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Global Security & Development Program


Students typically enroll in two evening seminars and complete a full-time internship during the day.  Although more challenging to handle with a full-time internship commitment, some students may decide to enroll in three evening seminars.

All courses take place from 6:00-8:40 p.m.

Fall 2021 course schedules and descriptions

Please note that these schedules are tentative and subject to change. Syllabi are posted to the DC Program Blackboard as soon as they are available.

Course Schedules and descriptions

(8/30 - 12/13)

(8/31 - 12/14)

(9/1- 12/15)

(9/2 - 12/16)


Evolving Global Security Landscape

Sustainable Development, Security and the Frontier of Finance

Rising China and Challenges to the Global Order

Global Sustainability and Development

Issues in Public Diplomacy

International Trade & Economic Negotiation

Strategic Foresight for International Relations

From Fragility to Resilience 

PAI 715 | Evolving Global Security Landscape: Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence | James Keagle

Change brings with it challenges—at the individual, organizational, and systemic levels.  It involves behaviors and cultures with often deep-seated traditions.  This course will explore the scope and magnitude of the transformational forces at work in the U.S. and to a lesser extent the global security and defense establishments. By its nature the course will be about peace and war—how the nation goes about the business of preparing, equipping, and training itself to deter and if necessary to fight traditional wars and the new kinds of challenges that might lead to armed conflict as well as shaping the post war environment for an enduring peace—but do NOT think about this as a linear process.  It will also be about sociology, bureaucratic politics, the role of the media, economics, health care, power….   Most of all this semester it will be about the transformational nature and effects of robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (RAS/AI) on security and the budget pressures on the national security/ defense budgets—and where to consider taking acceptable risks—geographically and functionally and force posture wise (for example, do we need a $1Trillion nuclear modernization program; or 2400+ F-35s; or 12 carrier battle groups?).  This agenda now is being shaped by governments and the private sector - commonly know at the 3rd offset.  

PAI 715 | Sustainable Development, Security and the Frontier of Finance | Bejoy DasGupta

This new course will focus on how the global financial revolution underway, the Fintech revolution, can help lead to sustained, inclusive and strong growth and enhance security, as elaborated in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The course will explore cutting edge themes at the intersection of finance, technology, policy, development and security, as well as cross-border dimensions. It will not be narrowly focused on technology, and is appropriate for students pursuing development, economic and security fields.

PAI 715 | Global Sustainability and Development: Evaluating Policy Impact at the National Level | Melinda Kimble

This course offers an overview of the concept of sustainability and its application in economic, environmental, social and development spheres from the perspective of policy practitioners.  It examines the issue through the perspective of three planetary ecosystems – water, land and air – and explores associated public policy issues – urbanization, globalization, depletion of ocean resources, land-based sources of marine pollution, deforestation, climate change and national security.  Drawing on a policy thinking tool developed for this class, the seminar will assess the evolution of international legal frameworks and related concepts since 1970 and apply the tool to identifying and analyzing current and future policy options at the local, state, national and global level. This course provides business and finance, economic development, national security as well as environmental majors a command of key concepts, analytic tools, and professional literacy for addressing sustainability issues across a range of disciplines.

PAI 715 | Rising China and Challenges to the Global Order | Robert Daly

This master’s seminar focuses on contemporary challenges to the global order posed by China’s growing economic and political power.  The course charts China’s reform and opening, its development and integration into the global economy, and the challenges created for Western economic and security institutions and alliances. Specific topic areas covered include China’s non-market status and trade conflict, competition for technological leadership, ICT governance and standard setting, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the implications of China’s South China Sea activity.  The course will combine extensive background readings, lectures, and discussion.  Students will benefit from frequent guest lectures and discussions with experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

PAI 715 | From Fragility to Resilience: New Approaches to Global Development | Erol Yayboke and Sara Reckless

While some countries move up the development ladder on the way to greater economic growth and stability, others struggle with cyclical fragility and the negative repercussions that come with it. The path from fragility to resilience is rarely linear, requiring a mix of security, stabilization, humanitarian aid, and development assistance. This course will look at causes of fragility and examine the non-kinetic tools deployed in fragile states, especially their utility and effectiveness in specific country and regional cases. Primarily discussion-based, the course will also include regular guest speakers who are regional experts and/or practitioners. 

PAI 715 | International Trade & Economic Negotiation | Bennett Caplan and Paul Fekete

This course looks at a variety of different types of negotiations concerning economic issues, including multilateral trade and investment negotiations, bi- and pluri- lateral trade negotiations, and negotiations aimed at the settlement of specific disputes. We will discuss the influence of domestic politics, and the role of international organizations and non-governmental stakeholders such as NGOs, labor, multinational corporations, and domestic interest groups. The course is particularly useful for those considering careers in international trade, business, markets and finance.

PAI 715 | Strategic Foresight for International Relations | Samuel Brannen

This course will provide graduate students with a structured approach to thinking about the future of the international environment. It is a foundation in qualitative foresight methodologies with direct application to national or organizational strategic planning. It also provides a tour du horizon of the global trends shaping the world 10-20 years into the future and beyond. Through real-world case studies and classroom exercises, the course exposes students to the practical application of foresight methodologies to policymaking and resource decision-making. These methodologies are routinely used by strategic planners in leading global intelligence organizations, national security ministries, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations. Strategic foresight is an under-appreciated “hard” international relations skillset, particularly useful in navigating the profound global transitions underway that affect risk and competitiveness for countries, companies, and individuals.

PAI 715 | Issues in Public Diplomacy | Shawn Powers

This course will provide a deep dive into the origins of information statecraft and explore case studies to provide a detailed understanding of the scope, sophistication, and significance of the geopolitics of information. Building on key theoretical models, including markets for loyalties, networks, and game theory, this course will provide an analytic framework for understanding the range of information statecraft activities, as well as the key variables likely to influence the success or failure of a public diplomacy campaign or program. Monitoring and evaluation techniques and best practices will also be covered, as well as the foundations of digital analytics and metrics. Classes will feature occasional guest speakers from the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the NGO community. At the end of the course, students will be subject matter experts on public diplomacy and global media strategy, the information statecraft toolkit, and the significance of these tools and tactics in international affairs.

For Maxwell Students Only:

PAI 738 | US Intelligence Community: Governance and Practice | Robert Murrett

This course meets Monday and Wednesday morning on SU's main campus and is only available in DC online

This course examines the evolution of the US Intelligence Community since its inception in 1947 through the present day. Key phases and specific events will be explored, including efforts during the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam Conflict, the Church Committee, the Balkans Conflict, pre- and post-9/11 operations, the 9/11 and WMD Commissions and the legislative overhaul mandated by Congress in 2004.  The course also will review governance and oversight of the intelligence community by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and students will study the functional elements of intelligence tradecraft (human intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery analysis, etc.), and engagement with international counterparts. The class will participate in case studies that students will evaluate, provide briefings for, and make recommendations in regard to, both in terms of analysis- and intelligence-driven decision-making on policy and operations.

Professor Robert Murrett instructs this course.  

PAI 715 | Washington Internship | Mark Jacobson

Students can earn up to three credits working (usually unpaid) as an intern for an agency or organization that focuses on issues of global development or global security.

View Internship Evaluation Guidelines