This course ties together the students’ academic experience with their practical experience. In class, we investigate and discuss the changing roles and influence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in world politics. Specific seminars include: “The NGO boom”; “NGOs, Networks, and the State”; “Multinational Corporations and NGOs”; “NGOs and International Norms: Success and Non-Success”; “Practical Issues and Challenges for International NGOs”; “Why Do We Care About What We Care About?”; and “NGOs and/(are?) Western Imperialism.”
As part of BGIA’s emphasis on skill-building, students give a formal, timed, multi-media presentation about their internship organization and their roll within that organization. They also must work with their organization to create a document detailing what the students’ expectations are for the internship, and what the organizations’ expectations are of the intern.
In addition, students also write a series of short papers and take a final take-home essay exam and/or write a seminar paper. The exam and paper both link the students’ real-world experiences to the readings and discussions we have had in class.
Recent examples of final papers include:
• “NGO Capacity Development: Contributing to the Struggle for Workers’ Rights in Mexico” (student interned at Safe Horizon Immigration Law Center);
• “Youth Activism at Rio+20” (student interned for Global Kids);
• “The Importance of Protocol during the Opening Ceremony of the General Assembly” (student interned in the United Nations Protocol and Liaison Service);
• “Are we there yet? A Historical Analysis of Democratization in Burma” (student interned for the Global Justice Center); and
• “Countercyclical Financial Regulation: State of the Field Analysis” (student interned at World Policy Institute)
The class takes advantage of our New York City location and every semester and summer we have many guest speakers from a wide spectrum of organizations within the field including: United Nations; US State Department; Human Rights Watch; Council on Foreign Relations; World Policy Institute; Open Society Foundations; Central American Legal Assistance; Control Risks Group; East/West Institute; Asia Society; and many others.
Trends in Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Tom Parker / Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Adviser on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, United Nations
Tuesday, 7- 9:20 PM Bard College Distribution: HISTVIEW MORE >>
The purpose of this course is to chart the rise of international terrorism and examine State responses to this ever-evolving threat. The course is divided into three self-contained units addressing the origins of international terrorism, the growth and evolution of Islamic terrorism and State responses to terrorist threats. Seminars will consider case studies drawn from Western Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. At the conclusion of the course it is hoped that students will have a deeper understanding of the circumstances that motivate dedicated terrorist groups and the means and methods available to States seeking to contain or defeat them.
Writing on International Affairs
Ilan Greenberg / Contributor, The New York Times, The National Interest, The New Republic, and The Wall Street Journal
Monday, 4- 6:20 PM Bard College Distribution: PARTVIEW MORE >>
In this course we will examine ways in which foreign correspondents cover the world. We will learn about how journalism interrogates politics, conflict, human rights, economic development, science, culture, and current events generally. We will explore the social, economic, and political fissures impacting the coverage of global affairs. And we will discuss the changing media landscape such as the rise of social media, the perspectives of journalism from different parts of the world, and how the media influence international relations.
We will acquire an understanding of the issues animating current media coverage of global affairs, and also will learn about the mechanics of journalism, such as editing, contextualizing subject matter, and fundamental reporting skills. Although we will scrutinize video, radio, and multimedia journalism, this course primarily seeks to sharpen your understanding of and ability at expository writing on global affairs and you will be expected to write intensively almost every week.
Class assignments will entail research and original reporting. We will read and discuss a representative sampling of articles and books by journalists about foreign affairs, and will include discussions with experienced reporters and editors about their work.
Researching International Affairs: Models, Problems, and Approaches
James Ketterer / Director, International Academic Initiatives, Center for Civic Engagement & Senior Fellow, Institute of International Liberal Education, Bard College
Tuesday, 4- 6:20 PM Bard College Distribution: SSCIVIEW MORE >>
The central goal of this course is to enable students to both construct sound research designs and to have the ability to critique the research designs of others - and to apply those methods to topics of key concern in international affairs,including human rights, democratization, alliances, conflict, etc. This course will introduce a variety of methodological tools required for carrying out research in the field of international affairs and to the ongoing debates about methods and social science. This is not a lecture course. It is designed to be a methods workshop in which we will be reading about a variety of issues important to social science research, discussing them, applying them to real-world situations, constructing your own research designs, and critiquing those of your peers. In addition, we will also examine real-world examples in the Middle East, Africa and other regions.
Issues in Global Public Health
Peter Navario / Technical Advisor, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) & Scott Rosenstein / Director, Global Health, Eurasia Group
Monday, 7- 9:20 PM Bard College Distribution: SSCI
Intelligence, Risk, and Decision Making
Giles Alston / Senior Associate, Oxford Analytica
Wednesday, 6:30- 8:50 PM Bard College Distribution: SSCIVIEW MORE >>
This course is essentially about the relationship between information, analysis, risk and decision makers. On one level, this means that it is about something you do yourself all the time -- but we will be looking specifically at how analysis is produced for those who work in both the public and the private sectors and face critical political, investment, or even humanitarian decisions. Concentrating on three crucial components – collection, analysis and communications – the goal is understand processes behind the production of good analysis and the ways in which it can be conveyed to decision makers. At the same time as studying some of the instances in which intelligence analysis has resulted in success -- and, because it tends to be more revealing, those where it has not -- we will be trying out some of the techniques involved in professional analysis, including writing, presentations, and team work, and looking at analysts working in the government, financial, and non-profit sectors. The intention is to offer an appreciation of what professional analysts do in an intelligence and political risk context, and how their work can feed into the conduct of international relations and international business.
Courses for Fall 2013
The Development of the United Nations System
Ambassador Joseph Melrose / Former Acting United States Representative for Management and Reform at the United Nations; former United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone
Tuesday, 4- 6:20 PM Bard College Distribution: HISTVIEW MORE >>
This course introduces students to the United Nations (UN) and its historical role in maintaining international peace and security. It will begin by looking at the origins, history and evolution of the organization, and of the UN system more broadly. Starting with an analysis of the founding of the League of Nations, its work during the inter-war period and the reasons for its eventual failure, the course will then trace the evolution of the League of Nations into the United Nations. We will study the UN Charter and its provisions for the maintenance of peace and security, and will compare and contrast the UN’s charter with that of its predecessor. An examination of the UN’s organizational structure and the evolution and key functions of its main organs will follow, and we will also touch upon the work of its agencies and their relevance for global security. The course will then turn to a comprehensive analysis of the UN’s efforts to maintain international peace and security over the course of the past six decades, and will focus on the UN’s work in the following areas: disarmament; the peaceful settlement of disputes and conflict prevention; peacekeeping operations; sanctions; peace enforcement; humanitarian intervention; post-conflict peacebuilding; territorial administration; and terrorism. To conclude, we will turn to UN reform and investigate whether the UN can be reformed effectively. The course will address a broad range of theoretical and practical questions, including the following: Whose interests does the UN really serve? What is the UN’s record on conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding? What is the nature of the UN-US relationship, and why has it been strained over the years?
Realism Reconsidered: Ethics in International Relations
Joel Rosenthal / President, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
Monday, 4- 6:20 PM Bard College Distribution: HUMVIEW MORE >>
Thucydides punctuates his history of the Peloponnesian war with the quote of the Athenian generals, ‘The strong do what they will, the weak do what they must.’ In the twentieth century, this sentiment is echoed by the great realists, Hans Morganthau and Henry Kissinger, who argued that power and interest were the guideposts for foreign policy. What values guide us as we make choices about the use of force, resolving conflict, promoting human rights, encouraging democracy and participating in international organizations. This course will examine competing claims of morality, reason and power in contemporary international relations.
The Core Seminar examines key concepts in the study of international affairs including: states; anarchy; the balance of power; cooperation; and more. The conceptual, rather than theoretical, approach allows students from all backgrounds to succeed in the class. The class situates the students' internships in the broader study of international affairs by examining the role of NGOS, IGOs, think-tanks, multi-national corporations, and transnational networks in the international system.
Writing on International Affairs
Andrew Nagorski / Vice President and Director of Public Policy, EastWest Institute
Tuesday, 6:30- 8:50 PM Bard College Distribution: PARTVIEW MORE >>
This course will put a heavy emphasis on reporting, writing and developing the sensibilities needed for success as an international news correspondent. We will focus heavily on the techniques of the craft, always in the context of contemporary world events and the realities of modern English-language media. A series of lecturers, and a visit to one of New York City's great newsrooms, will be included during the semester. This is not a course for purists, but rather a broad look at a varied, complex discipline. We will examine briefly many of the topics an international journalist will confront today. We also will touch upon the broadcast and Internet skills that no journalist who strives to be in interesting places at interesting times can afford to ignore in this modern world.
Power, War and Terror in International Affairs
Scott Silverstone / Professor of International Relations, U.S. Military Academy, West Point
Wednesday, 4- 6:20 PM Bard College Distribution: SSCIVIEW MORE >>
From the Peloponnesian War among the Greek city-states in the 5th century B.C., to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and America's invasion of Iraq in 2003, power has remained a central feature of world politics, motivating the behavior of states and nonstate actors alike. Yet the character and distribution of power has changed dramatically since the rise of the modern state system in the 17th century. For nearly two decades now, American primacy has defined the global power structure. This fact is an historic anomaly; at no time in history has any one state amassed the degree of military, economic, and political power the United States now enjoys. In fact, contemporary American foreign policy is premised on the assertion that the United States must sustain its primacy against any potential challengers for the indefinite future.
This course explores the character of power and war in this era of American hegemony. We will examine the vigorous debates over the objectives of American power, unilateralism versus multilateralism as rival approaches to exercising power, debates over what military power can actually achieve, and the potential for a global backlash against the United States. Among other specific issues this course will address is the rise of China and India and the implications for global security and economic issues; rogue states and nuclear proliferation; the preventive war option to address shifting threats; the political and strategic future of the Middle East; terrorism as an alternative form of the power struggle and as a type of asymmetric warfare waged by nonstate actors; the continuing problem of humanitarian crises, failed states and intervention in the post-9/11 world; and the changing nature of global energy politics as an acute security issue.
James Creighton / Chief Operating Officer, EastWest Institute
Monday, 7- 9:20 PM Bard College Distribution: HISTVIEW MORE >>
The purpose of this class is to teach students the basics of counterinsurgency operations. Students will analyze counterinsurgency operations and understand the complex government, development and security considerations involved with defeating an insurgency and helping a legitimate government earn the respect of its people. The class will use case study reviews, personal experience, lectures, oral presentations, written requirements and practical exercises in order to emphasize lessons learned in counterinsurgency, analyze operational techniques, optimize all resources available, mitigate challenges and develop each student’s understanding of how to be successful in a complex environment. At the end of the course, students will have analyzed counterinsurgency operations and will be able to recognize effective operations, develop plans to mitigate challenges and understand how to maximize the impact of counterinsurgency operations.
Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program 36 West 44th Street, Suite 1011, New York, NY 10036 Phone: 1.646.839.9262 Fax: 1.646.839.9264 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org