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INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE

SISU-306 Adv Int'l Studies Research Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3) Topics vary by section. 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: fall, spring, and summer. Grading: A-F only. Prerequisite: SISU-206.

SISU-306-001
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Qualitative Analysis
Qualitative Analysis (3) This course guides students in the application of a broad range of qualitative research methodologies and methods. Specifically, the course emphasizes three significant styles of research in the social sciences: neopositivist small-n comparative case study; interpretive ethnography; and post-structural discourse analysis. Throughout the semester students are led through the research process to the completion of an independent original research project. There is special emphasis on the fields of international relations and comparative politics.
SISU-306-002
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Large Sample Data Analysis
Large Sample Data Analysis (3) This applied research course focuses on the Large N quantitative analysis approach, specifically, developing statistical models to explain and predict real world socio-political phenomena. Students acquire skills needed to solve common analytical quests and questions, including the acquisition, management, manipulation, estimation and interpretation of findings from large sample data, using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Students also learn common techniques for displaying and communicating findings for professional and lay audiences, culminating in the development of an original research project. The course requires the use of SPSS (a statistical software program), although no particular expertise with math, statistical theory, or statistical software is required.
SISU-306-001
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Olson Scholars Seminar
Olson Scholars Seminar (3) 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 social science and ethics. Students are expected to work more and more independently with their mentor, while class time is generally devoted to more theoretical questions. With the help of texts from antiquity through to the present, students discuss questions such as what kinds of things can we have knowledge about, how do we know what we know, what motivates/drives us as researchers and why this matters, what ethical assumptions are contained in our alternative approaches to research, and whether these can be transcended. Consideration of these broad questions helps students think more deeply and critically about their own role as a young researcher on the global stage. Throughout the semester there is also class time set aside for consultations, writing workshops, and student presentations of research.
SISU-306-002
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Game Theory in Int'l Relations
Game Theory: Analyzing Choice and Strategy in International Relations (3) This course explores formal models of strategic interaction among actors in international relations--how citizens, politicians, non-governmental organizations, firms, interest groups, international organizations, and states fight for their interests. It uses (mathematical) game theoretic analysis and equilibrium solution concepts to predict how actors behave, and applies these techniques to the study of 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-306-003
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Popular Culture As Data & Site
Popular Culture as Data and Site: Novels, Films, and TV Shows in International Studies Research (3) If we live our lives not just as servants of our instincts and our interests, but also as deliberative beings striving to make meaningful sense of the world, it stands to reason that our stories and other narrative representations ought to be somehow important to our political and social lives, including our lives as globally-engaged reflective practitioners. This course takes a serious look at the pop-cultural artifacts that make up the broad ecology of our media-saturated lives, and asks what can be learned about international affairs by examining such artifacts. Students examine a variety of ways that the analysis of pop-cultural artifacts can figure into both causal and interpretive explanations of international affairs, and also consider ways of communicating knowledge that fall outside of the traditional research paper. They think about what it means to treat human beings as situated, creative persons engaged in the collective shaping of a world of our making, a world prominently featuring the encounter with difference across boundaries.
SISU-306-004
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Lang, Symbols, Pract & Ident
Language, Symbols, Practices, and Identities in International Studies Research (3) 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 the evolution of discourse analysis in the social sciences, students develop a research question, literature review, and research design for their own independent 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 and are required to use this software as part of their final research project. 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-306-005
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Lang, Symbols, Pract & Ident
Language, Symbols, Practices, and Identities in International Studies Research (3) 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 the evolution of discourse analysis in the social sciences, students develop a research question, literature review, and research design for their own independent 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 and are required to use this software as part of their final research project. 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-306-006
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Large Sample Data Analysis
Large Sample Data Analysis (3) This applied research course focuses on the Large N quantitative analysis approach, specifically, developing statistical models to explain and predict real world socio-political phenomena. Students acquire skills needed to solve common analytical quests and questions, including the acquisition, management, manipulation, estimation and interpretation of findings from large sample data, using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Students also learn common techniques for displaying and communicating findings for professional and lay audiences, culminating in the development of an original research project. The course requires the use of SPSS (a statistical software program), although no particular expertise with math, statistical theory, or statistical software is required.
SISU-306-007
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Res Meth in Viol/Insec Spaces
Research Methodologies in Violent and Insecure Spaces (3) Whether in the midst of war or extreme peacetime violence, deep insecurity transforms how individuals, communities, and entire societies function. Understanding and analyzing the causes and consequences of life lived under such conditions can be extremely difficult. For researchers, conducting on-the-ground fieldwork in such spaces presents a unique set of conundrums. Everyday chaos and insecurity restrict researcher access and undermine official data. The inherent instability of truth increases exponentially, and the power of fearful rumors and suspicion to corrode trust with gatekeepers, informants and even friends is a constant threat. Drawing from scholarly, journalistic, and literary sources, this course explores the processes, dynamics, and consequences of life lived in the shadow of extreme violence. Students study and analyze research and writing methods researchers and writers have used in efforts to capture and portray the processes and dynamics that give rise to violent conditions and how people survive day to day in the shadow of severe insecurity.
SISU-306-008
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Bottom-Up Politics Models/Meth
Bottom-Up Politics: Models and Methods (3) Great powers, durable institutions, and consequential social changes often emerge out of local events, small ideas, and interpersonal interactions. This course examines bottom-up processes and micro-foundations of macro politics by covering theoretical models including rational choice theory, microsociology, social network analysis, organizational decision making, and social movement theories. It also discusses how to apply these bottom-up models to national and international politics, broadly defined. In addition, the course equips students with corresponding research methods and project management skills.
SISU-306-009
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Qualitative Analysis
Qualitative Analysis (3) This course guides students in the application of a broad range of qualitative research methodologies and methods. Specifically, this course emphasizes three significant styles of research in the social sciences: neopositivist small-n comparative case study; interpretive ethnography; and post-structural discourse analysis. Throughout the semester students are led through the research process to the completion of an independent original research project. There is special emphasis on the fields of international relations and comparative politics.
SISU-306-010
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Jay Z & Historical Biography
Jay Z and The Practice of Historical Biography (3) This course looks at biography as a form of historical writing, using Jay Z as a point of departure. The course examines how biography shapes our historical understanding as well as the people and institutions of the past. Questions explored include how does biography reveal the historical circumstances of the subject's life to give readers a broader understanding of the historical context of that life and the era in which the subject lived; how effectively can contemporary readers explore the past through the prism of one person's life; and what we seek to learn about a person in a biography, and why. Students produce an independent paper on an individual of their own choosing who is significant to the field of international studies research.
SISU-306-011
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Ethnography/DC Diaspora Popul
Ethnography and Washington, DC Diaspora Populations (3) 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-306-012
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Qual Meth for Resrch the City
Qualitative Methods for Researching the City (3) This course introduces qualitative methods of urban research. Students study the social, political, cultural, and built urban environment using ethnographic, historical, and spatial methods of analysis. The course places particular emphasis on the relationship between theory, methods, and empirics in research design and implementation.
SISU-306-013
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Climate Policy Analysis
Climate Policy Analysis (3) This course introduces students to the use of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) to analyze climate policies. IAMs integrate models of the physical environment with socio-economic models to study the effects of climate change and climate policies. These models are implemented in various kinds of computer software, ranging from complex spreadsheets to sophisticated standalone programs. Students learn to set up these computer-based models to evaluate particular policies and to critically interpret the quantitative data that the models produce. Students complete and present an independent scholarly research project, which should serve as the basis for future research, conference presentations, or publication.
SISU-306-015
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Field Research Methods
Field Research Methods (3) 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-306-016
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Mod World Order in Hist Contxt
Modern World Order in Historical Context (3) 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-306-018
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Big Data Analytics/Text Mining
Big Data Analytics and Text Mining (3) 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. 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-306-019
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Hist Research in Int'l Studies
Historical Research in International Studies (3) This course introduces modes of historical research in international studies that emphasize the use of primary sources. There are multiple such modes, from the longstanding traditions of diplomatic history and historical case studies, to contemporary research agendas in international history and history of international thought. Students are introduced to opportunities, challenges, and choices involved in accessing and interpreting a variety of primary sources, from sources available online, to those available at the library, to archival materials. The course highlights methodological pluralism in the way primary sources are used, examining examples of historical research employing both interpretive and neo-positivist methodologies. As students learn about the varieties of primary sources, of traditions and agendas in historical research, and of methodologies, they develop, situate in the literature, and undertake a methodologically self-reflective research project of their own. Students produce an independent piece of historical research that could be a basis for future research, conference presentations, and even potential publication.
SISU-306-020
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Field Rsrch Mthd in Int'l St
Field Research Methods in International Studies (3) This course introduces students to field research methods commonly used in research on economic and political development. The course explores a wide range of field research methods employed by development studies scholars, including ethnography, participant observation, focus groups, interviews, and surveys and uses these methods to examine important research questions related to the meanings and impacts of development in domestic and international contexts. Students are able to draw on the wide range of possible subject populations in the Washington, DC metro area, including local residents, U.S. government employees, think tank researchers, NGO staff, and journalists, in conducting their research.
SISU-306-021
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Sociocultural Field Research
Instructional Method: Hybrid. Sociocultural Field Research on Deeper Drivers of International Crises (3) International crises and conflicts that persist in varied sociocultural and geographic environments often seem resistant to peacebuilding and stabilization initiatives. They also present a significant challenge to conventional theories. This course provides students with the framework and methods to investigate twenty-first century conflicts and crises in the field, and to identify and analyze the underlying complex drivers of instability. Drawing from lessons of wars and instability over the past decade in regions around the world, the course focuses on a set of complex sociocultural factors and their dynamic interactions that are critical to understanding the deeper motivations, interest and intent of key conflict players. Using field-simulation workshops, secondary and primary source analysis, and guided independent research projects, students develop some core field investigation skills relevant both to international crisis research and to the design of more effective international policy.
SISU-306-022
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Case Study Approach
The Case Study Approach (3) At its core, the case study approach compares things in order to identify the causes of key phenomena. This simple goal underlies the use of case studies both in scholarship and in the world of practitioners, where conclusions drawn from case studies are referred to as "lessons learned" or "best practices," and generalize about the best way that these can best be achieved under the heading of "knowledge management." This course familiarizes students both with a range of different strategies for using case studies within a primarily positivist and qualitative framework, and with techniques for designing good knowledge management strategies to bring the use of case studies into the workplace. The course concludes in a substantial original research paper and presentation, building on students' previous work.
SISU-306-024
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Researching Islam
Researching Islam: Research Methodology in a Time of Globalized Terror (3) After the events on 9/11 and the beginning of the global war on terror, the need to understand the Muslim world became more urgent than ever. Many questions emerged among the academic community, including what the Islamic standpoint is on violence and its justification; what Islamic traditions are most promising for support of peacemaking; what are the most important issues and forces behind contemporary Islamic activism; and how Muslims are engaging with the globalized world. Many understood, especially academics and policymakers, the need to understand Muslim societies beyond the caricatures and superficial level too often employed in the media. While the understanding of Muslim societies is needed, it is first necessary to understand how to conduct in-depth research in the field among these societies to be able to answer more substantive research questions. In this course students examine Muslim culture and customs and the best approaches towards fieldwork methodology among Muslim societies, looking at interview methods, use of surveys, and discourse analysis. Students study the methods of conducting ethnography in Muslim communities, the various challenges of doing so and how to interpret the findings, and use these skills to develop and conduct a research project of their own.
SISU-306-026
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Case Study Methods
Case Study Methods (3) This course surveys the various techniques associated with small-n neo-positivist research in international studies. These include process tracing, congruence methods, elite interviewing, historiography, and more. Ultimately, students are trained to design and execute case study research. Thus, the course is practice-based, with fewer lectures and more guided activities. Students complete their own original case study research on a topic of their choosing.
SISU-306-027
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Field Res Uncrtnty/Pol of Fear
Field Research, Uncertainty, and the Politics of Fear (3) One of the distinguishing features of modern human existence is a deep and abiding sense of uncertainty. "Living precariously" has become a byword for everyday life around the globe. Meanwhile, on a global level, the politics of fear have gained renewed traction as societies around the world struggle with the consequences of socio-economic globalization, social and political conflict, and climate change. The problem of uncertainty and the politics of fear also pose unique conundrums for social science research, including how to distinguish between truth and fiction when prejudice, fear, or outright violence distort efforts to explain certain social phenomena; and how to use rumors, sensationalist reporting, and deeply biased information to understand social relationships and processes of power. This course engages a variety of interpretivist research and writing methods--including ethnography, participant observation, life histories, and discourse analysis, among others--to guide students through the problems and possibilities of conducting research in and on spaces, communities, and discourses of fear and uncertainty. Students complete an independent research project on a topic of their choosing, including an original research paper and presentation, to serve as the basis for future research, conference presentations, and even potential publication.
SISU-306-028
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Field Rsrch Mthd in Int'l St
Field Research Methods in International Studies (3) This course introduces students to field research methods commonly used in research on economic and political development. The course explores a wide range of field research methods employed by development studies scholars, including ethnography, participant observation, focus groups, interviews, and surveys and uses these methods to examine important research questions related to the meanings and impacts of development in domestic and international contexts. Students are able to draw on the wide range of possible subject populations in the Washington, DC metro area, including local residents, U.S. government employees, think tank researchers, NGO staff, and journalists, in conducting their research.
SISU-306-002
Term: Summer 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Case Study Research
Instructional Method: Online. Case Study Research (3) After examining the foundations of case study research in the social sciences, students develop a research question, literature review, and research design for their own research projects As students research and refine their individual projects, they also examine examples of case study research from various substantive and geographical areas in international studies research. Students produce a substantial 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-306-003
Term: Summer 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Rsrch in Field of Intl Studies
Instructional Method: Online. Research in Global Field of International Studies (3) International studies is a broad interdisciplinary field, encompassing a variety of topics, approaches, and perspectives. Doing research that contributes to the field requires a clear sense of the connections between research questions, methodologies, and issues in the philosophy of social science. The course begins with a broad overview of the "science question" and how it has been addressed both philosophically and practically, before turning to a set of exercises through which students craft their research projects to ensure internal consistency and coherence between broad questions of methodology and specific operational issues. Restriction: Global Scholars.

SISU-306 Adv Int'l Studies Research Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3) Topics vary by section. 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: fall, spring, and summer. Repeatable for credit with different topic. Grading: A-F only. Prerequisite: SISU-206.

SISU-306-001
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Qualitative Analysis
Qualitative Analysis (3) This course guides students in the application of a broad range of qualitative research methodologies and methods. Specifically, the course emphasizes three significant styles of research in the social sciences: neopositivist small-n comparative case study; interpretive ethnography; and post-structural discourse analysis. Throughout the semester students are led through the research process to the completion of an independent original research project. There is special emphasis on the fields of international relations and comparative politics.
SISU-306-002
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Large Sample Data Analysis
Large Sample Data Analysis (3) This applied research course focuses on the Large N quantitative analysis approach, specifically, developing statistical models to explain and predict real world socio-political phenomena. Students acquire skills needed to solve common analytical quests and questions, including the acquisition, management, manipulation, estimation and interpretation of findings from large sample data, using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Students also learn common techniques for displaying and communicating findings for professional and lay audiences, culminating in the development of an original research project. The course requires the use of SPSS (a statistical software program), although no particular expertise with math, statistical theory, or statistical software is required.
SISU-306-001
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Olson Scholars Seminar
Olson Scholars Seminar (3) 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 social science and ethics. Students are expected to work more and more independently with their mentor, while class time is generally devoted to more theoretical questions. With the help of texts from antiquity through to the present, students discuss questions such as what kinds of things can we have knowledge about, how do we know what we know, what motivates/drives us as researchers and why this matters, what ethical assumptions are contained in our alternative approaches to research, and whether these can be transcended. Consideration of these broad questions helps students think more deeply and critically about their own role as a young researcher on the global stage. Throughout the semester there is also class time set aside for consultations, writing workshops, and student presentations of research.
SISU-306-002
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Game Theory in Int'l Relations
Game Theory: Analyzing Choice and Strategy in International Relations (3) This course explores formal models of strategic interaction among actors in international relations--how citizens, politicians, non-governmental organizations, firms, interest groups, international organizations, and states fight for their interests. It uses (mathematical) game theoretic analysis and equilibrium solution concepts to predict how actors behave, and applies these techniques to the study of 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-306-003
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Popular Culture As Data & Site
Popular Culture as Data and Site: Novels, Films, and TV Shows in International Studies Research (3) If we live our lives not just as servants of our instincts and our interests, but also as deliberative beings striving to make meaningful sense of the world, it stands to reason that our stories and other narrative representations ought to be somehow important to our political and social lives, including our lives as globally-engaged reflective practitioners. This course takes a serious look at the pop-cultural artifacts that make up the broad ecology of our media-saturated lives, and asks what can be learned about international affairs by examining such artifacts. Students examine a variety of ways that the analysis of pop-cultural artifacts can figure into both causal and interpretive explanations of international affairs, and also consider ways of communicating knowledge that fall outside of the traditional research paper. They think about what it means to treat human beings as situated, creative persons engaged in the collective shaping of a world of our making, a world prominently featuring the encounter with difference across boundaries.
SISU-306-004
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Lang, Symbols, Pract & Ident
Language, Symbols, Practices, and Identities in International Studies Research (3) 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 the evolution of discourse analysis in the social sciences, students develop a research question, literature review, and research design for their own independent 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 and are required to use this software as part of their final research project. 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-306-005
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Lang, Symbols, Pract & Ident
Language, Symbols, Practices, and Identities in International Studies Research (3) 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 the evolution of discourse analysis in the social sciences, students develop a research question, literature review, and research design for their own independent 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 and are required to use this software as part of their final research project. 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-306-006
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Large Sample Data Analysis
Large Sample Data Analysis (3) This applied research course focuses on the Large N quantitative analysis approach, specifically, developing statistical models to explain and predict real world socio-political phenomena. Students acquire skills needed to solve common analytical quests and questions, including the acquisition, management, manipulation, estimation and interpretation of findings from large sample data, using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Students also learn common techniques for displaying and communicating findings for professional and lay audiences, culminating in the development of an original research project. The course requires the use of SPSS (a statistical software program), although no particular expertise with math, statistical theory, or statistical software is required.
SISU-306-007
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Res Meth in Viol/Insec Spaces
Research Methodologies in Violent and Insecure Spaces (3) Whether in the midst of war or extreme peacetime violence, deep insecurity transforms how individuals, communities, and entire societies function. Understanding and analyzing the causes and consequences of life lived under such conditions can be extremely difficult. For researchers, conducting on-the-ground fieldwork in such spaces presents a unique set of conundrums. Everyday chaos and insecurity restrict researcher access and undermine official data. The inherent instability of truth increases exponentially, and the power of fearful rumors and suspicion to corrode trust with gatekeepers, informants and even friends is a constant threat. Drawing from scholarly, journalistic, and literary sources, this course explores the processes, dynamics, and consequences of life lived in the shadow of extreme violence. Students study and analyze research and writing methods researchers and writers have used in efforts to capture and portray the processes and dynamics that give rise to violent conditions and how people survive day to day in the shadow of severe insecurity.
SISU-306-008
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Bottom-Up Politics Models/Meth
Bottom-Up Politics: Models and Methods (3) Great powers, durable institutions, and consequential social changes often emerge out of local events, small ideas, and interpersonal interactions. This course examines bottom-up processes and micro-foundations of macro politics by covering theoretical models including rational choice theory, microsociology, social network analysis, organizational decision making, and social movement theories. It also discusses how to apply these bottom-up models to national and international politics, broadly defined. In addition, the course equips students with corresponding research methods and project management skills.
SISU-306-009
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Qualitative Analysis
Qualitative Analysis (3) This course guides students in the application of a broad range of qualitative research methodologies and methods. Specifically, this course emphasizes three significant styles of research in the social sciences: neopositivist small-n comparative case study; interpretive ethnography; and post-structural discourse analysis. Throughout the semester students are led through the research process to the completion of an independent original research project. There is special emphasis on the fields of international relations and comparative politics.
SISU-306-010
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Jay Z & Historical Biography
Jay Z and The Practice of Historical Biography (3) This course looks at biography as a form of historical writing, using Jay Z as a point of departure. The course examines how biography shapes our historical understanding as well as the people and institutions of the past. Questions explored include how does biography reveal the historical circumstances of the subject's life to give readers a broader understanding of the historical context of that life and the era in which the subject lived; how effectively can contemporary readers explore the past through the prism of one person's life; and what we seek to learn about a person in a biography, and why. Students produce an independent paper on an individual of their own choosing who is significant to the field of international studies research.
SISU-306-011
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Ethnography/DC Diaspora Popul
Ethnography and Washington, DC Diaspora Populations (3) 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-306-012
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Qual Meth for Resrch the City
Qualitative Methods for Researching the City (3) This course introduces qualitative methods of urban research. Students study the social, political, cultural, and built urban environment using ethnographic, historical, and spatial methods of analysis. The course places particular emphasis on the relationship between theory, methods, and empirics in research design and implementation.
SISU-306-013
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Climate Policy Analysis
Climate Policy Analysis (3) This course introduces students to the use of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) to analyze climate policies. IAMs integrate models of the physical environment with socio-economic models to study the effects of climate change and climate policies. These models are implemented in various kinds of computer software, ranging from complex spreadsheets to sophisticated standalone programs. Students learn to set up these computer-based models to evaluate particular policies and to critically interpret the quantitative data that the models produce. Students complete and present an independent scholarly research project, which should serve as the basis for future research, conference presentations, or publication.
SISU-306-015
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Field Research Methods
Field Research Methods (3) 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-306-016
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Mod World Order in Hist Contxt
Modern World Order in Historical Context (3) 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-306-018
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Big Data Analytics/Text Mining
Big Data Analytics and Text Mining (3) 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. 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-306-019
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Hist Research in Int'l Studies
Historical Research in International Studies (3) This course introduces modes of historical research in international studies that emphasize the use of primary sources. There are multiple such modes, from the longstanding traditions of diplomatic history and historical case studies, to contemporary research agendas in international history and history of international thought. Students are introduced to opportunities, challenges, and choices involved in accessing and interpreting a variety of primary sources, from sources available online, to those available at the library, to archival materials. The course highlights methodological pluralism in the way primary sources are used, examining examples of historical research employing both interpretive and neo-positivist methodologies. As students learn about the varieties of primary sources, of traditions and agendas in historical research, and of methodologies, they develop, situate in the literature, and undertake a methodologically self-reflective research project of their own. Students produce an independent piece of historical research that could be a basis for future research, conference presentations, and even potential publication.
SISU-306-020
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Field Rsrch Mthd in Int'l St
Field Research Methods in International Studies (3) This course introduces students to field research methods commonly used in research on economic and political development. The course explores a wide range of field research methods employed by development studies scholars, including ethnography, participant observation, focus groups, interviews, and surveys and uses these methods to examine important research questions related to the meanings and impacts of development in domestic and international contexts. Students are able to draw on the wide range of possible subject populations in the Washington, DC metro area, including local residents, U.S. government employees, think tank researchers, NGO staff, and journalists, in conducting their research.
SISU-306-021
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Sociocultural Field Research
Instructional Method: Hybrid. Sociocultural Field Research on Deeper Drivers of International Crises (3) International crises and conflicts that persist in varied sociocultural and geographic environments often seem resistant to peacebuilding and stabilization initiatives. They also present a significant challenge to conventional theories. This course provides students with the framework and methods to investigate twenty-first century conflicts and crises in the field, and to identify and analyze the underlying complex drivers of instability. Drawing from lessons of wars and instability over the past decade in regions around the world, the course focuses on a set of complex sociocultural factors and their dynamic interactions that are critical to understanding the deeper motivations, interest and intent of key conflict players. Using field-simulation workshops, secondary and primary source analysis, and guided independent research projects, students develop some core field investigation skills relevant both to international crisis research and to the design of more effective international policy.
SISU-306-022
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Case Study Approach
The Case Study Approach (3) At its core, the case study approach compares things in order to identify the causes of key phenomena. This simple goal underlies the use of case studies both in scholarship and in the world of practitioners, where conclusions drawn from case studies are referred to as "lessons learned" or "best practices," and generalize about the best way that these can best be achieved under the heading of "knowledge management." This course familiarizes students both with a range of different strategies for using case studies within a primarily positivist and qualitative framework, and with techniques for designing good knowledge management strategies to bring the use of case studies into the workplace. The course concludes in a substantial original research paper and presentation, building on students' previous work.
SISU-306-024
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Researching Islam
Researching Islam: Research Methodology in a Time of Globalized Terror (3) After the events on 9/11 and the beginning of the global war on terror, the need to understand the Muslim world became more urgent than ever. Many questions emerged among the academic community, including what the Islamic standpoint is on violence and its justification; what Islamic traditions are most promising for support of peacemaking; what are the most important issues and forces behind contemporary Islamic activism; and how Muslims are engaging with the globalized world. Many understood, especially academics and policymakers, the need to understand Muslim societies beyond the caricatures and superficial level too often employed in the media. While the understanding of Muslim societies is needed, it is first necessary to understand how to conduct in-depth research in the field among these societies to be able to answer more substantive research questions. In this course students examine Muslim culture and customs and the best approaches towards fieldwork methodology among Muslim societies, looking at interview methods, use of surveys, and discourse analysis. Students study the methods of conducting ethnography in Muslim communities, the various challenges of doing so and how to interpret the findings, and use these skills to develop and conduct a research project of their own.
SISU-306-026
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Case Study Methods
Case Study Methods (3) This course surveys the various techniques associated with small-n neo-positivist research in international studies. These include process tracing, congruence methods, elite interviewing, historiography, and more. Ultimately, students are trained to design and execute case study research. Thus, the course is practice-based, with fewer lectures and more guided activities. Students complete their own original case study research on a topic of their choosing.
SISU-306-027
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Field Res Uncrtnty/Pol of Fear
Field Research, Uncertainty, and the Politics of Fear (3) One of the distinguishing features of modern human existence is a deep and abiding sense of uncertainty. "Living precariously" has become a byword for everyday life around the globe. Meanwhile, on a global level, the politics of fear have gained renewed traction as societies around the world struggle with the consequences of socio-economic globalization, social and political conflict, and climate change. The problem of uncertainty and the politics of fear also pose unique conundrums for social science research, including how to distinguish between truth and fiction when prejudice, fear, or outright violence distort efforts to explain certain social phenomena; and how to use rumors, sensationalist reporting, and deeply biased information to understand social relationships and processes of power. This course engages a variety of interpretivist research and writing methods--including ethnography, participant observation, life histories, and discourse analysis, among others--to guide students through the problems and possibilities of conducting research in and on spaces, communities, and discourses of fear and uncertainty. Students complete an independent research project on a topic of their choosing, including an original research paper and presentation, to serve as the basis for future research, conference presentations, and even potential publication.
SISU-306-028
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Field Rsrch Mthd in Int'l St
Field Research Methods in International Studies (3) This course introduces students to field research methods commonly used in research on economic and political development. The course explores a wide range of field research methods employed by development studies scholars, including ethnography, participant observation, focus groups, interviews, and surveys and uses these methods to examine important research questions related to the meanings and impacts of development in domestic and international contexts. Students are able to draw on the wide range of possible subject populations in the Washington, DC metro area, including local residents, U.S. government employees, think tank researchers, NGO staff, and journalists, in conducting their research.
SISU-306-002
Term: Summer 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Case Study Research
Instructional Method: Online. Case Study Research (3) After examining the foundations of case study research in the social sciences, students develop a research question, literature review, and research design for their own research projects As students research and refine their individual projects, they also examine examples of case study research from various substantive and geographical areas in international studies research. Students produce a substantial 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-306-003
Term: Summer 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Rsrch in Field of Intl Studies
Instructional Method: Online. Research in Global Field of International Studies (3) International studies is a broad interdisciplinary field, encompassing a variety of topics, approaches, and perspectives. Doing research that contributes to the field requires a clear sense of the connections between research questions, methodologies, and issues in the philosophy of social science. The course begins with a broad overview of the "science question" and how it has been addressed both philosophically and practically, before turning to a set of exercises through which students craft their research projects to ensure internal consistency and coherence between broad questions of methodology and specific operational issues. Restriction: Global Scholars.