, including ethnography, archival research, interviews, focus groups, surveys, and field experiments, as well as the theoretical, logistical, and ethical aspects of field research design.

SISU-306
026
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

The Practice of Ethnography in International Studies

This course is an in-depth exploration of ethnographic methodology and its significance to the field of international studies. Students are introduced to some of the key developments, debates, and scholarly works that have emerged from and informed the practice of ethnography. Students pay particular attention to the ethnographic turn in international affairs and what it means for their own research interests. At the same time, the course familiarizes students with each of the fundamental aspects of engaging in ethnographic inquiry and writing, and students use what they learn in the classroom to "enter the field" and pursue their research projects.

SISU-306
022
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Quantitative Analysis

This course equips students with the knowledge and skills to be an informed consumer and producer of statistics. It helps students interpret and critique quantitative analyses commonly found in international affairs journals, and enables them to conduct descriptive and multivariate analyses using statistical software (SPSS). Students produce a research paper based on original quantitative data analysis.

SISU-306
003
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Quantitative Methods

This course introduces students to quantitative approaches to international relations. It provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to both understand and employ statistical research used in the study of international affairs. As such, students learn to read and analyze quantitative research with an eye toward scrutinizing quantitative research designs and interpreting statistical evidence. Moreover, students become competent producers of research using introductory quantitative methods including both descriptive and inferential statistics. Students work with real data using Stata (a statistical software program) to manage, graph, display, and analyze different types of data. Among other assignments, students produce either a replication and extension of an existing research study or an original research project.

SISU-306
024
INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3)

Action-Research Strategies

Action-research is a key component of evidence-based public interest advocacy efforts. By targeting spotlights on "who gets what" and "who is doing what to whom," transparency can inform citizen engagement to hold powerful institutions accountable. This course addresses a wide range of strategies for using research to inform policy debates, drawing extensively on first-hand experience. Case studies include both quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as levels of analysis that range from the local to the global, with a primary focus on the Americas. Policy issues addressed include environmental justice, human rights, fair trade, development policy, natural resource management, voter participation, immigrant rights, U.S. foreign policy towards Central America, and open government.