Today is Shopping Day, the kick-off for the semester. Students (including newly returned continuing students) can gather information on class options from professors who give short presentations about them. The focus is on new classes, but any professor can do a presentation on Shopping Day.
One of the new class options this semester is a special offering. Here’s the description:
This fall, Fletcher students are invited to participate in a class that will be taught simultaneously and in real time to Fletcher students and graduate students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Russia’s oldest and largest professional training program in international affairs. The course, Strategic Rivalry or Strategic Responsibility: The United States and Russia in the Key Euro-Atlantic and Asia-Pacific Regions, will be taught by Robert Legvold, the Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Columbia University, who will be visiting Fletcher. The course will cover the large challenges facing the United States and Russia in the two major strategic arenas where both have vital roles to play: the historic Euro-Atlantic region and the rising Asia-Pacific region.
Students of the two countries will have an opportunity to interact and collaborate directly with one another in assessing the current state of affairs in U.S.-Russian relations, then moving to a consideration of the key issues that both countries face in these two critical regions, how their policy in one region will or should affect policy in the other region, and what the impact is likely to be on the interests and behavior of the other country. Energy relations, new and old security threats, the risks from regional conflicts, and the task of building or modifying regional institutions in the Euro-Atlantic and Asia-Pacific regions will all be examined. Students will be expected to develop policy perspectives on all of these dimensions for both the U.S. and Russian cases.
The first portion of the course will be taught from MGIMO, with Fletcher students participating in class discussion by video-conference. In the second portion of the semester, the process will be reversed and Professor Legvold will teach the seminar from Fletcher with MGIMO students joining by video-conference. Regardless of Professor Legvold’s location, all students will be treated as present in the live classroom and expected to participate fully. In the final weeks of the semester, the emphasis will shift to students’ research papers, and the full-class video conference sessions will be devoted to the research challenges the students are facing. During these weeks Professor Legvold will spend time at both schools, working with students individually.
In addition to lectures, reading, class discussion, and a research paper, assignments will include student collaboration in small clusters, which will consist of a mix of Fletcher and MGIMO students. Within these clusters students will work together using course forums or social media to prepare a memorandum on a topic relevant to one of the different weeks’ themes.