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Europe and Eurasia Courses

Description

Fields of study are areas of specialization or concentration that are used to meet The Fletcher School’s depth requirement. MALD and MIB students need two fields of study to graduate, while MGA students need one field of study to graduate.

Courses on Europe and Eurasia can be taken to fulfill the regional tier of the Comparative and Regional Studies concentration. The field consists of courses that either address broad themes using a comparative lens or delve deeply into a specific country or region. The field is multidisciplinary with an emphasis on history and politics. Rather than operating at the level of the international system, the field focuses on the internal dynamics of states within particular regional and global contexts.

The Fletcher School offers courses on Europe and Eurasia that provide an understanding of foreign policy, geopolitics, religion, and security of a region torn apart after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Students will obtain knowledge about regional trends; social, political, and economic processes between and within post-Soviet nations; as well as their relations with the United States and European Union. Students are encouraged to approach Arik Burakovsky for advice about designing their curriculum on the region.

 

Courses

DHP D211: POLITICS OF STATECRAFT

Foreign policy is not immune from public debate, political gridlock, or human frailties. Building on The Art and Science of Statecraft, this course examines the political environment in which foreign policy is crafted and implemented. Topics include the role of public opinion, interest groups, bureaucracies, think tanks, and experts in the formulation of policy. Case studies of notable successes and failures of the policy process will be discussed. There will also be frequent in-class exercises in the various arts associated with the promotion of policy. Open to students who have completed D210.


DHP D264: GEOPOLITICS OF ENERGY IN EURASIA 

This course deals with the human impact of geopolitical and economic changes in Eurasia from the collapse of the Soviet Union to modern day. Since the supply of energy for industrializing societies in Eurasia is so important, the course will focus on issues related to the production, distribution and consumption of oil and gas and how they affect the political landscape of the region. Competition over the distribution of these critical resources has produced state conflict with global ramifications. A recent example of this is the current turmoil in the Middle East, which affects the entire political and economic situation in Eurasia. The trauma of the break-up of the Soviet Union has been exacerbated by the impact of accelerating technological changes taking place both in Eurasia and the rest of the world that has produced weak borders. To underline the importance of political instability, we will examine the difficulties that the Russian Federation has had with preserving peace and stability along its borders. Special emphasis will be placed on supranational issues such as the development of global LNG markets, migration, terrorism, climate change, and maritime security to highlight the importance of going beyond a state-centric view and approaching subjects from a global perspective. This course was taught in Fall 2016, Fall 2017Fall 2018, and Fall 2019 by Professor Andrew Hess.


DHP D265: THE GLOBALIZATION OF CENTRAL EURASIA: ENERGY, POLITICS, AND CULTURE

This course will examine the “Strategic Ellipse”, which includes Russia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southwest Asia, the Persian Gulf, East Africa, and the Indian Ocean. This crucial region comprises approximately 70 percent of the world’s proven oil and gas reserves. It is also host to some of the world’s most pressing security problems. We will analyze the impact of globalization and modernization on the cultures and politics of the countries in this region and their effect on global energy security. This course will provide in-depth knowledge of ethnic and sectarian violence, modern educational change, social and cultural reaction to radical urbanization, creation of a modern legal system, transfer of modern technology, and foreign policies of major state and non-state powers. This course was taught in Spring 2017 and Spring 2018 by Professor Andrew Hess.


DHP D271: INTERNATIONAL REALTIONS OF THE U.S. AND EAST ASIA: 1945 TO THE PRESENT

An examination of the international relations of the United States and East Asia since the end of World War II, principally U.S. interactions with China, Japan, and Korea, and secondarily, with Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Focus on fundamental concepts and realities of international politics governing interactions between the U.S. and East Asian nations, as well as the major geopolitical issues of the day. Study of the continuing patterns of interaction among the U.S. and East Asian states—the dynamics of wars, ideologies, political, economic, and cultural issues. This course was taught in Fall 2018, Spring 2020, and  Spring 2021 by Professor Sung-Yoon Lee.


DHP D280: U.S.-EU RELATIONS IN THE 21ST CENTURY: A MULTIDISCIPLINARY ANALYSIS OF TRANSATLANTIC AFFAIRS 

This course will explore the origins of transatlantic cooperation and the creation of common European economic and political structures, notably the European Union, and the development of transatlantic security alliances, particularly NATO.  It will compare constitutional governance in the differing federal systems of the United States and the EU, explore centrifugal forces like Brexit that are testing the sustainability of the EU, and examine the populist and nationalist political movements and neo-authoritarian tendencies that are challenging liberal democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.  Areas of economic cooperation and tension will be studied, including the financial crisis, international trade and regulatory affairs, and the failed negotiation of a transatlantic trade and investment partnership.  The course will also take up cooperative and conflicting policies of transatlantic partners in addressing security problems of terrorism, failed states, refugees, and human rights catastrophes.  Finally, it will examine the relationship of Russia, Turkey, and countries to the east with evolving transatlantic security, economic and political structures.  This course is required for all MATA students.  This course was taught in Fall 2017Fall 2018, Fall 2019, and Fall 2020  and will be taught in Fall 2021 by Professor John Shattuck. 


DHP D282: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN U.S. RUSSIAN RELATIONS 

This course examines major issues in U.S.-Russian relations, including views on sovereignty, values, and world order; Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia; and nuclear weapons, cyber, and each country’s role in the other’s domestic politics. The course, co-taught by a Professor at MGIMO university in Moscow via video-link, involves 15 students of The Fletcher School and 15 students of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) of the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  This course was taught in Fall 2017Fall 2018, Spring 2020, and Spring 2021 by Professor Christopher Miller.


DHP D283M: U.S.–EUROPEAN RELATIONS SINCE THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL 

The seminar examines U.S.-European relations since a peaceful revolution brought down the Berlin Wall in November 1989. The seminar looks at various common challenges in the period thereafter and how they were dealt with, both from the U.S. and the European perspective: the unification of Germany, Bosnia and Kosovo, the enlargement of NATO, NATO/Russia, 9/11 and the threat of violent extremism, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and nuclear non- proliferation and disarmament, among others. The emphasis is on practical skills rather than theory. Students will practice to write short memos for political leaders and to give very short oral presentations. One-half credit. Watch the course overview here. This course was taught in Spring 2017,  Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020,  and Spring 2021 by Professor Klaus Scharioth.


DHP D284: EUROPE IN THE CHANGING WORLD ORDER

In the 21st century, Europe finds itself between an introvert America and a resurgent Russia. This course will analyze European perceptions of Trump’s «America First» doctrine and its impact on policy changes in Europe. In this context we will examine trade issues and policies as well as changes in the European dependence on the Atlantic security structure. PESCO, the European Defense Fund, and the European Army proposals will be discussed. On the other hand, we will discuss the security challenges posed by a resurgent and revisionist Russia. The new Russian assertiveness, as evidenced in Georgia, Ukraine, the Balkans and Syria, and its interference in the domestic politics of Western democracies will be examined.  This course was taught in Fall 2020 and will be taught in Fall 2021 by Professor Constantine Arvanitopoulos.


DHP D 285: THE GLOBAL RISE OF POPULISM: EUROPE AND BEYOND

Populist parties are on the rise in Europe. From SYRIZA in Greece, Podemos in Spain, and the Five Star movement in Italy, to Brexit and the entry of AFD to the German Parliament, Orban in Hungary and Lepen in France, the increasing electoral support of populist parties is undoing the European political landscape.The objective of this course is to explore the phenomenon of populism. To provide definitions of populism, and examine current populist forces in Europe and their characteristics. It will also examine the ambivalent relationship between populism and democracy and assess national and international responses to the rise of populism. This seminar was taught in Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 by Professor Constantine Arvanitopoulos.


DHP D286: FROM AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES TO ILLIBERAL DEMOCRACIES

This seminar is to give students an understanding on the «reverse waves» to democratic rule. In 1922, the coming to power of Mussolini in Italy marked the first «reverse wave» that by 1942 had reduced the number of democratic states. The triumph of the Allies in WWII and the consequent expansion of democratic rule were followed by a second «reverse wave» in the Soviet space, and dictatorships in Latin America, Southern Europe and elsewhere. The triumph of liberal democracies in the Cold War is now threatened by a third «reverse wave» with the rise of illiberal democracies and the resuscitation of authoritarianism. This seminar will offer a broad taxonomy of authoritarian regimes in different times and will analyze the causes of this recurring phenomenon. This course was taught in Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 by Professor Constantine Arvanitopoulos.


DHP H205: THE HISTORIAN’S ART AND CURRENT AFFAIRS 

Through case studies, this course aims to give students the historical powers they need as they go out into the world: empathy, detachment, and relentless skepticism. The course examines the origins of World War I and the analogies the war provoked and provokes, as well as the two paradigms that come up when debating whether or not to go to war: the trouble that flowed from appeasing Nazi Germany and Japan in the run-up to World War II, and the disastrous Sicilian expedition embarked on by ancient Athens. The tension between these paradigms is explored through studies of war in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. The course will also examine how different readings of history can lead to dramatically different policies; the U.S., Russia, and China tell Cold War history differently and those differences do much to explain their different worldviews. Armed with knowledge of the many endings of the Cold War, the course will also compare the revolutions in Europe in 1989, Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, and the Arab Spring. This course was taught in Spring 2017 Spring 2018, Spring 2019, and Spring 2020 and will be taught in Fall 2021 by Professor Sulmaan Khan.


DHP H252: RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY FROM PETER THE GREAT TO PUTIN 

This course will examine major trends in Russian diplomacy and power projection. It begins by looking at Russian history, including the foreign policy of key tsars such as Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and Alexander. Then the course turns to the 20th century, including the diplomacy of the early Soviet state, Stalin and World War II, the rise and fall of the Cold War, and post-Soviet Russia. This course was taught in Spring 2019 by Professor Christopher Miller and will be co-taught in Fall 2021 by Professor Christopher Miller and Polina Beliakova.


DHP H271: FOREIGN RELATIONS OF MODERN CHINA, 1644 TO THE  PRESENT

This course is a survey of China’s foreign relations from the Qing dynasty to the present. Topics include geography, warfare, diplomacy, trade, cultural exchange, and the connections between past and present. Lectures followed by discussion. This course was taught in Fall 2020 and will be taught in Fall 2021 by Professor Sulmaan Khan.


DHP P259: SCIENCE DIPLOMACY: ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN 

This course will address “science diplomacy” as an international, interdisciplinary, and inclusive (holistic) field with global relevance to promote cooperation and prevent conflict among nations in our world that is being transformed with advanced technologies. The first formal dialogue between North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Russia about security issues in the Arctic Ocean will be used as a case study. The course addresses the elements of science diplomacy that apply across our civilization: (1) understanding of changes over time and space; (2) instruments for Earth system monitoring and assessment; (3) early warning systems; (4) catalysts of public-policy agendas; (5) features of international legal institutions; (6) sources of invention and commercial enterprise; (7) continuity across generations; (8) and global tool of diplomacy. The overall objective of this course is to consider the contributions of science diplomacy for building common interests among nations so that we can balance economic prosperity, environmental protection, and societal well-being – in view of today’s urgencies and the needs of future generations – across our world. This course was taught in Spring 2017Spring 2018, Spring 2019, and Spring 2020 by Professor Paul Berkman.


DHP P272: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CONTEMPORARY HISOTRY: CASE STUDIES FROM CHINA’S FRONTIERS

This seminar examines the significance of China’s frontiers for Chinese foreign policy, Asian security, and international relations. The course will move geographically, taking students from Vietnam to the South China Sea, by way of the Tibetan plateau, Central Asia, the Mongolian steppe, and the Diaoyu (or Senkaku) islands, to name a few. Students will consider the different forces that come into play in a frontier region, such as ethnicity, trade, boundary disputes, and geography. The course is multidisciplinary: students are encouraged to take advantage of perspectives from history, anthropology, political science, economics, and journalism. Students are expected to produce a 15-30 page research paper. The assignments of an annotated bibliography, a précis, and a rough draft are meant to facilitate the writing process. This course was taught in Spring 2019 and Spring 2020 by Professor Sulmaan Khan.


DHP P274: POLITICS OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA: FOREIGN AND INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS

An examination of Korea’s modern “evolution” as a state and society. Emphasis on Korea’s modern political history, from the origins and theory of statecraft in traditional Korea to the major geopolitical issues of the present day. Topics include Korea’s relations with the great powers of the North Pacific and the primacy of international relations in the Korean world: from imperialism and Japanese colonialism, partition of the Korean peninsula and the establishment of two separate Koreas, Cold War politics and the Korean War, economic development and political freedom, to inter-Korean relations. This course was taught in Fall 2020 and will be taught in Fall 2021 by Professor Sung-Yoon Lee.


DHP P275: NORTH KOREAN STATE AND SOCIETY

North Korea is the world world’s last major hermit society. Since the division of the Korean peninsula in 1945, South Korea has developed into one of the largest trading nations in the world with a vibrant democratic polity, while North Korea has descended into a perpetually aid-dependent state that maintains domestic control through the deification of the ruling family and operation of extensive political prisoner concentration camps. What does the future hold for North Korea? Emphasis on the Kim family continuum, strategy of brinkmanship, human rights, nuclear politics, and the implications of regime preservation or collapse. This course was taught in Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 by Professor Sung-Yoon Lee.


DHP P277: INTRODUCTION TO NUCLEAR SECURITY

This course offers a general introduction to nuclear security. It provides a comprehensive but concise overview of the topic’s main historical, theoretical, and policy dimensions. During the first part of the semester, we will discuss key concepts (fission, deterrence, vertical proliferation, etc.) associated with the post-World War II emergence of nuclear strategy, explore the superpowers’ Cold War competition, and study the emergence of new nuclear-weapon states (Britain, China, etc.). Once these conceptual and historical foundations in place, we will investigate the theoretical debates that have divided scholars on seminal questions such as the causes of proliferation, the effectiveness of the international non-proliferation regime (and of counter-proliferation), the impact of nuclear weapons on state behavior (war/peace, coercion, etc.), and the many constraints and forms of resistance that have emerged over time (norms, disarmament, etc.). During the third section of the course, we will examine the post-Cold War emergence of the “second nuclear age,” with a specific interest for nuclear terrorism, climate change, nuclear safety, and US primacy. Finally, we will probe the nuclear challenges that have (re)emerged in East Asia (China, North Korea), the Middle East (Israel, Iran), Europe (Russia’s nuclear resurgence, NATO’s extended deterrence), and South Asia (India, Pakistan). In each class meeting, we will cover these local nuclear powers’ historical emergence, their current status, and the US response. The conclusion of the course will survey the latest trends, including prospects for disarmament, the Trump Administration’s nuclear policy, and the impact of cyber on command-and-control systems. Watch the course overview here. This course was taught in Spring 2021 by Professor Thomas Cavanna.


DHP P280: EURASIA: GEOPOLITICS, RELIGION, AND SECURITY 

This course explores the intersection of geography, religion, and security in the trans-regional, trans-continental space of Eurasia. The course focuses primarily on the relationship between the United States and Russia, and questions whether the US and Russia are engaged in a zero-sum competition in Eurasia.  The course has three parts: an introduction to theories of classical and critical geopolitics; an introduction to the origins of Eurasia as a geographic and cultural space, where religion figures prominently in competing geographies of power and identity; and, a review of key cases that give comparative purchased into the religion-security nexus in Eurasia. This course was taught in Spring 2017Spring 2018, Spring 2019,  and Spring 2020 by Professor Elizabeth Prodromou.


DHP P287M: POLITICAL ECONOMY AND BUSINESS OF THE EU

Has the European Union (EU) delivered on its promise of a fully integrated economic and political union? How has Europe grown from its modest beginning with the European Coal and Steel Community established in 1951 with only six countries to the European Union, which today encompasses 27 countries? Is the Euro crisis undermining the future of the European Union or will it usher the EU in a fiscal union, which by necessity requires a closer political union? How does this multi- faceted integrative process shape the European business environment? Through class discussion and case studies managerial implications for firms operating in Europe are assessed at the provincial, national, and EU level. No prerequisite. Offered in English (01) and French (02) language sections. For MIB students, this course is one of the regional options. This course was taught in Spring 2020 by Professor Laurent Jacque.


DHP P291: POWER IN WORLD POLITICS 

Power is the defining concept in the international relations discipline, and yet there is no consensus about what that concept means. This is a problematic state of affairs. The need for a better conceptual and empirical understanding of power should be obvious. This seminar will confront these conceptual and empirical problems head-on. Through an array of scholarly readings and case studies, we will aim for a better understanding of what power means, its myriad dimensions, how it is perceived over time, and how it is exercised by actors in world politics. This course was taught in Spring 2018 and Spring 2020  and will be taught in Fall 2021 by Professor Daniel Drezner.