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NSLC | Credit Options

NSLC Program—International Diplomacy

International Diplomacy and Cross-Cultural Negotiation (1 or 2 credits)

Course Description:   Diplomacy, often called the second oldest profession, has been a significant form of interaction between sovereign entities since antiquity. In our time of tremendous social, political, and economic change, diplomacy persists as a prominent feature of international relations. It has been alternatively reviled as facilitating war and misperception, too antiquated to mitigate global issues, yet also praised as the only useful process for peace and effective communication. In this course, we will explore how scholars and practitioners have viewed diplomacy, offering arguments about its function, practice, limits, and response to change. The course itself consists of three lectures, four seminars, and an online component. These related parts serve to communicate content and develop skills. In particular, the flexible seminar setting provides a unique opportunity to work closely together, employ different learning methods, and conduct a variety of activities. These include student presentations, group work, small group discussion, research, and simulation.

Course Outline

Professor: Michael Stanaitis is a PhD candidate and adjunct instructor at the School of International Service at American University. His research focuses on international political economy, particularly the Great Recession and its implications for theories of trade openness. Stanaitis taught international affairs at the high school level for the three years as a faculty member at Emerson Preparatory School, where he served as the Social Studies Department Chair and faculty advisor to Emerson's Model United Nations team. His teaching specialties include international relations, comparative politics, economics, international human rights, and research methods. He currently teaches quantitative methods for the online master's degree program at SIS. Stanaitis received his BA from Miami University of Ohio, where he studied international relations and philosophy. He received his MA from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky, where he specialized in international development and wrote a thesis on the political economy of development NGOs. Stanaitis is an avid cyclist and has participated in several charity rides and cycling events as a member of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. When he is not working or on his bike, he enjoys hiking, golfing, cooking, and traveling.

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