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May Program


This May, we will offer the following courses online. If the public health situation improves, the courses will be offered in hybrid format. The courses will meet intensively each day, Monday through Friday, May 24 - June 4, with the exception of the Latin America course which will start with an evening session on Sunday, May 23 and end May 28.  A mandatory Introductory Session to prepare for the courses will be scheduled in early April. 

PAI 730 | Central Challenges in National Security Law and Policy | James Baker

Using a series of case study modules that jump off the front page, the course examines critically the hardest U.S. national security law and policy challenges of the decades ahead. The case studies range from decisions to intervene and what laws apply if we do intervene in humanitarian crises, insurrections, or civil wars, and what laws should govern when we are involved; dealing with the Arab Spring; dealing with Iran and North Korea related to nuclear weapons; anticipating and controlling new technologies in warfare and surveillance; managing civil/military relations in protecting the homeland; countering the cyber threats to our infrastructure and cyber attacks waged by nation states, such as China and Russia; managing public health as a national security issue; resource depletion and global warming as a national security issue. Students will learn to integrate legal and policy analyses, and will gain lessons in how policy is made and implemented with significant legal guidance. 

PAI 703 | Current Issues in US-Latin American Relations | Philip French

This intensive one-week seminar in Washington introduces students to the contemporary relationship between the U.S. and Latin America, offering the opportunity to discuss US policy in the region with current and former government officials, scholars, and non-governmental organization representatives. 

Beginning with an historical foundation from assigned readings, class lectures and discussions will focus on current policy issues:  How did U.S. narcotics, terrorism, trade and immigration policies shape relations with Latin America under the Trump administration, and what changes will the Biden administration bring?  What can/should the U.S. do to promote democracy in Venezuela, or security and prosperity in Bolivia, Haiti, and Central America?  What are China’s intentions in the region, and how should the U.S. respond?  Can the region escape the boom-and-bust cycle of commodity-based economies? What does the COVID-19 pandemic reveal about the region’s social and economic structures?  Students will discuss and challenge common approaches and assumptions, address major themes and current events, and explore possible responses to social and political change.  

PAI 700 | Rising Athena: Defense, Diplomacy and Development | Kathleen McInnis 

This course uses the deity Athena (the goddess of wisdom, war, and strategy) as a heuristic in order to critically engage the structure and substance of U.S. national security policy. Particularly after 9/11, U.S. national security and foreign policy has been dominated by the Department of Defense.  Arguably Ares, the god of war and tactics, has been ascendant.  Yet the U.S. has not been winning wars and it remains underprepared to use non-military instruments to achieve strategic success. The ancient Greeks knew that militarism without strategy was a losing proposition, which is why Athena - the multifaceted female god of art, war, empathy, protection, architecture and many other things besides - was the deity for victory.  Over the duration of the class, students will explore national security policy through the lenses of gender, creativity, storytelling, strategic empathy, and interagency structures in order to tease out how the U.S. might build better national security strategies and policies.