Coming to Terms with Past Violence

Embedded in the fabric of every national narrative is the attempt to understand past violence. Words like reconciliation, reckoning, justice, impunity, accountability, and forgiveness all have distinct connotations depending on their specific national context and the actors who employ them. In this course, we analyze localized forms of interpreting violence through regional case studies from […]

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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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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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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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Ethical and Political Dimensions of Climate Change

With an overwhelming scientific consensus favoring the prevalence of theories that accelerating changes in the earth’s climate exist and are due to anthropogenic causes, the problem of conveying the need for policy changes to mitigate and adapt to global warming is becoming one for social scientists as much as for natural scientists. This course explores […]

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Asia’s Conflict “Flashpoints”

Why do interstate conflicts occur? What causes them to become intractable or to escalate in intensity such that they threaten regional or international security? To what extent could, or should the U.S. play a role in helping to defuse or resolve them? This course addresses these questions through an examination of three “flashpoints” of conflict […]

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Theorizing Totalitarianism

Hitler’s rise to power led to totalitarianism in Germany and ultimately into the cataclysms of the Holocaust and World War Two. It also spurred the exodus of a wave of intellectuals from Central Europe. In this seminar we examine major works by émigré intellectuals who combined sweeping historical perspective, theoretical ambition, and personal commitment as […]

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International Intervention

This course will examine military, humanitarian, and post-conflict peacebuilding interventions to explore how the international community has worked to support victims of mass violence, injustice, brutal dictatorships, and poverty around the world. Students will first survey interventions in contexts of mass violence where vulnerable populations are at the mercy of dictatorships or rebel groups with […]

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Imagining the Other

Grounded in a thorough examination of the various theories of society, such as social Darwinism, and designed around a comparative and multidisciplinary set of scholarly works, literary writings, and primary sources, this course explores the colonial, postcolonial, and imperial interactions between the West and the rest of the world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. […]

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