International Security Course Subfield

Make the World a Safer Place

If you are interested in how you can contribute to society to make the world a safer place, you will learn the core values that keep our world secure.

International Security
The field of IR and within it the field of security studies have undergone a major change in the post-Cold War era. The change resembles the big-bang of sorts - there are now lots of small satellites -- many subfields of security studies -- and the core which was once the bulk of the field -- namely, theology of systemic International Relations theories -- has shrunk significantly in terms of the attention given to it by the scholars of the discipline. Accordingly, this course is structured in a way that will cover not only the main theories on the core questions of the origins of wars and how they shed light on different IR theories, but will also delve into some of the troubling issues that are of concern for policymakers in the world today.
Introduction to Social Psychology
This course offers an introduction to the basic theories, and the empirical studies upon which the theories are based, of social psychology from a sociological perspective. At the core of social psychology is an effort to understand how social structures and psychic structures interact to produce social behavior. We will consider how social structures affect individuals, how individuals affect other individuals, and how individuals affect groups, or larger social structures. 
Comparative Politics
This is an introductory course in Comparative Politics. This course will introduce students who are new to the field of Comparative Politics to the leading theories and debates of this field while simultaneously introducing students to the history of political, economic, and cultural relations of various regions. By comparing how political systems develop and function in different countries, we will theorize about the historical development and future trajectories of domestic politics in the various parts of the world.
International Political Economy
This class will help students to better understand the study of international political economy. Major theories and ideas in international political economy will be surveyed. Students will use this knowledge to develop their own research paper. Major topics for this class are: theories of IPE, international economic institutions, globalization, economic inequality, environmental policy and the resource curse.
International Politics
This is a survey course on international politics. The course examines various issues on war and peace from theoretical and historical perspectives. Specific questions to be addressed include: Why do people and nations resort to violence to resolve conflicts? Is the logic of state behavior different from that of human behavior? Under what conditions are nations more likely to cooperate? Prior knowledge on the subject is not required. 
Maritime Security and Ocean Governance
This course explores the factors that determine international rules and norms in the world's oceans and seas. The most significant of these is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). First, we will review the historical foundation of how modern international law draws boundaries between sovereign and non-sovereign areas in the sea; and how it balances the interests of state control over coastal waters with the demands of global powers for freedom of action. Then, students will familiarize themselves with UNCLOS' provisions on maritime entitlements. The latter parts of the course will be devoted to contemporary policy issues such as maritime disputes, trans-national crimes, and environmental protection. The instructor shall make use of his extensive experience previously as a policy analyst at a topnotch research institution in the United States, to make students better understand the intersection of international law, policy and politics in global ocean governance.  
Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
This course introduces students to key concepts of Chinese politics and foreign policy. The first part of the course focuses on domestic Chinese political transitions such as Mao Zedong's socialist program, Deng Xiaoping's reform and the rapid rise of China in Post-Deng era. Besides, it examines China's party-state system by looking at its ideologies and the institutional arrangements between the party and government. The second part offers analytic study of motivations, means and implications of Chinese foreign policy. It introduces relevant theories to understand the rise of China. Other topics include China's relations with great powers, China's neighbourhood diplomacy, China-Africa relations as well as Chinese economic, military and norm building policies. 
International Relations of Europe
This course explores the international relations of Europe since 1945. The focus of this course will be on understanding the external relations of the European Union and its member states. It will include examining the EU's external policy-making process with a focus on core institutions of the European Union such as the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the European Court of Justice. There will also be a survey of European Union external policies towards key strategic partners. The course will conclude with a discussion of challenges faced by the EU and an exploration of foreign polices of its member states. This course will also include practical examples drawn from my work on confidence building and conflict resolution in Moldova.  
International Relations of South Asia
How and why have the states in South Asia built international relations with other countries? This course will deal with the essential features of domestic politics, socio-economic transformation, and foreign policy in the eight states of South Asia, namely, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. It will discuss bilateral political and economic relationships between the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries, and further between SAARC members and major global powers. It will facilitate students to understand how the eight nations in South Asia have managed territorial disputes, ethnic conflicts, natural resources, economic cooperation, and national security-building. Further, there will be the class field trip(s)* at least once throughout the semester. *Field trip(s) will be scheduled according to the availability of the field trip venue(s). 
International Relations of Southeast Asia
This course is an introduction to the IR of Southeast Asia. Our focus is analytical, using historical accounts, case study papers, and academic articles to analyze how Southeast Asian states interact with each other and with the wider world. We will also address some of the central questions related to ASEAN regionalism, economics, security, and politics. The instructor will make use of his experience with a major think tank to relate theories with real world cases. 
International Relations of the Middle East
This course assumes no prior knowledge of the Middle East. It will analyze the international relations of the Middle East from both historical and theoretical perspectives. The goal of the course is both to acquire the skill to think theoretically about the history of this complex region, as well as to think critically about the IR and CP theories we currently have by using the historical evidence available. Since many political science theories were derived from the Western experience, they often do not fit well the behavior of actors and processes in this particular region and this creates room for both critical theory-testing and for theorizing.  
Japanese Politics in Comparative Perspective
Are Japan and its government different from Western structures in ways that shed light on its past success and failures? Are there elements of the Japanese political and economic model that other countries should try to emulate? These are just some of the questions we will explore during this course. The course is divided into two parts. The first focuses on the emergence and consolidation of Japan's "1955 System." In the second half of the course, we will shift our attention to the disorder that plagued the political and economic regime in transition after 1993, examining how economic, social, and political changes have disrupted the old regime and propelled an awkward transition to something new.  
Qualitative Research Methods
This class will introduce students to qualitative methods of research in the social sciences. In the first half of the semester students will learn about research methods, theories, ethics, and design. Students will also experiment with a variety of research methods, including interviews, participant-observation, and focus groups, and learn how to analyze and share their findings. In the second half of the semester students will apply what they learned in the first half to the design and implementation of an original research project, which will lead to the production of a draft report.  
U.S. Politics and Foreign Policy
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Theories of International Relations
This course introduces major theories and analytical frameworks of international relations to students, which offers them ability to understand the fast changing world and the skills to analyze the driving forces and implications of major international issues. The course covers major theories such as realism, neo-realism, liberalism, neo-liberalism, and social constructivism. Other school of thoughts include rational and strategic choice theory, clash of civilization, Marxism, world system theory and nuclear strategy. The seminar course emphasizes on the understanding and application of theories with empirical evidences through student presentations and the critical comments from other participants in the seminar. 
U.S.-East Asian Relations
This SEMINAR course explores the ever-evolving relationships of the United States of America with countries, multilateral institutions and non-state actors in East Asia (both Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia). The course is divided into two: the first part will focus on history and will examine the factors that drove the United States to acquire territorial possessions in Asia, to vie for a seat at the imperial table at the turn of the century, to confront Japan over mastery in the Pacific leading to WWII, and to create alliances and partners during the Cold War and the War on Terror. The second part will focus on contemporary policy issues. The professor will make use of his extensive experience at a research institution in the United States to relate theories with real world cases.  
Non-state Actors and Political Violence
The purpose of the course is to discuss the ways and means in which states and international organizations have sought to counter political violence following 9/11. The course, focusing mainly on Islamic-inspired political violence, is divided into three main parts: it opens with an analysis of the conceptual challenges that come with the phenomenon of political violence. The second section explores how international and regional organizations have sought to address political violence. The third section reviews how states - Britain, United States and Pakistan have adapted their policies and outlooks following 9/11.
War and Peace in East Asia
In this course, students are expected to learn the basic theories of security study, political and military problems in East Asia, case studies of war in Asia, and the relation between war and culture in Asia.