Curriculum

Course Descriptions

JSIS 500: Origins of the Modern World (Core Course)

Instructor: Scott Montgomery
5 credits, Autumn 2018

This course looks at the economic and political rise of the West and the consequences of its power for the rest of the world, starting with the European Enlightenment’s introduction of new ideas about how humanity should view its natural and social environments. We will then explore the contradictions in Enlightenment thinking, and the rise of a counter-Enlightenment that produced catastrophic outcomes in the twentieth century. The course will end with a discussion of the problems in today’s globalized world and a review of the economic history of the modern era.

JSIS 532: Global Challenges; Multi-Stakeholder Solutions (Elective)

Instructors: Dave Johnson and Jamie Nelson
5 credits, TBD

This course looks at international challenges through a multidisciplinary lens. Students will analyze and evaluate the motivations and strategics of stakeholders in global government, business, civil society and media. This course highlights practical skills utilized by international professionals while also developing the critical thinking skills required to tackle complex global challenges.

JSIS 534: Legal Foundations of World Order (Elective)

Instructor: Rick Lorenz
5 credits, Autumn 2018

This course examines the legal foundations of world security and stability in a time of dynamic change in international relations. Some believe that international law is a charade; governments comply with it only when convenient to do so, and disregard it whenever a contrary interest appears. But legal “norms” can still have a major impact on a wide range of economic, political and security matters. Topics will include the Just War Theory, International Humanitarian Law (the Law of Armed Conflict) and its application to modern warfare, humanitarian intervention, terrorism, nuclear weapons, suicide bombers and robotic warfare, international environmental law, climate change and the Law of the Sea.

JSIS 542: Dimensions of Security (Elective)

Instructor: Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
5 credits, Last offered autumn 2017

This course explores how regional and global security agendas are evolving in response to issues that are increasingly nonmilitary and longer term in nature. Using the Middle East as an example, students study the changing relationship between traditional and new security paradigms within a broader political, economic, social and demographic framework. Topics of analysis will encompass resource insecurity (including food, water and energy), demographic pressures and structural imbalances, challenges facing resource-rich states in the transition to post-oil political economies, and the wider threat from environmental degradation and climate change.

JSIS 578: Congress and U.S. Foreign Policy (Elective)

Instructor: Rep. Jim McDermott (retired) and Celes Eckerman
5 credits, Last offered autumn 2017

This course examines the role of the U.S. Congress in shaping and driving U.S. foreign policy. Taught by a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a long-time House and Senate foreign affairs staffer, it explores both the statutory and political responsibilities through which elected representatives approach U.S. involvement abroad. Students will hone their skills in developing concise, compelling arguments on complex topics for both written and oral presentation. Course work will be largely driven by “mock Senate” floor debates, in which students will be required to confront notable foreign policy case studies from the perspective of their assigned roles as members of the U.S. Senate.

JSIS 546: Modernity After Empire: A View from the Global South (Core Course)

Instructors: Sunila Kale and Tony Lucero
5 credits, Winter 2019

This graduate seminar interrogates the making of the modern world from the perspective of the Global South. Thinking about global political and economic projects after the formal end of colonialisms in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East, this course provides a critical introduction to debates over nation, development and globalization. Students will explore “modernity” as a set of variegated intellectual, cultural, political and economic projects that have created both new horizons of prosperity as well as tremendous suffering.

JSIS 540: Economics and Politics of International Development (Elective)

Instructor: Mary Callahan
5 credits, Spring 2019

This course examines economic development in less-developed nations, with a focus on post-World War II development in sub-Saharan Africa and India. It explores possible determinants of economic growth, including foreign investment, international trade and foreign aid. Particular attention will be paid to the role that institutional factors, such as executive power and protection of property rights, play in determining economic outcomes. We will also analyze how the international monetary and financial system affects development, the role of globalization in economic crises, and how fiscal and monetary policy can affect growth in developing countries. We will conclude with an examination of how economic growth is affecting population and environmental issues in the developing world.

JSIS 578: Cross-Cultural Religious Literacy (Elective)

Instructor: Chris Seiple
5 credits, Winter 2019

Finding solutions to global challenges demands different perspectives, as well as partnerships among individuals and institutions who do not share the same values. How does one build unity without uniformity across sectors—each of which possess believers and faith-based actors—in order to effectively lead in complicated times? Through theory, case study and the practical experience of both the instructor and the students, this course understands and wrestles with the role of religion in context—at least as an underexamined analytic factor, and perhaps even as tremendous force for the common good – and seeks to teach the skill sets of evaluation (self & contextual), communication, and negotiation as a means to mutual literacy and respect across cultures and countries.

JSIS 531: Asia in the Contemporary World (Core Course)

Instructor: Tabitha Grace Mallory
5 credits, Spring 2019

This course focuses on key themes in the study of Asia, with emphasis on developments from the end of World War II to the present. Students will trace the patterns of postwar economic and political development across a number of significant periods, including decolonization, the U.S. occupation of Japan, the Cold War, and the rise of China. Students will examine current security concerns in Asia, as well as cultural, religious, and social issues. The course will also discuss U.S. policy toward the region.

JSIS 544: Applied Research Client Project — Part 1 (Core Course)

Instructor: Tom Cohen
5 credits, Spring 2019

Each spring and summer quarter, MAAIS students work in teams to tackle a challenging international affairs issue and provide actionable policy recommendations to an external client. Civic Council members submit ideas for Applied Research projects – complex matters that their organizations are grappling with, on which a group of students from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds may offer a valuable perspective. During spring quarter, students are introduced to their Applied Research challenge, meet with their Applied Research adviser, and arrange to receive a briefing by their client. Students will work outside the classroom to define the scope of the challenge, analyze the underlying issues and begin to flesh out actionable policy and programmatic recommendations.

JSIS 537: Trends in International Migration (Elective)

Instructors: Kathie Friedman-Kasaba
5 credits, Winter 2019

This course explores the causes, mechanisms, and consequences of contemporary global population movements, with a focus on migration to the United States and Europe. Topics include the relationship of political persecution, conflict, and poor economic prospects to migration; the extent to which state policies can control migration; socio-economic and political integration from the perspective of host countries and immigrants; and transnationalism.

JSIS 541: Religion, Politics, and International Conflict (Elective)

Instructor: Jim Wellman
5 credits, Autumn 2019

This course begins with an overview of American religion and its relation to the U.S. foreign policy. From there the course transitions to the question of fundamentalism, nationalism and terror. We will explore the rise of these forms and how each impacts human security as well as national security. The course concludes with a review of the fight against religious violence and the imminent dangers that these more recent conditions pose to international relations and global security.

JSIS B 557: Geopolitics of Energy (Elective)

Instructor: Scott Montgomery
5 credits, TBD

The geopolitics of energy plays a key role in current international and global developments, and this role will grow in the coming decades. Issues surrounding energy are critical to understanding security relationships among regions and nations today and are central to all considerations of climate change and its impacts. This course will introduce students to real world issues, conflicts, economic and technological developments, and policy challenges of the energy domain, spanning fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewables.

JSIS 578: Tools to End Conflict and Rebuild (Elective)

Instructor: Mark Ward
5 credits, Winter 2019

The first half of this course will examine the current tools available to the international community to end armed conflicts – multilateral, formal, and informal. We will also seek to understand which tools work better and why. The focus will be on the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria; conflicts in which the instructor has direct experience. The second half of the course will review the institutional tools most often used to rebuild conflict-torn countries, and to determine which are most effective and why, in both the short and long term.

JSIS 545: Applied Research Client Project — Part II (Core Course)

Instructor: Tom Cohen
4 credits, Summer 2019

In a continuation of Part I of this course, students finalize their written client report and present their findings and recommendations in a formal client briefing.

JSIS 549: Crisis Negotiation (Core Course)

Instructor: Robert Pekkanen
4 credits, Spring 2019

This course provides a capstone experience for MAAIS students, giving them an opportunity to reflect on and synthesize what they have learned in their previous coursework. The course guides students in applying their knowledge and skills to a current global challenge through an intensive International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise that emphasizes leadership, negotiation and real-time crisis management and decision-making. This course is delivered in collaboration with the Center for Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College.

JSIS 539: U.S. Foreign Policy and International Engagement (Elective)

Instructor: John Koenig
5 credits, Autumn 2018

This course explores how the U.S. Executive Branch formulates and implements foreign and security policy. Taught by a former Ambassador with extensive experience in Europe and NATO, the class takes a practitioner’s approach to examine the actual conduct of foreign affairs, from defining the national interest to medium-term planning and day-to-day international engagement. Using case studies from the recent past, the course will examine how the U.S. advances the national agenda using military, diplomatic, assistance and other means. Students will refine their analytical and presentation skills through a series of short briefings on breaking developments and concise policy memos addressed to decision-makers.

JSIS 535: Technology, Society, and the Future (Elective)

Instructor: James Bernard
2 credits, Summer 2019

This course explores the intersection of policy, technology and society. Technology is rapidly changing the way that humans interact with one another, markets are formed, and information is stored, shared and utilized. While technology has held and does hold great promise for being a force for both economic and social change, it also has the potential to be used in ways that threaten civil liberties, national security and data sovereignty. Private sector and civil society actors, government and military leaders, and regulators must work together to understand how new and emerging technologies will drive change across a wide range of sectors, and they must develop policies to ensure that technology is used to help improve and enrich the lives of those across the socioeconomic spectrum.

MAAIS 550: Professional Development Series

Instructor: Megan Bowman
Autumn/Winter/Spring 2018-2019

Through a series of 90-minute workshops, students polish their skills in public speaking and presentation, advocacy, briefing, branding and networking, media engagement and other areas essential to international affairs practitioners in all sectors. In addition, and in partnership with the UW Foster School Center for Leadership & Strategic Thinking, the MAAIS Professional Series offers ongoing workshops and coaching sessions focused on self-assessment, leadership, teamwork and cross-cultural competencies.

UW Elective

See current Jackson School courses and more elective options on the UW Time Schedule. Eight credits of electives are required to complete the program. Up to 3 credits can be applied toward an independent study project or internship.