Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Spring 2019



Course Number

DIPL 3116

Course Description

This seminar-like course is focused on global challenges facing not just U.S. policy makers but statesmen, diplomats and citizens around the world. The primary focus will be upon the successes and failures encountered in global development in a period marked by numerous positives- overall reductions in violence, longer lives, poverty reduction, improved education balanced against a daunting array of unresolved global challenges and threats, ranging from climate change and nuclear proliferation to ethnic conflict and international terrorism. Central to the ongoing the debate is reflection upon the ability of national leaders to preserve an international order that rises above mere anarchy and promotes peace, stability and mutual benefits. The course will examine cooperative efforts aimed at advancing shared interests, securing international cooperation and protecting the global commons. Particular attention will be paid to multilateral agreements and institutions in a period when both face considerable headwinds from the current leadership of the U.S.

Washington, D.C. is a very cosmopolitan, international city. Serious effort will be made to understand how the people who reside here, American and otherwise, are shaped by the international environment and how they in turn undertake to influence and shape developments on the global stage.

The course to the extent possible will be conducted in seminar form based on discussions, reflections, debates and interactions between the seminar leader and the students.

Where possible and pertinent, lectures, readings and seminar discussion will be supplemented with in-class discussion with policy practitioners and when possible with visits to centers of decision-making and influence that will include government offices, the Congress, think tanks, NGOs, multilateral and regional organizations and foreign embassies.

One caveat: No syllabus that sufficiently is dynamic and seeks to capture the tempo of change can be fixed in stone, especially in a period of rapid developments on the domestic and international scenes. The seminar leader reserves the right to alter readings and assignments and discussion topics in response to emerging policy challenges.

All readings will be available online or distributed in class.