BGIA 301

 Core Seminar: NON-state actors in international affairs

James Ketterer





Non-state actors have gained increasing importance in international affairs. From transnational advocacy groups to terrorist networks to multinational corporations, a diverse range of actors are challenging and limiting the power of traditional nation-states and changing the landscape of the international system. This course explores the theoretical debates and practical policy effects of non-state actors in international affairs. How should we define non-state actors? Given the diversity of non-state actors and their goals, can we study them from a single perspective? Under what conditions do non-state actors “matter” and what effects do they have? What strategies do different non-state actors use to influence policy-making? What role do non-state actors play in global governance?  The goal of the course is to provide students with a working knowledge of the major academic debates and controversies about the definition, emergence and evolution of non-state actors in international affairs. We will investigate the changing roles and influence of non-state actors in a variety of issue areas, including global governance, security affairs, human rights, public health, international development and international economics, among others.  In addition, the course will contextualize 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, Human Rights Watch, Council on Foreign Relations, World Policy Institute, Open Society Foundation, Central American Legal Assistance, Control Risks Group, East/West Institute, Asia Society and many others. The overriding objective throughout the course is to link students’ academic experience with their practical experience.



BGIA 310

 Ethics & International Relatns

Joel Rosenthal





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.



BGIA 330

 Writing on InternATIONAl AffAIrs

Michael Moran





This course will put a heavy emphasis on reporting, writing and developing the sensibilities needed for success as an international news correspondent. We will focus heavily on the techniques of the craft, always in the context of contemporary world events and the realities of modern English-language media. A series of lecturers, and a visit to one of New York City's great newsrooms, will be included during the semester. This is not a course for purists, but rather a broad look at a varied, complex discipline. We will examine briefly many of the topics an international journalist will confront today. We also will touch upon the broadcast and Internet skills that no journalist who strives to be in interesting places at interesting times can afford to ignore in this modern world.




BGIA 335

 Foreign Policy in Internet Age






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?



PS / BGIA 354

 Anglo-American Grand Strategy

Walter Mead

            5:00 pm-7:20 pm




The American world system that exists today can be seen as version 2.0 of the liberal capitalist world system first built by Great Britain. Both the British and the American builders of these systems developed a distinct style of strategic thought around the needs of a maritime, global and commercial system. The global capitalist revolution that this world system continues to advance remains, for good and for ill, the most important force shaping the international system. Students will read works by important thinkers in this strategic tradition; they will also study the grand strategies of these powers and their opponents in the series of wars from the time of the Spanish Armada to the Cold War and analyze contemporary American policy in the light of the three centuries of Anglophone world power.