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INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE

SISU-419 Senior Capstone: International Studies (3)

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics vary by section. Rotating senior capstone topics focusing on international studies. Grading: A-F only. Prerequisite: International Studies major and at least 75 credits.

SISU-419 002
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Jihadists and the State
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 affect on jihadist ideology, alliance formation, strategic planning, organization, and nascent attempts at state building. Throughout the course, 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-419 003
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Sustainable Urban Development
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-419 004
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Honeybee and International Relations
What does the humble honeybee tell us, behind its buzz? This course focuses on honeybees as both a metaphorical and pragmatic example through which to view broader international relations issues such as sustainable development, commodities and the global economy, labor and migration, and democratic processes. Throughout the course, students will develop their own significant research projects, based on a singular micro-level case study which explores and explains an international relations issue. The course is based on political and cultural geographic traditions which use a granular focus to examine big-picture issues.
SISU-419 005
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Makers of Strategic Theory
Simply put: strategy matters. Yet, understanding strategy and being able to think strategically are not so simple. This course examines the social, moral, military, and economic dimensions of war and peace by exploring both the content and historical context of some of history's greatest strategic thinkers. Warfare and statecraft have changed over the years, but the classics of strategic thought endure. The best way to develop analytical ability is to study the great masters of strategy and to test these theories across a range of historical and contemporary cases. For example, students discuss the following questions: what can Thucydides teach us about the nature of the US/Chinese strategic rivalry, what does Machiavelli have to say about civil-military relations, and how does Clausewitz recommend one balance the delicate tension between political and military objectives. By the end of this course, students have the confidence to participate in many complex strategic debates, not only about historical and present conflicts, but those in the future as well.
SISU-419 006
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Transitional Justice
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-419 011
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Emerging Economies and World Politics
The course investigates the foreign policies of the largest emerging economies, particularly Brazil, China, and India, and their role in contemporary world politics and global governance. Although the course concentrates on these three emerging economies, students may write final papers on other emerging economies or to compare Brazil, China, or India to another emerging economy.
SISU-419 012
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The UN and Security Crises
This course focuses on global security threats facing the United States and the international community, and the role of the UN Security Council, NATO, and other multilateral entities in addressing them. Through a series of crisis scenarios and mock Security Council discussions, students explore the interests and objectives of major world powers, and analyze the use of various policy instruments, from negotiations to sanctions to the use of military force. The course draws upon relevant case studies and historical analogies to provide context for current challenges.
SISU-419 013
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Conflict Cuisine
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: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Narcotrafficking in Mexico
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-419 014
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Alternatives to Traditional Capitalism
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-419 015
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Peace and Social Justice
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-419 016
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Historical Foundations of U.S. Foreign Policy
People do make their own history, but under existing circumstances, much of which is transmitted from the past. Thus important aspects of contemporary U.S. foreign policy may be rooted the legacies of past policies. This course examines the extent to which the past may shape current policy. It focuses on major episodes in the history of U.S. foreign relations, patterns evident in that history, and the factors that may have shaped it.
SISU-419 017
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Emerging Technologies and the Environment
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-419 018
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Rebellious Africa
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-419 019
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The United States and International Human Rights
Since 1941, United States attention to human rights abuses has risen and waned. Students explore how concern for human rights has influenced United States foreign policy and raise questions about the consistency and durability of that commitment throughout the Cold War and in the years that followed the Soviet Union's collapse. The course concludes with an examination of contemporary struggles to balance morality and adherence to "American values" with the preservation of national security. The assigned readings and class discussion help students define human rights and assess the American commitment to protect those rights. Students consider how the geopolitical struggle of the Cold War and domestic politics shaped American concern for human rights internationally and examine the challenges of combating terrorism and respecting human rights today. To this end, students read important accounts by historians, political scientists, journalists, and human rights activists. The objectives of this course are to promote critical, analytical thinking about United States human rights policy and to encourage students to develop their own interpretation of the evolution and significance of the American commitment to human rights in the postwar years.
SISU-419 001
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 005
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 006
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 007
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 008
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 010
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 011
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 013
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 014
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 A01
Term: SUMMER 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 003
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 004
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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SISU-419 002
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
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