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INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE

SISU-419 Senior Capstone: Int'l Studies Course Level: Undergraduate

Senior Capstone: International Studies (3) Topics vary by section. Rotating senior capstone topics focusing on international studies. Grading: A-F only. Prerequisite: SISU-306. Restriction: International Studies (BA) and at least 75 credit hours.

SISU-419-001
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Peace and Social Justice
Peace and Social Justice (3) This course offers a study of the methods, history, and practitioners of nonviolence and the efforts to create a justice-based society. The course familiarizes students with both the philosophy of pacifism and alternatives to violence, whether among nations or among individuals faced with violence in their daily lives. This course is discussion-based, with dissent welcomed.
SISU-419-002
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Ending Terrorism
Ending Terrorism (3) Terrorism as a phenomenon is ancient, dating at least to the first century BCE. But individual terrorist campaigns always end. This capstone seminar focuses on understanding the endings of terrorist campaigns so as to gain insight into how best to reduce the threat of terrorism. Digging into the long-standing international experience with terrorist groups, the class discusses questions such as whether drone strikes end terrorism; should we negotiate with terrorists; does using overwhelming military force end terrorist campaigns; how do terrorists innovate; does terrorism succeed in achieving its aims; and most important, how terrorist campaigns end.
SISU-419-003
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Evolutn of European Int'l Soc
The Evolution of European International Society (3) The modern worldwide system of sovereign states began as a European international society that spread across the world and eventually supplanted all alternatives. In this course students study the evolution and expansion of this system and the consequences it has had for world history and contemporary politics. The class studies what European politics looked like before sovereign states dominated, how sovereignty came into being, how European international society differed from and interacted with the international societies of other regions, and how it is evolving today.
SISU-419-004
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Inclusive Sustainable Dev:2030
Inclusive Sustainable Development: 2030 (3) This capstone seminar explores the background, strategies, and mechanisms for achieving the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. It reviews the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, as well as evaluating the successes and failures of its predecessor Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Students investigate a range of key issues related to the Agenda for Sustainable Development.
SISU-419-008
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: U.S.Foreign Pol toward E.Asia
U.S. Foreign Policy toward East Asia (3) By examining U.S. foreign policy toward East Asia, this seminar focuses on great power relations in the Asia-Pacific, namely the United States, China, and Japan. It familiarizes students with the basic settings and historical trends in the Asia-Pacific region, and then moves to other perspectives, such as economic strategy, social dynamics, international security, political culture, democratization, and foreign policy analyses, in a comparative fashion. The class then analyzes U.S.-China-Japan dynamics in the context of Asian-Pacific international relations, while also considering other factors, such as the Korean Peninsula, Russia, and Southeast Asia, as well as the issue of Taiwan. In addition to introducing a variety of perspectives, such as power transition theory as analytical tools, the course also analyzes significant controversies as a way of participating in the field's theoretical and policy debates Students create a research design, execute their chosen project in a research paper, and present their results and findings.
SISU-419-009
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide
Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide in Comparative Perspective (3) Designed as a comparative and interdisciplinary inquiry, this course looks at the ways historical context, political realities, and cultural components enable ethnic cleansing and genocide to happen. Cases studied include the Herero genocide, the Armenian genocide, the Rape of Nanking Massacre, the Holocaust, the Cambodian genocide, the Rwandan genocide, ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Sudan genocide.
SISU-419-011
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Detente: An Int'l History
Detente: An International History (3) Detente was a significant period within the Cold War, marked by a prolonged absence of outright hostility or military tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. After two decades of brinksmanship ending with the Cuban Missile Crisis, detente appeared to be a period of apparent peace. Successive summits, arms control agreements, and cultural exchanges created the impression that tension between the two superpowers had finally dissipated. Examining the meaning of detente in a more international context, however, reveals a pattern of continued competition. In this course students study the origins of detente and its evolution over time and in different international contexts and analyze the complex international relations of the detente period. The course defines detente and evaluates its policy implications, beginning by examining early efforts in the late 1960s, continuing through the successes of the Nixon administration and the challenges faced by Presidents Ford and Carter, and finishing with the advent of the "new Cold War" in the first years of Reagan's presidency. The course compares key events in the Cold War, exploring different manifestations of detente across geographic boundaries. The course promotes critical, analytical thinking about a significant period in Cold War history and encourages students to think in an international context to develop their own interpretation of the evolution and significance of detente.
SISU-419-012
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Jihadists and the State
Jihadists and the State (3) The Authorization to Use Military Force passed after 9/11 was the first ever directed at organizations and persons rather than nation-states. Since then, much of the literature about jihadists groups has focused on their non-state nature. Yet most aspects of U.S. efforts to degrade and defeat jihadist groups require working with partner nations. Moreover, comprehending and countering jihadist groups necessitates understanding their relationships with the countries from which they emanate and in which they dwell. The actions of a local state and a jihadist organization's relationship with it significantly influence that organization's evolution. Institutional arrangements coupled with political, cultural, social, and economic factors in a jihadist group's environment create opportunities and constraints. In turn, these local factors influence a jihadist organization's ideology, objectives, strategic approach, organizational structure, capabilities, decision-making and behavior. This course explores jihadist-state dynamics, specifically the effect on jihadist ideology, alliance formation, strategic planning, organization, and nascent attempts at state building. Students also assess how these dynamics specifically and local partners in general affect U.S. efforts to defeat, degrade, or contain jihadist groups throughout the world.
SISU-419-013
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Colonialism/Ident & Liberation
Colonialism, Identity and Liberation (3) This course looks at a wide variety of colonial experiences and the trajectory of anti-colonial resistance movements, examining the internal politics of anti-colonial movements, why some movements led to the founding of independent democracies, some created dictatorships, and others fought for equal rights within the imperial state. The course also looks at how anti-colonial resistance efforts shaped home politics in the imperial power. Students develop a research project on a particular colonial experience/movement of their choice.
SISU-419-001
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Peace and Social Justice
Peace and Social Justice (3) This course offers a study of the methods, history, and practitioners of nonviolence and the efforts to create a justice-based society. The course familiarizes students with both the philosophy of pacifism and alternatives to violence, whether among nations or among individuals faced with violence in their daily lives. This course is discussion-based, with dissent welcomed.
SISU-419-002
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Rebellious Africa
Rebellious Africa (3) This course explores how political institutions shape representation and resource distribution challenges facing Africa. In addition to considering oil income, ethnic diversity and authoritarian histories, the course interrogates the complex role of religion in contemporary democracies. Readings and guest speakers examine constitutions, political party formation and institutional design in cases such as Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia, and assess in detail whether Nigeria's violent Islamic insurgency is a symptom of institutional failure.
SISU-419-003
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Evolutn of European Int'l Soc
The Evolution of European International Society (3) The modern worldwide system of sovereign states began as a European international society that spread across the world and eventually supplanted all alternatives. In this course students study the evolution and expansion of this system and the consequences it has had for world history and contemporary politics. The class studies what European politics looked like before sovereign states dominated, how sovereignty came into being, how European international society differed from and interacted with the international societies of other regions, and how it is evolving today.
SISU-419-004
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Emerg Technologies & Environ
Emerging Technologies and the Environment (3) Technology is at once a driver of and response to global environmental challenges. This course looks at cutting edge technologies such as nanotechnology, genetic modification, synthetic biology, and climate geoengineering, and whether these technologies will lead the way to sustainability, or make things worse.
SISU-419-005
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Strategies of Rebellion
Strategies of Rebellion: From Mao to the Islamic State (3) How do rebels contest sovereignty? This course explores both the non-violent and violent strategies insurgencies deploy during the course of civil wars, to bring academic theories into dialogue with empirical realities, to develop a broader understanding of the behaviors of insurgencies, and to apply these theories to contemporary political phenomena. The course provides an overview of what civil wars are, what causes them, and who the primary actors are in domestic conflict; reviews how rebel groups are structured and how they recruit members; examines what drives insurgencies to adopt different violent strategies and tactics and which are successful; and concludes by discussing rebel non-violent strategies of rebellion and the effectiveness thereof. The course has a strong empirical component and covers several cases in (primarily) the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Students follow one insurgency intensively throughout the course, applying the works discussed in class to their case.
SISU-419-006
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Art and Post-War Healing
Art and Post-War Healing (3) The humanities are a rich, if an inexplicably muted color in the peacebuilding palette. Revealing a traumatic experience induces feelings of shame as well as a threat to self-survival. This course examines forms of self-expression that can help to restore self-stability and proceeds on the assumption that individual healing is one good path to community recovery and resilience. Students are exposed to various arts-based healing techniques and learn about the current practices in the use of the arts for post-conflict healing, as well as the effects of traumatic events on the body and mind and strategies for practitioner self-care.
SISU-419-007
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Ending Terrorism
Ending Terrorism (3) Terrorism as a phenomenon is ancient, dating at least to the first century BCE. But individual terrorist campaigns always end. This capstone seminar focuses on understanding the endings of terrorist campaigns so as to gain insight into how best to reduce the threat of terrorism. Digging into the long-standing international experience with terrorist groups, the class discusses questions such as whether drone strikes end terrorism; should we negotiate with terrorists; does using overwhelming military force end terrorist campaigns; how do terrorists innovate; does terrorism succeed in achieving its aims; and most important, how terrorist campaigns end.
SISU-419-008
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Contentious Politics
Contentious Politics (3) This course provides an introduction to contentious politics and helps students develop capstone projects on related topics. It places empirical emphasis on large-scale, transformative movements that often persist over time, involve massive mobilization, and result in fundamental sociopolitical changes. Historical and contemporary examples include democratic revolutions, communist revolutions, decolonization movements, nationalist movements, ethno-religious conflicts, the Arab Spring, and the Civil Rights Movement. This course introduces major theories proposing to explain the causes, courses, and consequences of these movements, while also giving attention to their contexts, complexities, and contingencies. It hence offers students analytic tools to use when conducting their research.
SISU-419-009
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Japanese Society & Foreign Pol
Japanese Society and Foreign Policy (3) As a major power in Asia-Pacific, Japan's role has drawn attention not only from the region, but also from around the world. This course familiarizes students with a variety of theoretical and historical backgrounds that are related to Japan and the Asia-Pacific. Students then begin to examine the basic issues of Japanese society, politics, and foreign relations; and investigate the evolution of Japan's political development, policy-making process, and economic performance. Furthermore, the course pays close attention to Japan's role in the international community with specific focus on Japan's relations with the United States, and its Asian neighbors, such as China, Russia, and the two Koreas. Students actively participate in the debate over the nature of Japanese society and politics, as well as future directions of Japanese foreign policy.
SISU-419-010
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: When Peace Creates Conflict
When Peace Creates Conflict (3) In this course students examine World War I and the 1919 Paris Peace Conference to understand how the terms of peace can provoke ethnic, gender, religious and national conflict. Topics include how the 1918 armistice politicized the trauma of trench warfare and helped transform the Russian Revolution into civil war; how postwar treaties planted seeds of violent political movements in Eastern Europe and the Middle East; and how the new League of Nations stirred decades of anti-colonial conflict in Asia and Africa. Students choose one aspect of this history or a comparable topic for deeper research and a final project.
SISU-419-011
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Narcotrafficking in Mexico
Narcotrafficking in Mexico (3) This course looks at the drug trade in Mexico. Although Mexico has always exported drugs into the United States, the drug trade changed substantially in the 1990s. Drug trafficking groups grew more sophisticated and more violent and kidnapping, extortion, and murder tallies all increased during the 2000s. The course introduces students to this complex trade by tracing the trade and shifts in it through the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The devastating impacts of narcotrafficking and the country's political system, its social and cultural fabric, and its economic organization are also examined.
SISU-419-012
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Empathy/Cuban Missile Crisis
Empathy, Cuban Missile Crisis, and International Conflict (3) Empathy or death! That is the key lesson the world should have derived from the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and it may be a lesson even more relevant today. This course explores the lessons each of the three countries, Cuba, the Soviet Union, and the United States, derived from the crisis. It then examines the role empathy and the lack of empathy played in the crisis, and considers whether empathy might be a useful approach to resolve contemporary international conflicts.
SISU-419-013
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Transitional Justice
Transitional Justice (3) This course considers reconciliation and transitional justice in countries transitioning to democracy. It explores the process of transitional justice in countries with different political histories, including Apartheid, Communism, and dictatorship or authoritarianism. By examining and comparing these cases, students gain a better understanding of the complex political, economic, social, psychological, and moral issues that countries are grappling with in their efforts to come to terms with the past. This is a writing intensive course.
SISU-419-014
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Neg Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Negotiating Israeli-Palestinian Peace (3) This senior capstone provides students with a deeper understanding of the problems that have confounded the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, in particular the "final status" issues: borders, Jerusalem, refugees, and security. Students focus on the contested narratives; the relevant political actors; and the key international, regional, and internal events that have shaped the dispute. As well, previous rounds of negotiations are reviewed in order to analyze what went wrong. Students then partake in a simulation in which they attempt to constructively address the final status issues as well as other sticking points, such as settlements and terrorism, in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.
SISU-419-015
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Theory and Practice of the G20
Theory and Practice of the G20 (3) Since 2008, the G20 has become the premiere forum for international economic cooperation, gathering leading advanced and emerging economies alike. This course addresses the discussions, contributions and challenges of the G20 on key issues of the international economic agenda, including global growth, trade negotiations, tax and financial reform, climate change, and labor and employment.
SISU-419-016
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Sustainable Urban Development
Sustainable Urban Development (3) This course offers an opportunity for a supervised practical application of concurrently studied theory. Using a real-world collaborative project as the springboard and destination, the course considers the means, methods, and components of sustainable and adaptive cities; understands the barriers to urban sustainability; and devises and applies an integrated, globally-replicable, triple-bottom line (economically beneficial, socially equitable, and environmentally healthy) approach to a local urban context.
SISU-419-017
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Alt to Traditional Capitalism
Alternatives to Traditional Capitalism (3) This course examines the worldwide emergence of enterprises with a social as well as an economic purpose. The potential of these social enterprises in reducing inequality is considered as well as their potential to challenge and change traditional market-based capitalism. Alternatives to be covered include B-Corps, collaborative consumption/sharing economy, community-owned ventures, co-determination, co-operatives, conscious capitalism, employee ownership, shared value, and social enterprises. The emerging infrastructure to provide them with financial and management support is also considered, including mechanisms such as crowd funding, impact investing, and venture philanthropy. Students assess the potential for this sector's global growth. They analyze case studies, do fieldwork in the thriving Washington DC community of alternative enterprises, and prepare a prospectus for a potential new venture that they design.
SISU-419-018
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Conflict Cuisine
Conflict Cuisine (3) This course explores the history and diplomacy of recent conflicts through the ultimate form of soft power: food. Gastro-diplomacy, conflict prevention, and history converge in this unique course that whets students' intellectual appetites. Classroom readings and discussions plus visits to local eateries in Washington, DC explore how the wars in Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and El Salvador became local through their cuisines and the Diaspora that produces them.
SISU-419-001
Term: Summer 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Strategies of Rebellion
Strategies of Rebellion: From Mao to the Islamic State (3) How do rebels contest sovereignty? This course explores both the non-violent and violent strategies insurgencies deploy during the course of civil wars, to bring academic theories into dialogue with empirical realities, to develop a broader understanding of the behaviors of insurgencies, and to apply these theories to contemporary political phenomena. The course provides an overview of what civil wars are, what causes them, and who the primary actors are in domestic conflict; reviews how rebel groups are structured and how they recruit members; examines what drives insurgencies to adopt different violent strategies and tactics and which are successful; and concludes by discussing rebel non-violent strategies of rebellion and the effectiveness thereof. The course has a strong empirical component and covers several cases in (primarily) the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Students follow one insurgency intensively throughout the course, applying the works discussed in class to their case.