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Self-Designed Field of Study

Description

Fields of study are areas of specialization or concentration that are used to meet The Fletcher School’s depth requirement. Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy students need two fields of study to graduate, and students can design and propose their own field of study (see here for more information).

Russia and Eurasia is a new self-designed field of study consisting of courses chosen among the offered classes at The Fletcher School on a regular basis. The self-designed field of study offers understanding of foreign policy, geopolitics, religion, and security of a region torn apart after the collapse of the Soviet Union. 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 must take at least four of the classes (a total of 12.0 credits) suggested below to complete the Russia and Eurasia self-designed field of study. Students are encouraged to approach Arik Burakovsky for advice about designing their own field of study on the region.

 

Courses

DHP D210: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF STATECRAFT 

It is easy to develop explanations for foreign policy decision-making; it is quite another thing to act as the policymaker. What are the available tools of influence that an international actor can use to influence other actors in the world? When are these tools likely to work? The goal of this course is to offer an introduction into the world of policymaking and statecraft. Topics include using coercion and inducement; intervening in the domestic politics of another country; the nature of public and private diplomacy; and case studies of notable policy successes and failures from the past. The course will be taught in Fall 2020 by Professor Daniel Drezner.

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. The course will be taught in Spring 2021 by Professor Daniel Drezner.

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 is being taught in 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 D267: THE GLOBALIZATION OF CENTRAL ASIA AND CAUCASUS 

This course establishes a basis for understanding modern political and cultural changes in Central Asia and the Caucasus. A major effort will be made to describe how the role of external factors in combination with internal conditions framed the problems new leaders had to confront when the Soviet Union collapsed. Special attention will be devoted to the place of ethnic and sectarian violence and the root causes of such conflict. Other topics studied are: economic development; transfer of modern technology and its environmental impact; ethnic politics; fundamentalism as a response to rapid change; the global politics of oil gas and water; and the new “Great Game” in Central Asia. This course was taught in Spring 2017 and Spring 2018 by Professor Andrew Hess.

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, and is being taught in Fall 2019; and  it will be taught in Fall 2020 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 Professor Igor Istomin via video-link, involves 15 students of The Fletcher School and 15 students of MGIMO University.  This course was taught in Fall 2017 and Fall 2018; and it will be taught in Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 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. This course was taught in Spring 2017,  Spring 2018, and Spring 2019; and it will be taught in Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 by Professor Klaus Scharioth.

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, and Spring 2019; and it will be taught in Spring 2020 and Spring 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 I. 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; and it will be taught in Spring 2021 by Professor Christopher Miller.

DHP P215: ALMOST MIDNIGHT: U.S. STRATEGIC CHOICES IN A TIME OF NUCLEAR DISORDER 

This seminar offers an in-depth analysis of selected nuclear issues that today top the U.S. nuclear agenda. The course seeks to explain the genesis and the evolution of these issues and to examine and debate the appropriateness of current policies.  The course offers both theoretical and policy perspectives on these issues so as to encourage students to experiment with different theoretical lenses and to familiarize themselves with the constraints and limits of policy formulation in the face of complex and pressing dilemmas. This course was taught in Spring 2017Spring 2018, and Fall 2018 by Professor Francesca Giovannini. 

DHP P217: GLOBAL POLITICAL ECONOMY 

This course surveys the theories and issue areas of the global political economy, in the past, present and immediate future. The first section of the course will evaluate the existing concepts and theories used to explain the variations in international economic exchange over time. The second section surveys various issue areas of the global political economy as a testing ground for the theories discussed in the first section. The issue areas that will be examined include: open economy macroeconomics, global finance, and migration. This course was taught in Fall 2017 and Fall 2018; and it will be taught in Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 by Professor Daniel Drezner. 

DHP P237M/CS150-09: PRIVACY IN THE DIGITAL AGE 

This module will provide an introduction to the threats to and protections for privacy in the digital age, examining public and private sector threats, and looking at issues from an international point of view. Topics to be covered include privacy threat models, location tracking and first and third party collection by private parties, government threats to privacy, and privacy protective technologies. This course was taught in Spring 2018 by Professor Susan Landau. It will be taught in Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 by Professor Josephine Wolff. 

DHP P249: INTERNATIONAL CYBER CONFLICT

One of the most consequential national security and economic challenges confronting policymakers today is cyber space and the threats that emanate from it. As a domain and instrument of competition and conflict, cyber space enables a range of global actors—including dissidents, terrorist organizations, and states with varying levels of offensive and defensive cyber capabilities—to assert influence, project power, and conduct activities in the increasingly ambiguous gray areas between war and peace. Designed as an introductory course for the national security generalist, this seminar will explore the role of power and conflict in cyber space; examine the various activities that occur in cyber space, including espionage, subversion, sabotage, and the potential for cyber warfare; explore the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and the role of the private sector; and discuss the policies, strategies, and governance structures of key actors that operate within the cyber domain. Underscoring topics throughout the course will be discussions on the role of risk and how policymakers assess threats and adapt to risk in the cyber domain.  Not open to students who have taken PS 188-03/COMP 50: Cybersecurity and Cyberwarfare. This course was taught in Spring 2017 by Professor Michele Malvesti. It will be taught in Spring 2021 by Professor Susan Landau.

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

This course will address “science diplomacy” as an emerging interdisciplinary field with global relevance to promote cooperation and prevent conflict among nations. 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 across our world. This course, co-taught with Professor Alexander Vylegzhanin over video-link, will involve 15 students of The Fletcher School and 15 students of MGIMO University. This course was taught in Spring 2017Spring 2018, and Spring 2019; and it will be taught in Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 by Professor Paul Berkman.

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, and Spring 2019; and it will be taught in Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 by Professor Elizabeth H. Prodromou. 

DHP P291: POWER IN THEORY AND PRACTICE 

Those who study international politics for a living are certain about two facts: power is the defining concept of the discipline, and each scholar’s idiosyncratic definition of power is superior to everyone else’s. This lack of consensus is a problematic state of affairs. The goal of this course is to get a better understanding of what power is, 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 it will be taught in Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 by Professor Daniel Drezner.

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