Global Affairs (GLBL)

GLBL 121a, Applied Quantitative AnalysisStaff

This course is an introduction to statistics and their application in public policy and global affairs research. Throughout the term we cover issues related to data collection (including surveys, sampling, and weighted data), data description (graphical and numerical techniques for summarizing data), probability and probability distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, measures of association, and regression analysis.   QR0 Course cr

GLBL 159a / ECON 159a, Game TheoryBenjamin Polak

An introduction to game theory and strategic thinking. Ideas such as dominance, backward induction, Nash equilibrium, evolutionary stability, commitment, credibility, asymmetric information, adverse selection, and signaling are applied to games played in class and to examples drawn from economics, politics, the movies, and elsewhere. After introductory microeconomics. No prior knowledge of game theory assumed.  QR, SO0 Course cr
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* GLBL 202a, Power, Morals, and Double Standards: Human Rights in U.S. Foreign PolicyRobert Malley

The role played in U.S. foreign policy by so-called values – the promotion of human rights and democracy; the prevention of mass atrocities; or humanitarian intervention, among others -- has long been a subject of controversy. Questions arise from several disparate directions. Some argue that incorporating moral judgments in the foreign policy decision-making is at odds with the pursuit of U.S. national interests. Others believe that American exceptionalism – the belief that the United States must act as a force for good in the world – is intrinsic to its national security and provides it with a unique comparative advantage vis-à-vis competing powers. Still others challenge the United States’ effectiveness in pursuing a values-centered foreign policy, its sincerity, or both -- pointing to a history in which the exercise of American power has had devastating consequences for its purported beneficiaries, or been marred by blatant double standards and hypocrisy. This course takes a closer look at the debate surrounding these issues from an historical, intellectual, and practical viewpoint. When, how, and why did various U.S. administrations come to emphasize notion of morality as a central dimension of their foreign policy? Have the strategies they have carried out been successful in advancing the values they claim to embody and, if not, why not? What has been the reaction of governments and citizens on the receiving end of American encouragement, pressure, sanctions, or military intervention? Can an administration justifiably claim to place values at the center of its foreign policy if it does so irregularly, a function of whether the target government is friend or foe?  SO
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

GLBL 203a / PLSC 186a, Globalization and Domestic PoliticsStaff

Examination of the political and institutional conditions that explain why some politicians and interest groups (e.g. lobbies, unions, voters, NGOs) prevail over others in crafting foreign policy. Consideration of traditional global economic exchange (trade, monetary policy and finance) as well as new topics in the international political economy (IPE), such as migration and environmental policy.  0 Course cr

GLBL 219b / ECON 375b, Monetary PolicyWilliam English

Introduction to modern macroeconomic models and how to use the models to examine some of the key issues that have faced monetary policymakers during and after the global financial crisis of 2008–2009. Prerequisites: Intermediate level macroeconomics (ECON 122 or 126) and introductory econometrics.  WR, SO0 Course cr
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* GLBL 225a, Approaches to International DevelopmentStaff

This course focuses on understanding poverty and economic development. The emphasis is on applying the tools of economics and empirical analysis for thinking critically about the nature, causes and potential policy solutions to poverty. Topics include the measurement of poverty; economic growth; institutions and colonialism; social capital; inequality; migration and forced displacement; rural finance and labor markets; and gender. Enrollment limited to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Prerequisite: GLBL 121.  QR, SO0 Course cr

* GLBL 272b / AFAM 362b / ER&M 272b / FREN 262b / HIST 223b, Black FranceMarlene Daut

This course offers an in-depth exploration of the complex history of Black France, tracing its roots from the era of French colonization in the Caribbean and the transatlantic slave trade to its contemporary manifestations across France and its overseas territories. Beginning with an examination of French colonialism in the Caribbean, particularly focusing on the brutal system of slavery and the development of the Code Noir under the reign of Louis XIV, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the origins of race-thinking in France. Students also read about the pivotal role of French colonies like Saint-Domingue, Martinique, and Guadéloupe in the resistance against slavery, highlighting the Haitian Revolution as a watershed moment in the struggle for freedom and self-determination. Through the lens of this historic event, students analyze the complexities of slave rebellion, the quest for abolition, and the enduring legacy of resistance in Black (francophone) communities. By highlighting the socio-political relationship of the colonial and revolutionary era to the present, students explore the interconnectedness of slavery, colonialism, and power dynamics within the French empire and the enduring impact of this tumultuous history on contemporary conceptions of Blackness in France. Using an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses history, sociology, literary, and cultural studies, students analyze the formation of Black identity, racial ideologies, and the ongoing struggle for recognition and equality within French society.  WR, HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

GLBL 275a, Approaches to International SecurityStaff

Introduction to major approaches and central topics in the field of international security, with primary focus on the principal man-made threats to human security: the use of violence among and within states, both by state and non-state actors. Priority to Global Affairs majors. Non-majors require permission of the instructor.  SO0 Course cr

GLBL 283a / PLSC 145a, Technology and WarStaff

The course explores the international security implications of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, cyberweapons, hypersonic missiles, and so-called killer robots. The first half of the course offers a deep dive into the transformative military and civilian technologies of the 20th century, examining how doctrine and culture shaped the development, acquisition, and deployment of key systems like submarines, bomber aircraft, and nuclear bombs, and how these technologies, in turn, shaped international security. In the second half of the course, we apply the lessons of the past to make theoretically guided predictions.  What norms will guide the use of new technologies, and what weapons should or should not be developed? Are arms races inevitable? What might improve the prospects for arms control of emerging technologies?  SO0 Course cr

* GLBL 299a / EP&E 299a / PLSC 332a, Philosophy of Science for the Study of PoliticsIan Shapiro

An examination of the philosophy of science from the perspective of the study of politics. Particular attention to the ways in which assumptions about science influence models of political behavior, the methods adopted to study that behavior, and the relations between science and democracy. Readings include works by both classic and contemporary authors.  SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* GLBL 307a / ECON 467a, Economic Evolution of the Latin American and Caribbean CountriesErnesto Zedillo

Economic evolution and prospects of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Topics include the period from independence to the 1930s; import substitution and industrialization to the early 1980s; the debt crisis and the "lost decade"; reform and disappointment in the late 1980s and the 1990s; exploration of selected episodes in particular countries; and speculations about the future. Prerequisities: intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics.  SO
M 9:25am-11:15am

GLBL 308a / ECON 424a, Central BankingWilliam English

Introduction to the different roles and responsibilities of modern central banks, including the operation of payments systems, monetary policy, supervision and regulation, and financial stability. Discussion of different ways to structure central banks to best manage their responsibilities. Prerequisites: Intermediate Microeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, and Introductory Econometrics.  SO0 Course cr
MW 1pm-2:15pm

GLBL 309a / EAST 310a / PLSC 357a, The Rise of ChinaStaff

Analysis of Chinese domestic and foreign politics, with a focus on the country’s rise as a major political and economic power. Topics include China's recent history, government, ruling party, technology, trade, military, diplomacy, and foreign policy.  SO0 Course cr

* GLBL 310a / ECON 407a, International FinanceAna Fieler

A study of the implications of increasing integration of the world economy, through international trade, multinational production, and financial markets.  Topics include foreign exchange markets, capital flows, trade and current account imbalances, coordination of monetary and fiscal policy in a global economy, financial crises and their links to sovereign debt crises and currency devaluations.  Prerequisite: intermediate macroeconomics or equivalent.  SO0 Course cr
MW 9am-10:15am

* GLBL 313a, The United Nations on the GroundJessica Faieta

This course explores the role and functioning of the United Nations at the country level from the perspective of the three mandates or pillars of the UN Charter. 1) Peace and Security, and in particular the Peace-keeping operations: how do they work? Who decides to send a UN mission to a country? what do they do in each country? 2) Development: How does the UN helps countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? Which are the different UN agencies, funds, and programs and how do they work in reducing poverty, advancing gender equality, preventing violence, fighting climate change and protecting the environment or ensuring food security? and 3) Human rights: How does the UN respond to humanitarian crises, such as natural disasters or refugee crisis? What is its role in protecting vulnerable populations such as children, ethnic minorities or indigenous peoples? How does the Organization monitor human rights compliance or helps avoid human rights violations?  SO
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* GLBL 315a, Economics of the EUMarnix Amand

The functioning of the economy of the European Union, both from a theoretical perspective (trade theory, monetary union, etc.) and from a practical perspective. Particular emphasis on the recent crises of the last ten years with effort to put these crises in a larger geostrategic context.  Prerequisites: ECON 110 or 115 and ECON 111 or 116.   SO
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* GLBL 319a, Human Rights and the Climate CrisisDaniel Wilkinson

As climate change takes a mounting toll on the lives and livelihoods of people around the globe, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting “climate resilience” have become, arguably, the most pressing challenges of our era. This seminar examines the climate crisis through the lens of human rights. How is climate change impacting people’s rights? And how can advocacy for people’s rights contribute to efforts to address climate change? We explore the scientific, political, and legal bases for attributing responsibility for climate impacts to governments and corporations, examine how international human rights norms obligate them to address these impacts, and assess the strategies, tactics, and tools employed by rights advocates to compel them to meet these obligations. More broadly, we consider how the exigencies of the climate crisis could ultimately undermine—or actually strengthen—the international human rights regime. Students are encouraged to question and critique positions taken by a range of climate activists, while simultaneously equipping themselves with the knowledge and analytical tools necessary to advocate effectively for ambitious, rights-respecting climate action.   SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* GLBL 344a / HIST 483Ja / PLSC 161a, Studies in Grand Strategy IIArne Westad and Michael Brenes

The study of grand strategy, of how individuals and groups can accomplish large ends with limited means. During the fall term, students put into action the ideas studied in the spring term by applying concepts of grand strategy to present day issues. Admission is by application only; the cycle for the current year is closed. This course does not fulfill the history seminar requirement, but may count toward geographical distributional credit within the History major for any region studied, upon application to the director of undergraduate studies. Prerequisite: PLSC 321. Previous study courses in political science, history, global affairs, or subjects with broad interdisciplinary relevance encouraged.  SO
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* GLBL 358a / PLSC 386a, The Geopolitics of the War in UkraineLauren Young

This seminar examines the war in Ukraine with a geopolitical lens focusing on its broader implications for both regional security and democracy. The outbreak of war in Ukraine in February 2022 quickly became a flashpoint in the region. Over two years later, the stakes are high and tensions are rising among transatlantic allies supporting Ukraine, both with arms and sanctions. This course evaluates the historical roots of the war and the fallout from a potential failure to effectively deter an authoritarian state from invading a sovereign neighbor. Our course of study includes the role of international stakeholders and multi-lateral institutions in the conflict, regional political and security dynamics and economic consequences. The humanitarian aspects of the war and its impact on civilian populations, human rights violations and the role of the media in shaping perceptions of the conflict is analyzed. Ultimately, what are the responsibilities of the international community in mitigating the human cost of conflict and the broader economic and policy implications? The aim of this course is both a comprehensive understanding of the conflict and its role in changing and shaping both security and democracy in region and further afield.  WR, SO
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

GLBL 383b / ECON 160b, Games and InformationBenjamin Polak and Jidong Zhou

This is designed to be a "second" game theory course. We build on the learnings from introductory game theory courses like ECON 159/GLBL 159, MGT 822 or the SOM core. The course aims to introduce important ideas and tools from game theory, and use them to answer questions in social sciences, law, and business.  For instance, how does information get sold and used to persuade? How do we think about the efficiency and equity of allocations? How do sellers decide the best format for an auction to sell a good? Does requiring unanimous verdicts guarantee that the innocent will not be convicted? What causes bank runs? When do we see price wars? The underlying ideas will include games of incomplete information, mechanism design, common knowledge and high-order reasoning, and repeated games.   Prerequisite: Any introductory game theory course, e.g., ECON/GLBL 159, MGT 822 or Game Theory in the SOM Core.  SORP0 Course cr
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

GLBL 392a, Intelligence, Espionage, and American Foreign PolicyStaff

The discipline, theory, and practice of intelligence; the relationship of intelligence to American foreign policy and national security decision-making. Study of the tools available to analyze international affairs and to communicate that analysis to senior policymakers. Case studies of intelligence successes and failures from World War II to the present.  0 Course cr

* GLBL 394a / ANTH 409a / ER&M 394a / EVST 422a / F&ES 422a, Climate and Society: Perspectives from the Social Sciences and HumanitiesMichael Dove

Discussion of the major currents of thought regarding climate and climate change; focusing on equity, collapse, folk knowledge, historic and contemporary visions, western and non-western perspectives, drawing on the social sciences and humanities.  WR, SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* GLBL 425a, Atrocity PreventionDavid Simon

Can atrocities be prevented? This course considers the ways in which episodes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes might be preventable. It looks at ways in which models of atrocities yield corresponding models of prevention, and then what policies those models, in turn, recommend. We consider a broad number of cases of prevention, devoting attention to the different phases and agents of the prevention efforts in question. We analyze the extent to which prevention efforts at different levels have been successful while being mindful of the costs that accompanied them. We aim to draw conclusions about what strategies key actors can deploy to reduce the incidence of mass atrocities throughout the world.  SO
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

GLBL 433a / HIST 433a, The Twentieth Century: A World HistoryStaff

For most people, almost everywhere, the twentieth century was a time of profound and accelerating change. Someone born in the 1890s could, if they lived a long life, have experienced two world wars, a global depression, collapse of empires, the enfranchisement of women and young people, and the rise of the United States to global power.  They could have witnessed the first cars, the first planes, the first radios and TVs, and the first computers. They could have been among the first to swear allegiance to one (or several) of 130 new states, almost twice the number that existed in 1900. They would have been certain to witness massive ecological destruction, as well as unparalleled advances in medicine, science, and the arts. The twentieth century was, as one historian puts it, an age of extremes, and in this class we explore some of these aspects of the age. The class is not intended to be a complete history nor is it one that provides an integrative interpretation of historical events. The aim is rather to enable students to know enough to think for themselves about the origins of today’s world and about how historical change is created.  HU0 Course cr

* GLBL 499a, Senior Capstone ProjectStaff

Students work in small task-force groups and complete a one-term public policy project under the guidance of a faculty member. Clients for the projects are drawn from government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and nonprofit groups, and private sector organizations in the United States and abroad. Projects and clients vary from year to year. Fulfills the capstone project requirement for the Global Affairs major.