Borders, Migration & Globalization

Borders, migration, and globalization are terms invoked by the media and in everyday conversations; but it is important to dig deeply to understand what these terms mean. This course studies policies and the discourse around border security; the cause and effects of international migration; the origin of the term “globalization” and the theories associated with […]

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Cities: Destroyed & Reinvented

The turmoil and traumas of modernity have transformed urban spaces into architectural and commemorative battlegrounds. This seminar introduces theories of memory and nationalism alongside controversies over architecture and planning with special case examples from twentieth-century European urban transformations. The dynamic environment of the US capital also informs the course. Intense discussion of weekly readings, short […]

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Fight Club: US War & Peace

This course provides an overview of the history and modern issues of peace and war with an emphasis on the institutions in Washington, D.C. (ie. Pentagon, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Amnesty International, State Department, CIA). Through reading ethnographic and historical case studies, as well as theoretical, journalistic, and polemical works, the course explores why and how the […]

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Wildlife Conservation

The World Wildlife Fund recently reported that total wildlife populations declined over 50% between 1970 and 2010.  Our class will explore the primary causes of habitat and wildlife loss including consumption, pollution, and climate change. We will then engage with diverse political, economic, and social approaches to preserving and protecting the remaining biodiversity. Our class […]

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Education: Problem or Solution

While there is agreement that education is key to individual and community well-being, much controversy exists over education’s goals and how to achieve them. Issues include identifying education challenges and effective solutions, recognizing how social or economic status interacts with education, and examining what role political ideologies play. Students engage with a variety of speakers, […]

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Religion and World Politics

Religion can mean different things to different people. While modern secular thought has permeated religious and communal life, traditional understandings of religion are still vibrant while fundamentalist and religion-based nationalisms have surged despite globalization. Wars of culture and power based on the different understandings of the interplay between religion, society and state rage in America […]

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International Crisis Management

While nation states and regional political groupings complete and sometimes clash, no one seeks conflict per se.  Common objectives, however, often imply different approaches toward an endpoint of peace, security, and prosperity.  Human and natural disasters bring disruption to human well-being.  Drawing on simulations from U.S. Army War College tabletop exercises and matrices developed for […]

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Ethics, Morals, and Criminal Law

Inherent within criminal law and justice is the power to make discretionary decisions that greatly impact the accused, victims, and society.  This course exposes students to historical and contemporary issues that generate interaction between ethics and criminal justice.  It will examine macro and micro attempts in recent history to ethically balance public safety and “moral” […]

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