IS 201. INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL STUDIES AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
This team-taught course introduces students to political science as a discipline and to the different interests of the international studies faculty. It is divided into four sections covering political science, political theory, American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. Readings are taken from the classics in political science. The focus is on key concepts, such as power, state-society relations, institutions; and on the central debates across the discipline and within the sub-fields. Required for IS majors. Must be attempted in the 3rd class year. Open only to IS majors.
IS 210. AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
Examination of our main national governmental institutions and the application of constitutional provisions to their operation. The role of political parties, elections, and public opinion in the American political process.
IS 220. INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
Focuses on the international system of politics and examines the nature of relations between states, the factors which affect the actions and motives of states in their dealings with one another, and selected current problems in international politics.
IS 230. COMPARATIVE POLITICS
This introduction to the field of Comparative Politics has two main objectives. The first is to provide a foundation of basic empirical knowledge about political institutions and processes in select key countries: Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, China, India, Iran, and Mexico. The second, more open-ended, objective is to engage some of the “big questions” and themes in world politics that engage scholars, political leaders, and (ideally) educated citizens: How and why did modern nation-states emerge in the West? How do the legacies of colonialism and socialism influence political and economic development elsewhere? What are the conditions most conducive to liberal democracy and market capitalism-and do they always go together?
IS 301. TECHNIQUES OF COMPUTER ANALYSIS
A course to teach the fundamentals of computer analysis as practiced by students of international studies, historians, and political scientists. Emphasizes the active use of computers to perform statistical analysis on primary source data from a variety of contemporary and historical sources. Prerequisites: open only to international studies majors who have passed IS 201 with a grade of 75 or higher.
IS 310. AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY
The central purpose of this course is to familiarize cadets with prevalent theoretical approaches to decision-making and to use these models to examine the American foreign policy experience. To this end, the course will survey rational, organizational, bureaucratic, and various psychological perspectives. Cadets will then use these tools to critically review the historical development of America’s relations with other international actors, including Washington’s admonition to steer clear of “foreign entanglements,” the world wars, the Cold War, and the current battle against terror. The course concludes with several mock policy debates which are designed to illustrate the intricacies of high-level decision-making and provide insights into the likely conduct of US foreign policy in the 21st Century.
IS 311. THE AMERICAN CONGRESS
In the Constitution, the article that describes the duties and functions of the Congress as well as its limitations is longest. The reason for this evident: the Founders considered that the Congress, as the body of government that would pass our laws and control the federal purse, would be at the center of national government and politics. Despite the Presidency’s rise in power and reputation, Congress’ powers ensure it will be at the center of our constitutional order. Subjects covered will include the ideas that influenced the Founders’ ideas of a federal legislature, the powers of the Congress, the leadership and organizational structure of Congress (with an emphasis on the committee system), the legislative process, the Congress’ relationship with the President (especially on issues of national security), and electoral politics.
IS 312. THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY
The American Presidency is a political institution like no other in the world. Born of the Founding Fathers’ wariness of the concentrated political power, the office is a blend of head of state, commander-in-chief, chief of party, and head of government. Its evolution has been central to the development of American national government and Americans’ concepts of and relationships to that government. This course will trace the history of the Presidency from the Founders’ ideas about and experiences with executive power to the office’s current state—with all its inherent paradoxes. I hope that, through this course, cadets will come to a deeper understanding of the Presidency’s origins, development, powers, and limitations as well as the reasons behind the constant contest between the President and the Congress.
IS 320. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
Consideration of the formulation and conduct of United States defense and foreign policy with special attention to the key institutions involved in the decision-making process in this field. Recommended for NROTC cadets.
IS 321. INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY
Provides students with a basic understanding of the nature and dynamics of contemporary international political economy (IPE). Politics and economics have often been separate fields of study with different core concepts. The former typically centers on power and the latter markets. However, the nature of international relations demands that we understand the interaction of politics (power) and economics (markets). This course will examine a broad range of substantive issues (trade relations, financial and monetary policy, economic integration, and economic development), as well as theoretical debates in IPE. Prerequisites: PO 325 International Politics or PO 350 Comparative Politics.
IS 322. INTELLIGENCE AND POLICY
The history and practice of intelligence with special emphasis on the relationship to the political policy process. The focus is on the U.S. intelligence experience since WWII, although some attention is given to the broader comparative context.
IS 323. THE UNITED STATES, PAKISTAN, AND AFGHANISTAN
Cadets learn of historical factors and conflicts that have shaped the situation today with particular emphasis on the period from the start of extensive Soviet involvement in the 1970’s through the resurgence of the Taliban in the mid-2000s. They track political and military developments relying on a variety of news and think tank sources and examine various options for resolving the conflict from the US perspective. They make a field trip to Washington.
IS 325X: THE UNITED STATES AND IRAN
This civilizations and cultures designated course focuses on the modern history of Iran and its relationship with the US. Cadets analyze policy options for addressing various challenges that Iran – especially if it gains a nuclear weapons – presents to the region, to the US and the world. Cadets make a field trip to Washington to speak with experts in think tanks and to examine Iranian cultural artifacts at the Smithsonian Museum.
IS 329. COUNTERINSURGENCY
This course will concentrate on: a study of select counterinsurgencies using historical pattern analysis. Instructor will present a selection of various insurgencies and students will research and present on the following topics: American Revolution: Colonial insurgents against British army; Insurgency and Guerrilla warfare in U.S. Civil War; U.S and Counterinsurgency in the Philippines, 1899-1902; The Boer War: The Second War (1899-1902); British Malayan Emergency (1948-1960); Irish Republican Army vs British Army; Nepal : Maoist Insurgency. (1996-present); Colombia : FARC insurgency; and Overview of Turkish/Kurdish insurgency problem. Using historical study and pattern analysis of insurgent and counterinsurgent strategies, upon completion of the class, we will hopefully have an answer for the question – Will current U.S. counterinsurgency strategies in Afghanistan work?
IS 330. POLITICS IN WESTERN EUROPE
An examination of the political systems and the domestic, foreign and defense policies of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, selected smaller Western European nations, and Canada. Attention will be paid to the new role of NATO, European unification, and the ways in which Western Europe and Canada deal with the United States.
IS 331. POLITICS IN RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE
An examination of the political systems and the domestic, foreign and defense policies of Russia and the nations of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Attention is given to the consequences of Marxist-Leninist theory and to the problems of transforming former communist systems.
IS 332X. POLITICS IN EAST ASIA
An examination of the political systems and foreign relations of Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan. Emphasis is placed on relations with other nations in the region, and with the United States. Particular attention is paid to the growing importance these nations have in the international economic system. Civilizations and Cultures designation.
IS 333. POLITICS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
An examination of the political systems and the domestic, foreign and defense policies of the countries of Southeast Asia including: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The course also focuses on the role of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the impact of outside powers on the region.
IS 334X. POLITICS OF CENTRAL ASIA
By exploring the politics and societies of this important, but little understood, region, we will seek to develop a nuanced understanding of how international dynamics continue to shape the states of this region and also how forces emanating from within Central Asia impact the international system. Additionally, in this course students will analytically explore a variety of political and societal phenomena present in the region and beyond. Amongst the phenomena we will examine include: the politics of oil and gas pipelines, state-building and nationalism, secession and civil war, Islamism, democratization and authoritarian state consolidation.
IS 335. POLITICS IN LATIN AMERICA
An examination of contemporary political systems and their development in Latin America. Focuses on contemporary structures and processes of politics in the major Latin American Republics. Normally offered Spring Semester of odd-numbered years.
IS 336X: POLITICS IN CHINA
An overview of the political system of China in the post-Mao era. Starting with a discussion of Deng Xiaoping’s rise to power, students will discuss the popular desire for democracy and the failed attempts at establishing a more politically accountable government. This class will also detail the liberal economic policies that fostered the dramatic growth of China’s economy well into the 21st century. Additionally, students will focus on the evolution of security concerns and civil-military relations on the mainland, as well as issues between China and other actors across the world, notably the United States, Taiwan, Japan, and the developing countries of Africa and Asia. Civilizations and Cultures designation.
IS 340. POLITICAL THEORY
A study of the writings of key Western political thinkers from Socrates to the twentieth century. The objective of this course is to elucidate the origins and basic assumptions of contemporary political ideas and ideologies.
IS 370-379. INTERMEDIATE SPECIAL SEMINAR
Intermediate-level elective seminars on special topics in politics as suggested from time to time by members of the faculty or groups of cadets.
IS 380. NATIONAL SECURITY AND HOMELAND DEFENSE SEMINAR
American National Security is entering a period of long-term transformation – both in terms of global policy and force projection and with regards to our domestic policy and intelligence structures and production. Homeland Security is the new operational definition/moniker for these activities and in this seminar students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of how American national security policy will be devised and executed in a post-9/11 world.
IS 381. SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
This course focuses on the intersection of scientific research, technological applications and change, and business and governmental activities in these areas that impact upon national security and international relations. In international politics, states seek to gain power over other states. In addition, NGO’s compete for influence over international affairs in both direct and more subtle manners. Science and technology applications enhance both state and NGO power profiles, and hence, their ability to affect international relations. In other cases, such applications result in the deterioration of state and NGO power and in increase in international chaos. An important dimension of this course is the training of students in problem solving, information management, and procedures in policy-making for this growing area of international concern.
IS 382. THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
Biotechnology is the practical application of rational genomic science to the task of re-engineering species (to include human beings) in part – parts – whole and or species. If fully realized – the power of biotechnology poses to become an important tool of the state. It is already an economic tool –which this course will examine heavily – and portends to become an important tool of national security forcing standard models of international relations theory to expand and accommodate new visions of what a nation-state might be as cultural evolution is likely to speed up in reaction to unprecedented increase in the pace of biological evolution. The course will train the student in the economic, political, business, regulatory, and ethical and moral dimensions and conceptual frameworks that house the biotechnology industry.
IS 401W. INTERNATIONAL STUDIES SEMINAR
The capstone course for the International Studies curriculum. The course focuses on problems of United States foreign and defense policy. The course requires substantial written and oral work. Open only to first class International Studies majors. International Studies minors may be admitted with the permission of the department head on a space available basis.
IS 421. THE POLITICS OF TERRORISM
The Politics of Terrorism is a three-credit course that focuses generally on the role of terrorist violence in the modern world. The two central goals of the course are to provide cadets with an opportunity to study the historical use of political terror and to encourage cadets to think of terrorist activity not as the work of the mad, but of self-interested and calculating political actors. After an introduction that includes a definition of terrorism and an exploration of its geneses, the course focuses on the rational and psychological aspects of the individual terrorist, terror types, strategies, and tactics, and the difficult task of counterterrorism. The final part of the course illustrates and highlights each of these aspects by examining cases culled from recent history, including the Zionist-British conflict over Palestine in the 1940s, the Algerian drive for independence in the 1950s, and the ongoing standoff between the USA and Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.
IS 422. DOMESTIC POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT
How does domestic politics affect the ability and willingness of states to fight wars abroad, and how do wars affect domestic politics? Surveying historical and contemporary scholarship, this course will familiarize students with various theories about these relationships. General topics to be covered include (a) the influence of institutional characteristics – such as general regime type, the separation of powers, and procedural and election rules – on war initiation and war outcomes; (b) the peculiar relationship between public opinion and war; and (c) how these and other factors impact the political strategies of war-time leaders, domestic opposition groups, and international opponents. In addition to applying these theories and lessons to various historical cases, the course will afford students the opportunity to engage in interactive exercises that illustrate the complex linkages between the domestic and the international.
IS 423W. STUDIES IN GRAND STRATEGY
IS 423W examines the theory and practice of grand strategy in an international context using both historical and contemporary case studies. Initial attention is given to classical cases including the Peloponnesian War and Bismarck as grand strategist. Consideration then shifts to an examination of grand strategy in the twentieth century including cases related to the two world wars, the interwar period, and the Cold War. The course concludes with an examination of two case studies of a more contemporary nature. A major research paper is required. IS 423W is jointly-listed as HNL 375W, Studies in Grand Strategy.
IS 430W. DEMOCRACY AND ELECTIONS
An explanation of principles of democracy and how theory is applied on the ground in different countries. Students will learn about the meaning of democracy, how scholars define it, and how different forms are implemented. They will review the processes by which democracies of one type transition into another, or how authoritarian regimes morph into democratic systems. They will investigate how institutions vary across countries, including the roles of the executive, legislature, and judiciary. Chiefly, students will spend time reviewing how different states translate popular opinion into government action, i.e. elections. This will include examples of majoritarian electoral systems used by the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, proportional systems used by Ireland, Brazil, and Iraq, and hybrid systems, found in Taiwan, Japan, New Zealand, and Germany. The course will conclude with a discussion of which systems work better than others and whether certain countries would profit from a change in democratic system type.
IS 432W. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
An analytical survey of the economic and political development of post-colonial Africa. The focus is the nature of the African state, from its patrimonial beginnings in the early postcolonial era to, in many cases; today’s collapsed state. Particular attention is placed on the interaction of politics and economics and on the impact of external factors on the “modern” African state. The driving question of the course is what are the prospects for political stability and for economic advancement in Sub-Saharan Africa.
IS 433. SOUTH ASIAN POLITICS & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
This course provides an introduction to the politics of the major states of South Asia (also referred to as the Indian subcontinent), a region that encompasses nearly one-fifth of the world’s population. We will focus on India and Pakistan, examine Afghanistan briefly, and survey key issues in the politics of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. We will also seek insights into international relations and conflict in the region (e.g. Kashmir, nuclear weapons development), and assess South Asia’s significance in world politics.
IS 435X. COMPARATIVE POLITICAL ECONOMY
In this course, we will evaluate the important interaction of economic and political systems across several countries and systems. We will review how the economic framework of a given state impacts the workings of the political process. In addition, we will learn how political decisions often impact the growth and development of markets. Examples will be drawn from a number of different countries, from the United Kingdom, Poland, and Spain to China and Japan. We will place special emphasis on the oft-debated link between capitalism and democracy; we will also study the tension between political ideology and economic growth, as well as the influence of business cycles and perceptions of economic performance on voter preference during elections. Civilizations and Cultures designation.
IS 436. WAR AND PEACE IN AFRICA
This course is presented as an argument. Africa has had serious conflicts in the past twenty-five years, with casualties between 3,800,000 and 6,899,000. There are more U.N. peace keeping troops in Africa than on any other continent, as of 2006 seventy five percent of all UN peacekeepers were in Africa; the U.N. has conducted nineteen “complex peace operations” since the end of the Cold War, ten of them in Africa. During the last decade, more than half of Africa’s states have been in warfare. It is home to most of the world’s conflicts. The fact that Africa leads the international system in conflict begs for an explanation why. The fact that these wars do not look like classical wars also begs for an explanation. The class is run as a seminar. Therefore, while there will be class lectures, the course will largely revolve around discussions of the readings assigned for that week.
IS 437X. 20TH CENTURY REVOLUTIONS AND REVOLUTIONARIES:A CIVILIZATIONS AND CULTURES COURSE
Drawing from theories on revolutions, the class will examine 5-7 revolutions of the 20th century and track a Middle East revolution in the making. Each cadet will write a paper on another 20th century revolution and draw comparisons with the American Revolutionary War or American Civil War. Another paper will focus on the leader of a successful or failed revolution and compare him with a figure from American history or a fictional character from American culture. A final paper will assess prospects for success of a Middle-Eastern Revolution.
IS 440. AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT
This course will examine the competing ideals at the center of the American political tradition and how they have interacted and evolved over time. Students will not only gain a clearer understanding of American intellectual history and how the great debates over the nature of the American regime have in fact played out, but will also consider the merits and demerits of the various claims being made. Readings will include Federalist and Anti-federalist writings, Thomas Jefferson, Alexis de Tocqueville, John C. Calhoun, Abraham Lincoln, Edward Bellamy, John Dewey, Herbert Croly, and others.
IS 441. CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL THOUGHT
An examination of competing strains of thinking within conservatism organized around a series of debates. Some of the themes that will be covered include: the definition of conservatism, America as a propositional nation vs. a common culture, the aims of U.S. foreign policy, Lincoln’s America vs. the Old South, aristocratic vs. populist impulses, theories of jurisprudence, the purpose of the economic order, and the meaning of progress.
IS 442. LAW, MORALITY, AND POWER
This course will examine the nature of law and the role that morality and power play in constituting the law. Is law fundamentally moral, discoverable by reason and necessarily conducive to the common good of society? Or is law nothing more than the commands issued by whoever has the most power? Do citizens have a moral obligation to obey the law, or are such claims, themselves, expressions of power? When judges interpret the law, do they too have obligations, or must we simply expect them to act as agents of a particular social, political, and economic group? These and other questions related to a deeper understanding of law and legal systems will be the focus of this course.
IS 450. CRIMINAL LAW
This course presents a general survey of substantive criminal law, that is the principles, theories, and important legal decisions defining criminal offenses and defenses. Substantive criminal law examines the conduct of the defendant. Time permitting; we may also delve into some procedural criminal law, which is based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Bill of Rights. Criminal procedure evaluates the conduct of police and prosecutors. The course will utilize the casebook method of teaching favored by most law school courses.
IS 451. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
This course presents a survey of the guiding principles of American Constitutional Law, with particular emphasis on landmark decisions of the United States Supreme Court interpreting the Bill of Rights. The class begins with the establishment of judicial review in 1803, but moves rapidly to the Court’s twentieth century jurisprudence. A substantial area of focus is constitutional criminal procedure – the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment decisions evaluating police conduct including methods of search and seizure and the interrogation of criminal suspects. Additional main topics include freedom of speech, religion, and the press according to the First Amendment, and Due Process of law and Equal Protection of the laws under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The course uses the casebook method of teaching favored by most law school courses. Class participation is important.
IS 452. INTERNATIONAL LAW
This course examines international law and its relationship to the practice of international politics. The course examines the sources of international law and its relationship to law within the state; the major players – the state, the UN and other IGO’s, natural and corporate individuals–and their attributes and capabilities. Some consideration is given to processes: diplomacy, treaties, arbitration, and adjudication. The final third of the course considers selected contemporary problem areas: the use of force, economic issues, protection of human rights, the environment. Two continuing themes throughout the course are: (1) how international law changes over time in response to changes in the international system; (2) how international law accommodates both justifiable claims and power realities.
IS 460W. RESEARCH DESIGN FOR POLITICAL SCIENCE
This course focuses on philosophies of and approaches to political science for facilitating cadets’ research objectives. The two central goals of the course are (a) to introduce cadets to the methods traditionally used to design, conduct, and report political science research; and (b) to allow cadets to apply these methods to their individual research questions. Cadets will frame research questions about politics, develop rigorous theories and hypotheses about politics, identify reasonable measures to test relationships, collect political data, develop a research design on a topic of their choosing that is acceptable by professional political scientific standards, and publicly present this research design. Prerequisites: a minimum grade of C in WR 102, IS 201, IS 301. Should be taken during the second semester of the second class year.
IS 470-479. ADVANCED SPECIAL SEMINAR
Upper-division elective seminars on special topics in politics as suggested from time to time by members of the faculty or groups of cadets.
IS 480X: SCIENCE AND WAR
In this civilizations and cultures designated course, cadets learn of scientific discoveries and inventions resulting in technologies that have changed the nature of warfare. They examine the potential of science to contribute to 21st century warfare with a current emphasis or terrorism and asymmetrical warfare. They study giants of the scientific or engineering establishments who have made extraordinary contributions to the ways wars are fought with particular emphasis on those who were not native-born Americans. They make a field trip to Washington DC.
IS 490. INDEPENDENT STUDY
Research and writing of a substantial paper on an approved topic, under the direction of International Studies faculty. Prerequisite: Permission of the department head. IS 491. READInG FOR IS HOnORS 3—0—3 Cadets will develop an agenda of inquiry for the purpose of writing an original piece of political science research. To this end, cadets must, under the supervision of a faculty sponsor: choose an appropriate general topic; conduct in-depth reading in a selected subfield of political science; select an appropriate method of inquiry; and present and defend a formal research proposal. Prerequisite: Admission to the IS Honors Program.
IS 492. WRITING FOR IS HONORS
Cadets will write an original piece of political science research based on the preparation undertaken in IS 491. Specific requirements include: the completion of theoretical arguments or the execution of empirical hypothesis testing; scheduled draft and final paper submissions (to be accomplished in close consultation with a faculty sponsor); and a public oral presentation of the completed project. The successful completion of this course will result in the conferral of Department Honors. Prerequisite: Grade of B or better in IS 491.
IS 493. INTERNATIONAL STUDIES SENIOR THESIS
Research and writing of a substantial paper under supervision of a faculty sponsor. Oral examination by an ad hoc faculty committee. Open only to international studies majors. Prerequisite: Grade of B or better in IS 491 and IS 492.
IS 494. PUBLIC SECTOR INTERNSHIP
Cadets` work as interns with public-sector agencies, under the supervision of a member of the IS faculty in conjunction with officials from the agency involved. Course work will include readings, designing and carrying out of a suitable project with the agency, and preparation of a final paper and interview by supervising faculty. Open to first and second class IS majors. Prerequisite: permission of department head.
LEADERSHIP STUDIES & CAREER DEVELOPMENT
LS 350. LEADERSHIP AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT I
Required for those cadets not being commissioned in the Armed Forces and who are enrolled in AS 303, MS 309, NS 308, or NS 303. The class focuses on knowing yourself, career discovery and planning, resume writing, and personal development.
LS 351. LEADERSHIP AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT II
Required for those cadets not being commissioned in the Armed Forces, and who are enrolled in AS 304, MS 310, NS 205, or NS 304. The class focuses on career preparation and research. networking skills, critical thinking, time management, and values and ethics in the workplace.
LS 450. LEADERSHIP AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT III
Required for those cadets not being commissioned in the Armed Forces, and who are enrolled in AS 403, MS 409, or NS 408. The class focuses on job search and graduate school admission activities, business correspondence, building a portfolio, recruitment, advanced interviewing skills, dressing for success, business etiquette, and using the internet in the job search.
LS 451. LEADERSHIP AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT IV
Required for those cadets not being commissioned in the Armed Forces, and who are enrolled in AS 404, MS 410, NS 402, or NS 404. The class focuses on post-VMI career transition, salary negotiation, business ethics, employment law, income tax preparation, basic money management and investing for the future, 401 (k) plans, starting your own business, and how much insurance is enough.