Descriptions for College of International Studies Courses
College Required Courses:
INS 201 Middle East Politics
This course is a fast-paced survey of the comparative politics of the contemporary Middle East. It aims to enable students to develop a refined, critical, historically-rooted grasp of the major developments in society and politics in the contemporary Middle East as well as their complex and multi-layered nature. It explores various aspects of Middle Eastern politics and political culture, including the persistence of authoritarianism, political violence and ethnic and religious politics, as well as aspects of the crisscrossing and overlapping regional conflicts, changing political dynamics, political institutions, the resolution of social conflict, and the conduct of public policy in a number of countries in the region. The topics covered in this course include: the colonial legacy, Israeli-Arab conflict and the peace process, regime types and governance, democracy deficit and prospects for democratization, political economy, resource curse, Islam and politics, political Islam and pluralist politics, Islam and political power, identity politics and sectarianism, the “Arab Spring,” radicalization and Salafist Jihadism.
INS402 Conflict and Sustainability
The first half of this course focuses on both theoretical concepts of conflict and sustainability and their relevance for application “in the real world.” You will learn about nine levels and eight types of conflict and seven concepts of sustainability. There will be ongoing student presentations to make sure proper understanding and reference to current conflicts happening. This will provoke structured creative thought processes based on the concepts of “see, think, and wonder.”
The second half of the course is focused on the role of third parties in creating and solving conflicts and the ways which conflicts are portrayed in the public space. Sustainability is investigated through the lens of action with a double complementary approach: think global, act local and think local, act global.
By the end of this course you should have and be able to acquire and understand the main conceptual frameworks of conflict and sustainability; understand the factors and interdependencies that have led to conflicts in the past and today; learn about and understand approaches on how to solve conflicts sustainably; understand the importance of participation/inclusion and cultural fit; be able to apply the learned concepts on real cases.
INR407 Graduation Research Project I & II
This course is divided across two semesters (Parts 1 and 2). Although we will learn about writing academic studies and research methods during both parts, the first part will focus on developing a research proposal and the second part will focus on writing a complete research study. More specifically, students will learn how to collect and analyze empirical data, and how to write an Abstract, Introduction, Literature Review, Current Study, Methodology, Results, and Discussion sections of their Graduation Research Project. We will also learn some professional development skills (e.g. writing an academic CV, preparing to give a presentation at an academic conference) in this course, particularly in the second part.
INS405 Negotiation and Mediation Models
Essential negotiation and mediation principles and techniques will be covered, followed by problem-solving exercises intended to confirm a grasp of concepts. Various key conceptual elements will be covered that are associated with the field along with its range and breadth of its formal specializations.
By the end of the course participants will be able to:
Grasp the essential importance of character and competence in building trust.
Be proactive in anticipating emerging issues.
Begin any negotiation with the end in mind.
Be able to prioritize and put “first things first.”
Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.
Synergize (To Value and Celebrate Differences).
“Sharpen the Saw” (seek renewal and be strong in the hard moments).
Apply the power equation to negotiation and mediation.
Knowledge of concepts and techniques is insufficient without application. The second phase focuses on developing skills through a series of various problem-solving scenarios and role-playing exercises for testing and evaluation. A grasp of the basic concepts outlined in the first phase of the course are foundational to the second phase, but the implementation of those concepts and techniques confirm those key competencies.
GED111 Power and Society
This course will cover the key concepts pertaining to both the strategic and tactical dynamics of social structure and process. Various perspectives on the nature and practices of power will be explored using a various means including lecture, readings, and online media.
General concepts to be covered will include:
The nature and study of power.
Power by disciplinary lens.
The three key dimensions of national power.
Charismatic power and the routinization of charisma.
Classical theories of power in organizational contexts.
Legitimate power in social context.
Reward power in social context.
Coercive power in social context.
Expert power in social context.
Referent power in social context.
In recognizing the many facets of power comes mastery. This doesn’t mean mastery of power in order to manipulate, but mastery in recognizing the types of power utilized so as to critically assess and thus oppose or support as to legitimacy. In this sense the course is oriented towards making its participants better citizens who can effectively express collective democratic authority.
INS 200 Globalization:
Presently, globalization has become a consistent discourse in academic and political places. It has generated a vast, diverse and inter-disciplinary literature on the significance of processes of globalization for understandings of contemporary political, social, economic and cultural change. In this course, students will critically review and evaluate these developments. Students will unpack this significant literature and reflect in detail the empirical evidence to assess their understanding of Globalization. Globalization discourses in academic and political places. The degree to which the parameters of political, economic, social and cultural possibility have been reconfigured by globalization. And leading contemporary issues in deliberations about globalization.
INS203 A Modern History of the Kurds
This Course covers the history of modern Kurds and introduces the students to the major periods of Kurdish history in the modern and contemporary times. Each class will have a discussion of the main historical developments and issues in Kurdistan from the late Ottoman and Safavid role until 1980s and 1990s. In addition, there will be an evaluation and analysis for Kurdish revolution and struggles through the mentioned periods aiming at independency and gaining their national rights. The course will maintain the emergence of Kurdish national movements and the main thoughts, ideas and opinions related to that subject. Weak and strong points among Kurdish community through their modern history; descriptions of the domestic contradictions within the Kurdish society will be included as well. Not to mention, there will be discussions regarding their culture, religion, and politics, which will guide students to have a strong background for understanding the recent and current position of the Kurdish people and predicting upcoming events related to the future. Students will learn new facts about Kurdish Modern History, but also the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze historical dynamics of Kurdish movement. Fourteen themes will be used as a frame of reference in the chronological study of our modern world’s history.
GED 113 World History
This course explores the expansive history of the world from the sixteenth century (1500s) to the Cold War. We will be focusing primarily on the evolution of globalization as fueled by the renaissance and development of trade, labor systems, reframe of political system, colonialism, the rise of new order and European revolutions in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, The unification of Italy & Germany, China, the Ottoman Empire, and Japan 1800-1914, the collapse and recovery of Europe 1914-1950, World War I, worldwide economic depression, the rise of Fascism, and World War II.
Students will learn many facts, but also the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze historical evidence. Fourteen themes will be used as a frame of reference in the chronological study of our modern world’s history.
Some important skills students are going to acquire in the class are the ability to examine change over time, including the causation of events as well as the major effects of historical developments, the interconnectedness of events over time, and the spatial interactions that occur over time that have geographic, political, cultural, and social significance. It is important for each student to develop the ability to connect the local to the global, and vice versa.
Department Core Courses
1. Department of Security and Strategic Studies:
SSS 307 Middle East Security Structures and Kurdistan
This is an introductory course to the politics of security in the Middle East with a special emphasis on Kurdistan. It seeks to help students develop an in-depth understanding of the social, economic and political processes that shape conflicts and political contestations in the region. To that end, the course examines a variety of themes and key issues that underpin security politics in the Middle East, including: the Middle East state system; the role of sub-state actors, such as ethnic groups and tribes, and non-state actors, such as armed groups, in regional politics and security; superpower rivalry in the Middle East during the Cold War; the foreign policies and security interests of key international actors in the Middle East, including the U.S., Russia, Europe and China; the Kurdish question and great power rivalry; the Arab-Israeli conflict and peace process; the political economy of oil and Gulf security; cooperation and discord in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); geopolitical rivalries and sectarianism; and radicalization and Salafist Jihadism.
SSS303 Terrorism, Insurgency, and Counter-Insurgency
This course examines forms of violent conflict pitting non-state actors, namely terrorists and insurgents, against state actors. It is inspired by renewed interest in forms of irregular and asymmetric warfare generated by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the rising challenges posed by international terrorist and insurgent groups, especially those of the Salafist Jihadist streak. The course aims to help students investigate the causes and consequences of these forms of conflict, and to identify and analyze the motivations, objectives, strategies and modus operandi of terrorists, insurgents and counterinsurgents. Topics include: the nature of terrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency; the use of media and information in terrorism, insurgency, counter-terrorism and counter- insurgency; insurgency doctrines, including Marxist and Jihadist perspectives; terrorist and insurgent motivations, including ideological, religious, psychological and socio-economic motivations; insurgent strategies, tactics, organization and resources; case studies of insurgencies and counterinsurgencies in selected countries and regions around the world; and challenges and future trends in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency.
SSS401 Crime and Global Justice
In this multidisciplinary course, we will review research from security studies, international studies, criminology, and political science to examine Global Crime and Justice Issues. The focus will be on major global forms of criminality, such as genocide, terrorism, human trafficking, and international drug markets, as opposed to individual street criminality, such as robbery, theft, or drug use. We will also analyze many research reports from the United Nations on these issues. Finally, we will study how the international community responds (or fails to respond) to global criminality, including the activities of the United Nations, NATO, Interpol, the International Criminal Court, and other organizations.
SSS300 Introduction to Security Studies
This is an introductory course to the sub field of International Relations (IR) theory known as Security Studies. No background is necessary. This course provides a survey of IR theories by examining policy relevant phenomena.
2.Department of International Relations:
INR303 Comparative Politics (Prerequisites for this course are INS205 and INS208)
This course explores the major topics and theoretical contributions in the field of comparative politics, such as the formation and development of the modern state; democracy; authoritarianism; revolution and political stability; nationalism; voters and parties, constitutional arrangements and their effects and macro theories of political change.
Hands on work using data will develop the research skills of the students, motivate for critical thinking, and search for empirical back-up of the theoretical claims and hypotheses learned during the course. Throughout the semester, the students are expected to perform independent work with home readings and small-scale research.
At the end of the course, students will be able to define a concept theoretically and find the empirical indicators of how this concept is applied across the world. The students will be encouraged to make (most of the times imaginary and sometimes real) travels across space and time, in order to perceive the variety of politics and the factors that contribute to political change.
INR307 International Law and Organization (Prerequisites for this course are INR300, INR301, INR302 and INR304)
When and how do states respect the law? How to understand the international reaction to 9/11 and rising international terrorism? What justifies the presence of big countries (e.g., U.S. and Russia) in the conflicts of the Middle East? Why do some regions (like Catalonia, the Kurdistan Region etc.) need any international support in order to become states? Who is responsible for the ill fate of immigrants travelling by sea toward other countries?
These are some of the real world questions that will have an immediate answer after studying International Law and Organization. ILO is about the orders and disorders happening at the international level. It is not only about big international organizations and states, but also about individuals and real people with real problems.
At the end of the course the students will be able to operate with the basic concepts used in international law and organization; have a deeper understanding of the past and current events happening at the international level; pose more accurate questions and reframe their expectations towards the Kurdistan Region in the broader context of the international order; not least, receive a new approach to community and personal justice, in the light of the bigger world.
INR 400 State and Nation
What is a nation and what is a state? Why are some states still looking for a nation, and why are some nations still without a state? What is the relationship between individuals and the state and who is the leader in this equation? Is having a state the ultimate scope of a nation? What are the policies that can define a healthy nation-state? These are some of the questions that will motivate learning during this course.
The core of the course is formed out of theoretical lectures and readings. However, theoretical knowledge will be balanced with case studies and empirical examples. Not least, a part of the course will be dedicated to the study of the role of individuals in the making and development of history, being able to define a true statesman from “ordinary” dictators. Additionally, students will be encouraged virtually to go through the complexities of the creation and governance of a state, by engaging in the online simulation game Nation States.
INR 300 International Relations Theory (Prerequisites for this course are INS205 and INS208)
This course examines a wide range of International Relations (IR) issues. This course begins with the gap between International Relations (IR) theory and practice, and moves on to examine topics from U.S. grand strategy to nuclear proliferation, drone warfare, biosecurity, terrorism, civil wars, and intelligence failures, among other topics. A background in IR theory would be helpful but is not necessary. The instructor reserves the right to adjust the syllabus throughout the semester if he deems necessary.
INR 301 Foreign and Defense Policy (Prerequisites for this course are INS205 and INS208)
This is an upper-level International Relations (IR) theory course where a background in IR is necessary. Students will focus upon current U.S. national security policy concerns, including but not limited to the stability of a unipolar world and great power competition and available grand strategies at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
INS306 Security and Strategic Studies II
This is an upper-level International Relations (IR) theory course that builds upon materials presented in Introduction to Security Studies and International Relations Theory. The course begins with a discussion of fundamental concepts in strategic studies, such as what is grand strategy, and the roles they play in formulating and affecting policy over time. The course incorporates ongoing concerns from hybrid warfare to cross-domain deterrence and provides students with historical context for these issues.
INR302 International Systems and Global Governance (Prerequisite for this course is INR301)
Extensive changes have taken place in the international system over the course of centuries and will continue to undergo profound transformation over coming generations. We’ll examine the international system emphasizing the invention of our current system, post-colonialism, and integrative forces. Post-national designs will be considered near the course’s conclusion.
General concepts covered in this course include:
Tribalization Globalization as an ongoing dialectical process.
United Nations affiliated governing entity models.
Other non-UN models of nation-state based global governance.
Governing systems unaffiliated with any nation state.
Analysis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Transnational corporate influences on governments.
Norms of international governance.
Environmentalism’s impact on governing systems.
Technology and international governance.
Post-national designs synthesized from the tribalization/globalization.
Lectures in this course are not necessarily aligned with the reading. However the readings are an integral part of the initial portions of the course, thus participants are urged to do the readings, verified by the reading reviews.