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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Maxwell in Washington


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 6:00-8:45 p.m.

Fall 2017 course schedules and descriptions 

Please note that these schedules are tentative and subject to change. Updates and new syllabi will be posted as soon as they are available.

(8/28 - 12/11)

(8/29 - 12/12)

(8/30 - 12/13)

(8/31 - 12/14)

National Security & Defense Transformation

Issues in Global
Economic and Financial Security

Geopolitics of South Asia

Global Sustainability and Public Policy

International Economic 

Statecraft and Smart Power in the Digital Era
African Conflicts: Causes and Consequences

National Security and Defense Transformation
PAI 715 Section M006 

2016 Syllabus

U.S. national security strategy and policy face great challenges in the 21st century. Political, military, legal, and economic factors will affect both strategy and policy. This course will assess those factors and their effects on possible solutions to those challenges. The course approaches national security from both military and government-wide perspectives and addresses the executive branch, the congressional, and the global environments.

The professor will emphasize a practitioner's approach to issues and will use lectures, readings and original source documents, class discussions, and guest speakers from the national security community.  Students will deliver short written papers, mostly in the form of one-page memos, and will undertake group assignments leading to oral class presentations.  The primary focus is on contemporary issues and events, but the instructive value of history is also prominent throughout the course.  For students who wish to take this course, prior knowledge of or study in national security is strongly recommended but not required. This course will help students with foreign policy and security studies concentrations prepare for the evolution and challenges of coming years.

This course maps to the following MAIR Career Track: Peace, Security & Conflict

Professor James Keagle (bio) instructs this course.  

Issues in Global Economic and Financial Security
PAI 715 Section M001 

2016 Syllabus

This course examines trends in global economic & financial security and ways to enhance it. The focus is on ways to ensure global monetary and financial stability, including through appropriate regulation to reduce the incidence of financial crises and asset price bubbles. Other critical issues, including food & energy security and the role of finance in promoting development, are also discussed. Although this is a policy course, students should expect to learn a good deal of economics and finance in the process of learning about these issues. These will be important intellectual tools as the future policy discussions on economic security and development will likely continue to focus more and more on finance and thus require more knowledge of finance than in the past. This course will be less narrowly technical, more policy and political economy oriented, but nonetheless appropriate for students concentrating in global markets, development, finance and trade.

This course maps to the following MAIR Career Track: International Economics, Finance & Trade

Professor Bejoy Das Gupta (bio) instructs this course.  

Geopolitics of South Asia
PAI 715 Section M003 

2016 Syllabus

South Asia has changed and so has the basis of U.S. and other big powers’ relations with it.  The currents of change spawned by the end of the Cold War, globalization, the region’s nuclearization, resurgence of China and the emerging shift in the balance of power in Asia, the rise of religious extremism and war on terrorism all have been flowing in varying directions presenting new threats, challenges and opportunities.

This course will look at the region against the historical background of its relations with the world.  The major focus will be on the dramatic developments within South Asia during and since 90’s and the region’s evolving relations with the US, China, Russia, Japan, Iran, the Middle East and Central Asia.  Especially at how the US is helping India in realizing its aspirations for a big power status, and a factor of stability in the region and helping Pakistan in its salvation from chronic weaknesses by building its capacity to reform itself. The course will also study Pakistan’s slow but appreciable march to political stability and good governance through democratization, the prospects for which have never been more promising.

The course will look at the whole range of threats, opportunities and challenges that South Asia faces. It will, among other issues, focus on the complexities of the Afghanistan situation in the context of the ongoing Afghanistan war as well as the end game as American forces withdrew from there in 2014.

The region also compels attention because of great strategic and economic opportunities, especially in India, with its projection of military power, marked economic and technological achievement and potential, its democratic structure, and its aspirations for big power status and a plausible balancer of China. And also how the US and its energy deficient allies, Europe and Japan, are coordinating their policies to promote regional peace and stability in South Asia and pursuing a policy of benign encirclement of China and containment of Russia by courting countries on their periphery. The course will examine these issues.

The region is also getting increasingly connected with Iran, because of the lengthening strategic shadow of China that has important relations with Iran, which is seen as an important bridge between the Middle East and South Asia. It is mainly so because of Iran’s important role in Afghanistan and its energy cooperation with India and Pakistan through a planned gas pipeline in which China is investing.  Not to forget that Iran and India are cooperating to build road and rail links with Afghanistan to enhance their trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia, all of which may one day link up with China's much touted One Road One Belt concept of the Chinese version of the Silk Road.  The course may thus also be relevant to an extent for those interested in the Middle Eastern studies.

Last, but not least, the course will also look at the  relations between India and Pakistan that are home to more than a billion people and together they account for almost 20 percent of the world's population.  Four decades of dynamic change and social turbulence has seen them emerge as nuclear powers.  Although the countries share centuries of common history and they emerged from a common independence movement, their post-colonial developments have been strikingly different. 

In this class, we will compare the similarities and differences of India and Pakistan. In particular, we will investigate why India has been able to consolidate its democracy while Pakistan has suffered through long periods of authoritarian rule.  What are the sources of religious fundamentalism in each country? What are the consequences of economic, political, and cultural globalization for the two countries as well as smaller states of South Asia specially their search for stability, development and democracy?

This course maps to the following MAIR Career Tracks: Democracy, Development & Humanitarian Assistance; Peace, Security & Conflict; Regional Concentration

Ambassador Touqir Hussain (bio) instructs this course.

Global Sustainability and Public Policy
PAI 715 Section M009 

 2016 Syllabus

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.

Taught by Melinda Kimble, Senior Vice President at the UN Foundation in DC, this seminar will bring in practitioners, policy makers and foundation/NGO/IGO experts to meet with the students, and include a mix of team and individual projects to help build professional skills. This course would be valuable to those interested in the so-called global issues, including environment, public health and population, conflict resolution, and the role of IGOs and NGOs.

As a Foreign Service Officer and senior official in the Department of State and in her current role at the Foundation, Ms. Kimble has dealt with this mix of concerns in diverse ways.  She has practical and policy experience, and in-depth knowledge of the roles and relations of the UN, its independent agencies, related NGOs, foundations and the U.S. Government.

This course maps to the following MAIR Career Tracks: Democracy, Development & Humanitarian Assistance; Governance, Diplomacy & International Organizations

Professor Melinda Kimble (bio) instructs this course.  


International Trade & Economic Negotiation
PAI 715 Section M002 

2016 Syllabus

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.

This course maps to the following MAIR Career Track: International Economics, Finance & Trade

Professor Eliza Patterson (bio) instructs this course. 


Statecraft and Smart Power in the Digital Era
PAI 715 Section M007 

2016 Syllabus 

This course examines new approaches to the practice of statecraft in an era of rapid global change. Globalization, including accelerating digital communication, is upsetting traditional international order and institutions, and changing the pace and intensity of decision making. Nation-state governments, while still the primary actors, must adjust to new sub-national, regional and transitional forces and players in a far more complex global arena.  As digital communication brings publics into politics and policy far more than ever before, this course helps participants better understand and prepare for these and other current challenges for smart power. Features guided classroom discussion, presentations by officials and outside experts, and in-class exercises such as a resource allocation/strategic planning session (somewhat akin to one of the major elements of the PMF and FSO oral exams) as well as policy simulations. The course's emphasis on policy, institutional and professional concerns, will be particularly relevant to those seeking wemployment in public service, NGOs, public policy think tanks and consulting firms.

This course maps to the following MAIR Career Tracks: Governance, Diplomacy & International Organizations; Peace, Security & Conflict

Professor Michael Schneider (bio) instructs this course.  

African Conflicts: Causes and Consequences
PAI 715 Section M008 

2016 Syllabus   

 A half-century after most African nations gained their independence, the continent continues to be a disproportionate generator of conflict and instability. Simultaneously its global importance grows, due to external preoccupations with energy security, anti-terrorism efforts, emigration, and disease.  Despite these complex dynamics, the international community’s engagement with Africa continues to be largely focused on crisis management and humanitarian assistance.

This course will explore the underlying reasons – historic, political, economic and cultural -- for Africa’s chronic weakness and dependency, as well as the West’s often myopic response to these pressing problems. It will take a close look at some of the most destructive developments in the post-colonial period, including state collapse, genocide, and HIV/AIDS.

We will then seek to better understand the manifestations of crisis in Africa and how to more effectively tailor our responses. To that end, we will delve into the world of humanitarianism, from its traditional charitable manifestations to more recent trends such as humanitarian intervention, R2P, and reconciliation.

This course maps to the following MAIR Career Tracks: Democracy, Development & Humanitarian Assistance; Peace, Security & Conflict; Regional Concentration

Professor Constance Freeman (bio) instructs this course.  


Washington Internship
PAI 715 Section M004

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.

The Global Internship requires consent of the Public Admistration and International Affairs Department.

View Internship Evaluation Guidelines

This course maps to all MAIR Career Tracks, depending on the content of the internship.

Professor Ryan Williams (bio) instructs this course and serves as sponsor for the internship.