line drawing of a globe

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 2020 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.

Course Schedules and descriptions

(8/24 - 11/30)

(8/25 - 12/1)

(8/26- 12/2)

(8/27 - 12/3)


Evolving Global Security Landscape


Issues in Global
Economic and Financial Security

Rising China and Challenges to the Global Order


Global Sustainability and Development

From Fragility to Resilience: New Approaches to Global Development

International Trade and Economic Negotiations

Strategic Foresight for International Relations


Evolving Global Security Landscape: Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence

PAI 715 Section M006

Professor Keagle's 2020 Syllabus        Background AI Readings from Fall 2019

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.  

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

Professor James Keagle instructs this course.  

Issues in Global Economic and Financial Security

PAI 715 Section M001

Professor Das Gupta's 2020 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 instructs this course.

Global Sustainability and Development: Evaluating Policy Impact at the National Level

PAI 715 Section M009

Professor Kimble's 2020 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 instructs this course.

China's Rise and Challenges to the Global Order

PAI 715 Section M005

Professor Daly's 2020 Syllabus

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.

This course maps to the following MAIR Career Tracks: Foreign Policy

Professor Robert Daly instructs this course.

From Fragility to Resilience: New Approaches to Global Development

PAI 715 Section M010 

Professor Yayboke's 2020 Syllabus

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. 

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

Professor Erol Yayboke instructs this course. 

International Trade & Economic Negotiation

PAI 715 Section M002 

Professor Caplan and Fekete's 2020 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

Professors Bennett Caplan and Paul Fekete instruct this course. 

Strategic Foresight for International Relations 

PAI 700 Section M004

Professor Brannen's 2020 Syllabus

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.

Professor Samuel Brannen instructs this course. 

For Maxwell Students Only:

US Intelligence Community: Governance and Practice - Syllabus 2018

PAI 738 Section M001 (Class number: 12529) – 3 credits

THIS COURSE IS OFFERED ONLINE – Note it meets M&W mornings!

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.  

Washington Internship

PAI 715 Section M004

Professor Jacobson's 2020 Syllabus

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.

Mark Jacobson instructs this course and serves as sponsor for the internship.