BGIA 301


James Ketterer







Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies Non-state actors have gained increasing importance in international affairs, and the expanded role of cities is often overlooked.  Particularly in the post-9/11 era, cities are directly managing a wide variety of international issues and are hubs for the international movement of people, money and ideas. New York City is the ideal case study: city police are deployed overseas to monitor terrorist networks, financial institutions manage the global flow of trillions of dollars, the UN is the headquarters of international diplomacy, the city hosts a diverse mix of NGOs and major media, and New York is the destination for immigrants arriving from all corners of the world. This course explores the theoretical debates and practical policy effects of cities as non-state actors in international affairs. How should we define non-state actors? Where do cities fit in those debates? What strategies do different non-state actors use to influence national and global policy-making, with a particular focus on cities?  In addition, the course contextualizes students’ internship experiences within this broader discussion to critically examine how ideas about the role of non-state actors in world politics play out in practice. We will take advantage of our New York City location with guest speakers from a wide spectrum of organizations within the field, such as the United Nations, US State Department, New York Police Department, the Federal Reserve, Human Rights Watch, New York State Homeland Security, Council on Foreign Relations, World Policy Institute, Open Society Foundation, and many others. Class size: 25



BGIA 310

 Ethics & International Relations

Joel Rosenthal





Cross-listed: Global & International Studies Thucydides punctuates his history of the Peloponnesian war with the quote of the Athenian generals, ‘The strong do what they will, the weak do what they must.’ In the twentieth century, this sentiment is echoed by the great realists, Hans Morganthau and Henry Kissinger, who argued that power and interest were the guideposts for foreign policy. What values guide us as we make choices about the use of force, resolving conflict, promoting human rights, encouraging democracy and participating in international organizations. This course will examine competing claims of morality, reason and power in contemporary international relations.  Class size: 15



BGIA 330

 Writing on International Affairs

Michael Moran





In this course we will examine ways in which foreign correspondents cover the world. We will learn about how journalism interrogates human rights, conflict, economic development, climate change, culture, and current events generally. We will explore the social, economic, and political fissures impacting the coverage of global affairs. And we will discuss the changing media landscape such as the rise of social media, the perspectives of journalism from different parts of the world, and how the media influence international relations.  We will acquire an understanding of the issues animating current media coverage of global affairs, and also will learn about the mechanics of journalism, such as editing, contextualizing subject matter, and fundamental reporting skills. Although we will scrutinize video, radio, and multimedia journalism, this course primarily seeks to sharpen your understanding of and ability at expository writing on global affairs and you will be expected to write intensively almost every week. Class assignments will entail research and original reporting. We will read and discuss a representative sampling of articles and books by journalists about foreign affairs, and will include discussions with experienced reporters and editors about their work.  Class size: 15 



BGIA 335

 Foreign Policy in Internet Age

Elmira Bayrasli





Cross-listed: Global & International Studies Foreign policy is among the things that the Internet has revolutionized. No longer is diplomacy confined to oak-paneled rooms and gilded corridors. This change, as New York Times reporter Mark Landler noted, “happened so fast that it left the foreign policy establishment gasping to catch up.” This course examines how foreign policy and international affairs are being shaped in the age of the Internet. Topics include democracy versus censorship, conflict, climate change and the environment, big data and privacy, global economics and the movement of capital. Among the questions we will explore are:
       What is the changing nature of power? Are there actors?
       How is the concept of the nation-state changing?
       What constitutes world order in this new era?
       How have the Internet, the mobile phone, and other technologies changed the conduct of foreign affairs? 
  Class size: 15



BGIA 342

 Power, War, Terrorism: International Affairs

Scott Silverstone





Cross-listed: Global & International Studies From the Peloponnesian War among the Greek city-states in the 5th century B.C., to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and America's invasion of Iraq in 2003, power has remained a central feature of world politics, motivating the behavior of states and nonstate actors alike. Yet the character and distribution of power has changed dramatically since the rise of the modern state system in the 17th century. For nearly two decades now, American primacy has defined the global power structure. This fact is an historic anomaly; at no time in history has any one state amassed the degree of military, economic, and political power the United States now enjoys. In fact, contemporary American foreign policy is premised on the assertion that the United States must sustain its primacy against any potential challengers for the indefinite future. This course explores the character of power and war in this era of American hegemony. We will examine the vigorous debates over the objectives of American power, unilateralism versus multilateralism as rival approaches to exercising power, debates over what military power can actually achieve, and the potential for a global backlash against the United States. Among other specific issues this course will address is the rise of China and India and the implications for global security and economic issues; rogue states and nuclear proliferation; the preventive war option to address shifting threats; the political and strategic future of the Middle East; terrorism as an alternative form of the power struggle and as a type of asymmetric warfare waged by nonstate actors; the continuing problem of humanitarian crises, failed states and intervention in the post-9/11 world; and the changing nature of global energy politics as an acute security issue.  Class size: 15