Office of the Registrar

Course Descriptions

To view course descriptions for all courses in a single subject:

  1. Select the subject from the drop-down list
  2. Click Get Descriptions

Searching course descriptions by keyword is currently unavailable.

Course: -

INTERNATIONAL SERVICE

SIS-676
Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Course Level: Graduate

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Rotating topics, usually with a comparative or regional focus, include political economy of Africa; theories of nationalism; etc.

SIS-676
002
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Nuclear North Korea

This seminar examines the two nuclear crises in the Korean Peninsula, one that was averted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the United States signing the Geneva Accord in 1994, and the other ongoing since November 2002. The course compares different strategic visions to deal with the nuclear proliferation and investigates the missed opportunities and new challenges underlying the current multilateral engagement with North Korea through the Six-Party Talks. Particular emphasis is placed on the roots of the crises inherited from the unsettled colonial legacy in the Korean peninsula as the pivotal geopolitical area in modern history where great powers collided. The nuclear crises are also used as rich test grounds for theories of comparative politics, strategic studies, and international politics.

SIS-676
006
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

U.S.-China Relations

This course begins with an overview of U.S.-China relations from historical and theoretical perspectives, providing the background necessary to comprehend the domestic foundations of foreign policy. It then examines politics and foreign policies of China and the United States, and interactions between the two powers. Includes security, economic, and diplomatic relations as well as their impact on international relations in Asia-Pacific including Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. The course also introduces a variety of perspectives as analytical tools for research, and analyzes significant controversies as a way of participating in the field's theoretical and policy debates.

SIS-676
008
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Political Economy of Africa

This course provides an in-depth overview and analysis of both the economic and political factors which have helped to condition Africa's position within the global economic system. Political independence by the various African states launched into the global economic system a group of the world's poorest, weakest, and most artificial states. How have such states managed to survive politically and to shape their economies and to what extent is their survival now threatened by the global economic meltdown? Are the African countries competing successfully within the world's economic system? The course comprehensively treats the interplay between politics and economics as African states attempt to effectively manage their affairs within an era of globalization and also identifies patterns of change, examines constraints, and give careful attention to some of the processes that influence economic policy outcomes.

SIS-676
009
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Contemporary Southeast Asia: Government,Development,Security

This course analyzes the political systems, political economies, and international relations of Southeast Asia, one of the world's most diverse and strategically important regions. The course examines governance, economic development, security (both traditional and non-traditional/human security), and foreign policy issues with reference to Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam within a comparative perspective. The overarching themes of domestic governance, development, and security are analyzed with reference to both regional developments and also external relations with major players such as the United States, China, Japan, and India. The course also examines rapidly-evolving political, economic, and security cooperation as reflected in the dynamic regional integration led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

SIS-676
012
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Democracy and Development in South Asia

This course examines contemporary trends in democracy and development in the region of South Asia. The course focuses on India, but also covers Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. It investigates a number of related themes, including democratization, local governance and decentralization, urbanization and urban poverty, elections and political parties, ethnic and religious violence, insurgency, and corruption.

SIS-676
013
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
FALL 2014

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Race and Ethnicity in the Americas

From the birth of the multitude of nations in the Americas to the present, race and ethnicity have been critical arenas of social struggle. Today, across the Americas there are vigorous movements by black and indigenous communities for equality under the law, human rights, democratic inclusion, and social and economic development. Increasingly, these efforts are trans-continental and even globally linked. This course examines the historic context of these movements, policies, and state actions around these concerns, and their contemporary manifestations.

SIS-676
001
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

International Relations of Africa

This course provides an in-depth overview of the historical and contemporary interstate relations in Africa and situates Africa within world affairs. Political independence by the various African states launched into international politics a group of the world's poorest, weakest, and most artificial states. How have such states managed to survive and to what extent is their survival now threatened? This course comprehensively treats the interplay between domestic and international politics while also analyzing the efforts by African states to manage their external relations amid seismic shifts in the internal, regional, and global environments. The class also identifies patterns of change, examines constraints, and gives careful attention to some of the processes that influence policy outcomes.

SIS-676
007
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa

This course examines the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The course introduces students to the complex sets of political and economic factors that shape state and society in the region. Topics covered include economic history and development; different models of the state; the role of culture and identity in politics; and state-society dynamics. Themes covered include the legacy of colonialism, rentier states and military autocracies, religious political and economic institutions, informal economies, and grassroots mobilization in autocratic states.

SIS-676
008
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Southeast Asia, United States, and Regional Powers

This course examines the roles and impact of the United States, Japan and China, and other regional powers on the transformation of security and economic frameworks in East and Southeast Asia from the end of the Second World War to the present. The security analysis treats developments during the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and issues in the post-Cold War era, particularly those pertaining to militant Islamic movements and non-traditional/human security challenges such as transnational labor flows, trafficking in persons, environmental degradation and natural disasters. The economic dimension highlights the impact of globalization on the region, and the emergence and evolution of regional economic cooperation. A major theme is the manner in which growing Chinese political influence and trade initiatives in recent years have impacted on long-standing American security and commercial interests, as well as on Japanese economic interests in the region.

SIS-676
013
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Comparative Social Movements

This course examines a broad range of civil rights, revolutionary, and pro-democracy movements in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and the United States. Students develop a comprehensive theory about social movements in order to classify them and develop predictive models about their emergence, shape, and outcome.

SIS-676
015
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Japan: Society, Politics and Foreign Policy

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of Japan's historical background and its basic foreign policy issues. It examines significant strategic and economic debates regarding Japan's role in the international community with emphasis on Japan's relations with its Asian neighbors and the United States.

SIS-676
010
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Korean Politics and Foreign Policy

A study of the rise of contemporary Korea and its structure of politics and international relations. The course examines the evolution of the two different systems of South and North Korea that play an important role in Korean politics, economic development, and security arrangements.

SIS-676
012
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Race and Ethnicity in Europe

From the birth of the multitude of nations in Europe to the present, race and ethnicity have been critical arenas of social struggle and debate. Not a single nation in Europe has escaped the contradictions and divisions that racial and ethnic inequality have generated although there have been a very wide number of strategies employed by both states and marginalized racial and ethnic groups to address these concerns. This course examines the theoretical, historic and contemporary context of these movements, government policies, and state actions around these concerns.

SIS-676
006
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Government and Development in Latin America

Over the last decades, most developing countries have undergone major reforms that devolved administrative responsibilities, fiscal resources, and political authority from the central governments to the states and municipalities. As a result, political, institutional, societal, and economic dynamics have increasingly become independent from nationally-led processes. The goal of this course is to study and analyze these dynamics and processes, which to a great extent shape the daily lives of citizen living beyond the country capitals. Some of the topics addressed in the seminar are: advancement and setbacks of subnational democracy, the prospects of social policy design and implementation at subnational levels of government, the possibilities of crafting autonomous subnational judicial institutions, the politics of subnational service delivery, among others. While the primary focus of the course is on Latin America, other regions of the world are studied.

SIS-676
005
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Narcotrafficking in Mexico

This course provides an in-depth look at the role of narcotrafficking in Mexico. How one understand narcotrafficking depends on where one sits in Mexican society. For some Mexicans, the narcotics trade is a business opportunity. For others, it is a way of life. Still others view it as a scourge and menace. However, almost everyone agrees that it is embedded in the fabric of the country. This course explores the political, economic, and cultural ramifications of Mexican narcotrafficking, and uses it to explore themes including democratization, development, security, migration, and inequality.

SIS-676
016
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Asia and International Development

Over the past six decades, a majority of Asian countries have experienced a high degree of success in developing their national economies, enabling the region to acquire the flashy labels of "miracle" and "the Asian era." Connected to this economic progress, Asia now hosts a growing number of countries that provide economic aid and technical assistance to other developing countries. This course focuses on the foreign aid policies and practices of these Asian donors, including their effectiveness in terms of both advancing national foreign policy objectives and development in the recipient countries. By identifying major differences and possible similarities in approaches to foreign assistance among these Asian donor countries, and vis-a-vis traditional Western donors and other emerging donors, the course explores whether there is a distinctive Asian way toward external aid, and if so, the level of impact the growing number of Asian donors are likely to have on current international development regimes and governance. The course further considers the broader relevance of Asia's success and challenges in national economic development for developing countries in other regions, as well as the implications of Asian donors' expanding foreign aid activities for the politics and intra-regional relations of Asia.

SIS-676
003
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Graduate

Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3)

Oil, Islam and Politics in the Gulf

The states of the Arab Gulf are currently undergoing profound transformations. This course studies these transformative global economic forces and domestic and international political pressures in order to assess both the potential for and limitations on political and economic reform in the Arab Gulf states. The class proceeds by first gaining a strong understanding of the dynamics of governance in Gulf monarchies by setting out four key themes: the political economy of oil rent, the tribal patriarchal social base, Islam as a political force, and the security imperative. The course examines in detail the countries and issues of the Gulf, with the goal of understanding how these general dynamics play out in specific cases due to different national histories, social compositions, economic endowments, and strategic choices. How the U.S. intervention in Iraq, the showdown with Iran, and the Arab citizen revolts are impacting the political and economic trajectories of Gulf states are also considered.