Section 1: The Essential History
Class 1: From the Thirty Years’ War to the Outbreak of World War I (1618-1914)
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages XV-13.
- In Our Time, “The Thirty Years War” (BBC podcast).
- Brendan Simms, “Castlereagh’s Catechism: A Statesman’s Guide to Building a New Concert of Europe,” Foreign Affairs (March/April 2013).
- Julian Gewirtz, “‘Imperial Twilight’ Review: An Explosive Mix of Trade and Politics,” The Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2018.
- In Our Time, “The Opium Wars,” (BBC podcast).
- Why and how did countries emerge from the devastation of the Thirty Years’ War?
- What was the Concert of Europe and how did it help to preserve order in Europe?
- Why does China refer to the period between 1939 and 1949 as the “century of humiliation”? How do you think it shapes how China views the world?
- Why did World War I break out? Could it have been avoided?
Class 2: From World War I Through World War II (1914-1945)
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 14-28.
- Thomas Laqueur, “Some Damn Foolish Thing” (book review of The Sleepwalkers), London Review of Books, December 2013.
- The Ever Widening War, “The War of Empires” (BBC radio program).
- The Ever Widening War, “The Atlantic War” (BBC radio program).
- President Woodrow Wilson, “Fourteen Points Speech,” January 8, 1918.
- HistoryExtra, “Appeasement and the road to World War Two” (podcast).
- What is isolationism? In what periods of history was American foreign policy defined by isolationism?
- Why did the United States finally enter World War I?
- Was the Treaty of Versailles too punitive? Did it lead to World War II?
- What was the League of Nations and what did its backers believe it could accomplish?
Class 3: The Cold War (1945-1989)
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 29-42.
- CNN, Cold War – Iron Curtain (documentary).
- Winston Churchill, “The Sinews of Peace” (Iron Curtain Speech), March 5, 1946.
- United Nations Charter, June 1945.
- CNN, Cold War – Marshall Plan (documentary).
- President Harry S. Truman, "Address Before a Joint Session of Congress” (Truman Doctrine Speech), March 12, 1947.
- “X” (George Kennan), “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” Foreign Affairs (July 1947).
- What factors contributed to the development of the Cold War? Was it inevitable?
- What were the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan?
- Why were NATO and the Warsaw Pact created? Were they successful?
- Define “containment.” What were the assumptions of that strategy, and what were the alternatives Was it a successful strategy?
- Why did the Cold War stay “cold”? Why did the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union remain bounded?
Class 4: The Post-Cold War Era (1989-Present)
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 43-57.
- Francis Fukuyama, “The End of History?” The National Interest (Summer 1989).
- President George H. W. Bush, “Address Before a Joint Session of Congress” (New World Order Speech), September 11, 1990.
- Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs (Summer 1993).
- Charles Krauthammer, “The Unipolar Moment,” Foreign Affairs (1990).
- Anthony Lake, “From Containment to Enlargement,” Remarks at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, September 21, 1993.
- Why did some scholars argue that the end of the Cold War marked the “end of history”? Do you agree with this thesis?
- Why was Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait a challenge to order? Should the United States have used force to turn back Iraqi aggression?
- What should the United States have done with its “unipolar moment” following the Cold War? How would you grade the United States on its performance?
- Some argue that the United States and China are destined to become locked in a new cold war. Do you agree? If the United States and China do end up in a new cold war, what might be the consequences for both countries and for the world?
Section 2: Regions of the World
Class 5: Europe
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 61-81.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “How Does the European Union Work?” (Backgrounder).
- Susan Glasser, “Putin the Great: Russia’s Imperial Impostor,” Foreign Affairs (Sep/Oct 2019).
- Anne Applebaum, “The False Romance of Russia,” TheAtlantic.com, December 12, 2019.
- Matthias Matthijs, “The Right Way to Fix the EU,” Foreign Affairs (May/June 2020).
- Lawrence Freedman, “Britain Adrift,” Foreign Affairs (May/June 2020).
- How did Europe evolve from a place with so much strife (World Wars I and II) to a region largely at peace?
- What is the European Union (EU) and what was the impetus behind it? What is meant by the debate between building a “United Europe of States” or a “United States of Europe”?
- What is “Brexit” and how will it affect the future of the European project?
- What accounts for the increased friction between the United States and Russia? Was it inevitable?
- What is the most serious challenge facing Europe? How likely is the continent to meet the challenge?
Class 6: East Asia and the Pacific
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 82-96.
- The President’s Inbox, “Fredrik Logevall on Lessons of the Vietnam War” (podcast).
- The World Bank, Live Long and Prosper: Aging in East Asia and Pacific, pp. 1-18.
- Elizabeth Economy, “China’s New Revolution,” Foreign Affairs (May/June 2018).
- The Economist, “A Sea of Disputes,” February 21, 2011.
- Nadège Rolland, “A Concise Guide to the Belt and Road Initiative,” National Bureau of Asian Research, April 11, 2019.
- Richard Bush and Shelley Rigger, “The Taiwan Issue and the Normalization of US-China Relations,” The Carter Center, January 16, 2019.
- The President’s Inbox, “What Should U.S. Policy Toward China Be?” (podcast).
- What accounts for Asia’s remarkable success in the 75 years following World War II?
- What is the “Asian economic miracle” and what caused this economic boom?
- Why did the United States fight the Korean War? Was the same rationale used to justify the Vietnam War? Were the assumptions and the wars justified?
- What are the American and Chinese positions regarding the status of Taiwan? What are the origins of their disagreement regarding the island’s status?
- Does a nuclear North Korea represent a threat to the United States? What should the United States do (if anything) to address it?
Class 7: South Asia
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 97-110.
- Ashley J. Tellis, “Are India-Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn?” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, September 2017, pages 1-23.
- Sumit Ganguly, “Modi Crosses the Rubicon in Kashmir,” Foreign Affairs, August 8, 2019.
- Ashutosh Varshney, “Modi Consolidates Power: Electoral Vibrancy, Mounting Liberal Deficits,” Journal of Democracy October 2019.
- Husain Haqqani, “How Will Military Generals Solve Economic Issues?” ThePrint.in, January 20, 2020.
- Carter Malkasian, “How the Good War Went Bad,” Foreign Affairs (March/April 2020).
- Gwen Robinson, “The Rise and Rise of Bangladesh,” Nikkei Asia Review, December 19, 2018.
- How would you describe the relationship between India and Pakistan?
- What is the conflict over Kashmir?
- Why did the United States fight a war in Afghanistan, and who was it fighting? Was the war successful? Why or why not?
- How would you assess future prospects for India and Pakistan? Are they trending in the right or wrong direction?
Class 8: The Middle East
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 111-130.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “What Is U.S. Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?” (Backgrounder).
- President Jimmy Carter, “State of the Union address” (Carter Doctrine), January 23, 1980.
- UN Development Programme, “Arab Human Development Report 2016,” pages 21-42.
- Larry Diamond, “What Went Wrong in Iraq,” Foreign Affairs (Sep/Oct 2004).
- Richard Haass, “The New Middle East,” Foreign Affairs (November/December 2006).
- President Barack Obama, “A New Beginning” (Cairo Speech), June 4, 2009.
- Steven Cook, “The Middle Eastern Revolutions That Never Were,” The American Interest (2015).
- Marc Lynch, “The New Arab Order: Power and Violence in Today’s Middle East,” Foreign Affairs (September/October 2018).
- Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, “A Force for Good: America Reinvigorated in the Middle East,” January 10, 2019.
- Hal Brands, Steven Cook, and Kenneth Pollack, “RIP the Carter Doctrine, 1980-2019,” Foreign Policy (Spring 2020).
- What do you think accounts for the Middle East’s long history of strife?
- To what extent does Iran represent a threat to the region?
- Why are most countries of the Middle East lagging so many global measures of democracy and development?
- What was the “Arab Spring”? What triggered it, and what was the outcome?
- What was the Carter Doctrine and do you think it is still relevant today?
- Why did the United States invade Iraq in 2003? Was it a preemptive or preventive war? Was the war justified?
- Do you believe there will be a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians? If so, what do you think such a peace would look like? If not, what will be the outcome?
Class 9: Africa
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 131-142.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “Africa’s Leaders for Life” (Backgrounder).
- United Nations Development Programme, “Africa Human Development Report 2016,” pages 12-33.
- The World Bank, “Poverty in a Rising Africa,” pages 3-23.
- The Economist, “The march of democracy slows: Threats to democratic rule in Africa are growing, but time and demography are against the autocrats,” August 20, 2016.
- The Economist, “Africa is attracting ever more interest from powers elsewhere,” March 7, 2019.
- John Campbell and Jack McCaslin, “Zuma’s Exit Was Proof of the Health of South Africa’s Democracy,” World Politics Review, March 23, 2018.
- Sarah Chayes, “Thunder God: Values, Corruption, and Nigeria’s Election,” World Politics Review, April 28, 2015.
- Observers often term Nigeria and South Africa the continent’s “two anchors.” Why are these two countries so important?
- Why are outside powers increasingly interested in building influence in Africa?
- Do you believe the continent’s economic growth will outpace the growth of its population, leading to further economic development, or will demographic pressures swallow up any growth?
- Is democracy gaining ground in Africa, or is it receding to autocracy?
- What is the role of the African Union?
Class 10: The Americas
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 143-153.
- McKinsey Global Institute, “Where Will Latin America’s Growth Come From?” (April 2017).
- International Crisis Group, “Mafia of the Poor: Gang Violence and Extortion in Central America” (2017), pages 1-18.
- Ben Raderstorf, Michael Camilleri, Carole J. Wilson and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister, “Beneath the Violence: How Insecurity Shapes Daily Life and Emigration in Central America” (2017).
- Denise Dresser, “Can Mexico Be Saved?” Foreign Affairs (Sep/Oct 2018).
- Thomas Lovejoy, “The Amazon Is Nearing the Point of No Return,” Foreign Affairs, February 10, 2020.
- Moisés Naím and Francisco Toro, “Venezuela’s Suicide: Lessons From a Failed State,” Foreign Affairs (Nov/Dec 2018).
- Jonathan Blitzer, “How Climate Change is Fuelling the U.S. Border Crisis,” The New Yorker, April 3, 2019.
- Carla Hills, “NAFTA’s Economic Upsides,” Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2014).
- Jorge Castaneda, “NAFTA’s Mixed Record,” Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2014).
- What is the Monroe Doctrine and Roosevelt Corollary? Are they still in force?
- What was the Cuban Missile Crisis? How was it resolved?
- Which countries compose the “Northern Triangle” and what is causing widespread violence in these countries? How is that affecting migration patterns?
- Why is the Amazon so important to global efforts to combat climate change? What can be done to protect the Amazon?
- How did Venezuela fall from Latin America’s richest country to one where starvation is the norm?
- What, if any, contribution is made by the Organization of American States (OAS)?
- How has NAFTA reshaped the region?
Section 3: The Global Era
Class 11: Globalization
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 157-165.
- Peterson Institute for International Economics, “What is Globalization? And How Has the Global Economy Shaped the United States?” (interactive).
- Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman, “Chained to Globalization: Why It’s Too Late to Decouple,” Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2020).
- Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman, “Will the Coronavirus End Globalization as We Know It? The Pandemic Is Exposing Market Vulnerabilities No One Knew Existed,” Foreign Affairs (March 16, 2020).
- Shannon O’Neil, “How to Pandemic-Proof Globalization: Redundancy, Not Reshoring, Is the Key to Supply Chain Security,” Foreign Affairs (April 1, 2020).
- Robert D. Kaplan, “Coronavirus Ushers in the Globalization We Were Afraid Of,” Bloomberg Opinion, March 20, 2020.
- What is globalization?
- What led to globalization?
- What do you believe are the best and worst aspects of globalization? Whom has it helped and whom has it hurt? Try to provide examples from your own life.
- To what extent can governments, international institutions, and individuals respond to, control, or limit the effects of globalization?
Class 12: Terrorism and Counterterrorism
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 166-172.
- J.M. Berger, “The Difference between a Killer and a Terrorist,” The Atlantic, April 26, 2018.
- William F. Shugart III, “An Analytical History of Terrorism,” Public Choice, vol. 128 (2006), pages 7-39.
- Graeme Wood, “What ISIS Really Wants,” The Atlantic (March 2015).
- Center on Extremism, New Hate and Old: The Changing Face of American White Supremacy (New York: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith).
- The White House, National Strategy for Counterterrorism of the United States of America (October 2018).
- Robert Malley and Jon Finer, “The Long Shadow of 9/11: How Counterterrorism Warps U.S. Foreign Policy,” Foreign Affairs (July/August 2018).
- The President’s Inbox, “The Changing Landscape of Domestic Terrorism, With Bruce Hoffman” (podcast).
- What distinguishes terrorism from other forms of violence?
- Why is it hard to prevent terrorism? What can be done to address this challenge?
- Are there examples of terrorists who have succeeded in achieving their objectives?
- What is the scale of the challenge terrorism presents to the United States? How much of a priority should the United States place on combating terrorism?
Class 13: Nuclear Proliferation
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 173-182.
- Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
- John Mueller, “Nuclear Weapons Don’t Matter: But Nuclear Hysteria Does,” Foreign Affairs (Nov/Dec 2018).
- Nina Tannenwald, “The Vanishing Nuclear Taboo? How Disarmament Fell Apart,” Foreign Affairs (Nov/Dec 2018).
- Elbridge Colby, “If You Want Peace, Prepare for Nuclear War A Strategy for the New Great- Power Rivalry,” Foreign Affairs (Nov/Dec 2018).
- Why do countries pursue nuclear weapons?
- Countries can pursue “vertical proliferation” or “horizontal proliferation.” How do these differ?
- What is the NPT and what are the agreement’s main pillars? Has it been successful at achieving its objectives?
- Is a world with more nuclear powers more dangerous? Why or why not?
- What policy tools can be used to thwart a country’s effort to develop nuclear weapons?
- Which countries have nuclear weapons and which countries may be trying to build nuclear weapons Do you think other countries will eventually try to develop nuclear weapons of their own? What would be the consequences?
Class 14: Climate Change
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 183-192.
- Elizabeth Kolbert, “The Siege of Miami,” The New Yorker, December 14, 2015.
- David Wallace-Wells, “The Uninhabitable Earth,” New York Magazine, July 10, 2017.
- Nathaniel Rich, “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change,” The New York Times Magazine, August 1, 2018.
- Sarah Gibbens, “The Amazon is burning at record rates—and deforestation is to blame,” National Geographic, August 21, 2019.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “InfoGuide: Deforestation in the Amazon.”
- The President’s Inbox, “The Coming Climate Disruption, With Alice C. Hill” (podcast).
- William Nordhaus, “The Climate Club: How to Fix a Failing Global Effort,” Foreign Affairs (May/June 2020).
- What is climate change and how does it differ from pollution and the weather?
- What causes climate change, and what evidence is there for it? Have you seen the effects of climate change in your daily life?
- What can be done to address climate change (go into mitigation, adaptation, and geoengineering)? How can you alter your behavior to combat climate change?
- What are the Paris Accords? Do you think countries will meet their obligations under the agreement? Is the agreement ambitious enough? If not, what else might be tried?
Class 15: Migration
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 193-200.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “No Refuge” (InfoGuide).
- United Nations International Organization for Migration, World Migration Report 2020, pages 19-51.
- Eduardo Porter and Karl Russell. “Migrants are on the Rise Around the World, and Myths About Them are Shaping Attitudes,” The New York Times, June 20, 2018.
- Bipartisan Policy Center, Policy Proposals to Address the Central American Migration Challenge, July 26, 2019.
- Azem Ahmed, Miriam Jordan and Kirk Semple, “A Closed Border, Dashed Hopes and a Looming Disaster,” The New York Times, March 21, 2020.
- The President’s Inbox, “What Would a Smart Immigration Policy Look Like?” (podcast).
- How big of a challenge is migration? What are its causes and consequences?
- What are the differences among an economic migrant, an internally displaced person, and a refugee? In what ways are the distinctions blurry?
- Which countries are migrants attracted to? Which countries do they primarily come from?
- What are the positive and negative effects of immigration on the country that migrants settle in?
- In which ways are global arrangements regarding migrants insufficient? What should be done to address this gap?
Class 16: The Internet, Cyberspace, and Cybersecurity
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 201-207.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “Cyber Operations Tracker” (interactive).
- Josh Gold, “Toward Norms in Cyberspace: Recent Progress and Challenges,” Canadian International Council, January 7, 2019.
- David E. Sanger, “Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran,” The New York Times, June 1, 2012.
- Adam Segal, “When China Rules the Web,” Foreign Affairs (Sep/Oct 2018).
- Helen Dixon, “Regulate to Liberate: Can Europe Save the Internet?” Foreign Affairs (Sep/Oct 2018).
- Laurens Cerulus and Mark Scott, “Europe seeks to lead a new world order on data,” POLITICO, June 7, 2019.
- Alan Beattie, “Technology: How the US, EU and China compete to set industry standards,” Financial Times, July 24, 2019.
- The Economist, “America does not want China to dominate 5G mobile networks,” April 8, 2020.
- How do the United States, Europe, and China differ on rules for regulating cyberspace?
- How would you go about improving global governance in cyberspace?
- What standards or norms do you believe need to be upheld in cyberspace?
- Why is it so difficult to deter cyber attacks?
Class 17: Global Health
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 208-214.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “What Does the World Health Organization Do?” (backgrounder).
- The President’s Inbox, “Epidemics in World History, With Frank M. Snowden” (podcast).
- Jin Wu, Weiyi Cai, Derek Watkins, and James Glanz, “How the Virus Got Out” New York Times, March, 22, 2020.
- Jeremy Page, Wenxin Fan, and Natasha Khan, “How It All Started: China’s Early Coronavirus Missteps,” The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2020.
- David Fidler, “The World Health Organization and Pandemic Politics,” Think Global Health, April 10, 2020.
- Stephen Buranyi, “The WHO v Coronavirus: Why It Can’t Handle the Pandemic,” The Guardian, April 10, 2020.
- Francis Fukuyama, “The Pandemic and Political Order: It Takes a State,” Foreign Affairs (July/ August 2020).
- Bill Gates, “How the pandemic will shape the near future” (TED Talk).
- What is a noncommunicable disease and how does it differ from a communicable disease? Why are noncommunicable diseases a bigger problem now than they have been in the past? How should this issue factor into the global health agenda?
- How did COVID-19 morph from a local outbreak into a global pandemic? What can be done to halt the spread of the disease? What does it tell you about global health governance?
- What is the World Health Organization’s mission and how would you rate its effectiveness?
- What are the International Health Regulations (IHR), and have countries met their obligations under the IHR?
- What more might be done to improve global health?
Class 18: Trade and Investment
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 215-229.
- Soumaya Keynes and Chad P. Brown, “Trade Talks: Happy 70th GATTiversary – The Origins of Multilateral Trade” (podcast).
- Council on Foreign Relations, “What’s Next for the WTO?” (backgrounder).
- OECD, “Trade Policy Implications of Global Value Chains,” May 2013.
- OECD, “Making Trade Work for All,” May 2017.
- White House Council of Economic Advisers, “The Economic Benefits of U.S. Trade,” May 2015.
- Chad Brown and Douglas Irwin, “Trump’s Assault on the Global Trading System,” Foreign Affairs (Sep/Oct 2019).
- Edward Alden, “The Global Trading System: What Went Wrong and How to Fix It,” Japan Spotlight (May/June 2019).
- The President’s Inbox, “Should the United States Rethink Its Trade Policy?” (podcast).
- Why do countries trade with one another? What is the concept of comparative advantage?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of international trade?
- What are the types of barriers countries erect to manage trade?
- Do you believe international trade is a net positive?
- n what ways has the global trading system fallen short and what can be done to strengthen it?
- What can be done to help individual workers whose jobs disappear?
Class 19: Currency and Monetary Policy
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 230-239.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “What Is the U.S. Federal Reserve?” (backgrounder).
- Council on Foreign Relations, “The IMF: The World’s Controversial Financial Firefighter” (backgrounder).
- C. Fred Bergsten, “The Dollar and the Deficits: How Washington Can Prevent the Next Crisis,” Foreign Affairs (Nov/Dec 2009).
- Barry Eichengreen, “The Renminbi Goes Global: The Meaning of China’s Money,” Foreign Affairs (Mar/Apr 2017).
- Kathleen McNamara, “The Euro in Decline? How the Currency Could Spoil the Global Financial System,” Foreign Affairs, January 12, 2018.
- Henry M. Paulson Jr. “The Future of the Dollar: U.S. Financial Power Depends on Washington, Not Beijing,” Foreign Affairs, May 19, 2020.
- What is monetary policy?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a relatively strong currency and a relatively weak currency?
- How can a central bank influence – or manipulate – its country’s exchange rate?
- What is the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) mission? Has it been successful in achieving its stated goals?
- Do you think the dollar will remain the world’s de facto reserve currency for the foreseeable future? Why or why not? What is the likeliest challenger?
Class 20: Development
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 240-250.
- United Nations, The Sustainable Development Report 2019.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “The World Bank Group’s Role in Global Development” (backgrounder).
- Jagdish Bhagwati, “Banned Aid: Why International Assistance Does Not Alleviate Poverty” (review of Dead Aid), Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2010).
- William Easterly, “The Roots of Hardship” (review of Why Nations Fail), The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2012.
- William Easterly, “Annual Hayek Lecture 2015” (video).
- Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, “How Poverty Ends: The Many Paths to Progress – and Why They Might Not Continue,” Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2020).
- Jeffrey Sachs, “Trials and Tribulations: A Response to ‘How Poverty Ends,’” Foreign Affairs (May/June 2020).
- In which areas has global development advanced the most over the last half century? In which areas does it still lag?
- Why do some countries succeed in developing their economies while others fall behind?
- Does international aid help poorer countries develop? What other tools might help?
- What is the World Bank’s mission, and how successful has the organization been in carrying out that mission?
Section 4: Order and Disorder
Class 21: Sovereignty
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 253-261.
- In Our Time, “Sovereignty,” (BBC podcast).
- Kofi Annan, “Two Concepts of Sovereignty,” The Economist, September 16, 1999.
- International Development Research Centre, The Responsibility to Protect (2001), pages XI-18.
- United Nations, “Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 16 September 2005” (Responsibility to Protect principle).
- Richard Haass, “World Order 2.0: The Case for Sovereign Obligation,” Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2017).
- Define sovereignty. How did this concept help establish the modern international system and increase order?
- How has the notion of sovereignty evolved over the years? Focus on the responsibility to protect (R2P) doctrine and how has it made a difference?
- To what extent should countries respect each other’s sovereignty? What are the costs and benefits of violating another country’s sovereignty, such as under the R2P doctrine?
- What is “sovereign obligation”? Would the adoption of this concept lead to more order in the world?
Class 22: Self-Determination
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 261-262.
- Stephen Krasner, “Who Gets a State, and Why? The Relative Rules of Sovereignty,” Foreign Affairs, March 30, 2009.
- Henri J. Barkey, “The Kurdish Awakening: Unity, Betrayal, and the Future of the Middle East,” Foreign Affairs (Mar/Apr 2019).
- Katy Collin, “The Referendum in Catalonia, Explained,” The Brookings Institution, September 29, 2017.
- Tanisha M. Fazal, “Go Your Own Way: Why Rising Separatism Might Lead to More Conflict,” Foreign Affairs (Jul/Aug 2018).
- What is self-determination? Should it be recognized as a right?
- What criteria should be used to determine which groups or territories get to become independent countries and who should decide that criteria?
- Should any stateless people or group – such as the Kurds or the Palestinians – get a country of their own?
Class 23: Balance of Power
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 262-263.
- Stephen Walt, “Who’s Afraid of a Balance of Power?” Foreign Policy, December 8, 2017.
- Jim Sleeper, “Henry Kissinger and the Coming Imbalance of Power,” LA Review of Books, October 8, 2014.
- What is the balance of power and how does it come about? How does it end?
- What are the terms used to describe different constellations of power? Which term would you use to describe the current distribution of power?
- Thinking back to the historical eras discussed earlier, which eras lacked a balance of power and what were the consequences of this lack of balance?
Class 24: Alliances and Coalitions
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 264-269.
- Max Fisher and Sergio Pecanha, “What the U.S. Gets for Defending Its Allies and Interests Abroad,” The New York Times, January 16, 2017.
- Michael Mandelbaum, “Pay Up, Europe: What Trump Gets Right About NATO,” Foreign Affairs (Sep/Oct 2017).
- Rose Gottemoeller, “NATO Is Not Brain Dead: The Alliance Is Transforming Faster Than Most People Think,” Foreign Affairs, December 19, 2019.
- Mira Rapp-Hooper, “Saving America’s Alliances,” Foreign Affairs (Mar/Apr 2020).
- What does it mean for a country to have an alliance with another?
- Why do countries form alliances with one another?
- What are the prerequisites of a successful alliance?
- What are examples of alliances that have contributed to stability and order and those that have contributed to disorder?
- Are America’s alliances a net benefit or a burden for the country?
Class 25: International Society
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 270-279.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “The UN Security Council” (backgrounder).
- Stewart Patrick, “The Unruled World: The Case for Good Enough Global Governance,” Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2014).
- Freedom House, “Freedom In the World 2020: A Leaderless Struggle for Democracy.”
- Michael Doyle, “Liberalism and World Politics,” The American Political Science Review (Dec. 1986).
- What is the democratic peace theory? What are its limitations?
- What is economic interdependence theory? Can you think of a historical example that supports this theory and one that contradicts it?
- Why was the United Nations (UN) established and what is its mission?
- What do you think accounts for the UN’s inability to play a more central role in promoting and upholding order? How would you reform the UN to allow it to increase its contribution to order?
- To what extent has international law contributed to a lessening of conflict?
Class 26: War Between Countries
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 280-287.
- Council on Foreign Relations, “Global Conflict Tracker” (interactive).
- Chris Hedges, “What Every Person Should Know About War,” The New York Times, July 6, 2003.
- The New York Times, “Population Control, Marauder Style” (Infographic), Nov. 6, 2011.
- Brian Orend, “When Is War Justifiable?” Military History (October 2007).
- Steven Pinker, “Violence Vanquished,” The Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2011.
- Kelsey Atherton, “Is War Really In Decline?” Popular Science, September 5, 2013.
- Edward Luttwak, “Give War a Chance,” Foreign Affairs (Jul/Aug 1999).
- Why do countries go to war?
- When is war justifiable?
- How are conventional and unconventional wars different? Can you give examples of each?
- What is the difference between a preemptive and preventive war? Can you give examples of each?
- Some argue that the world has become a fundamentally more peaceful place, and wars are in decline. Do you agree or disagree?
Class 27: Internal Instability and War Within Countries
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 288-295.
- Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, “10 Reasons Countries Fall Apart,” Foreign Policy, June 18, 2012.
- Fund for Peace, “Fragile States Index Annual Report 2020.”
- Stewart Patrick, “The Brutal Truth: Failed states are mainly a threat to their own inhabitants. We should help them anyway.” Foreign Policy, June 20, 2011.
- Michael Mazarr, “The Rise and Fall of the Failed-State Paradigm,” Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2014).
- Andrew Kent, “What is a Civil War?” Lawfare, March 28, 2017.
- Monica Duffy Toft, “Ending Civil Wars: A Case for Rebel Victory?” International Security (Spring 2010).
- Siyan Chen, Norman V. Loayza, and Marta Reynal-Querol, “The Aftermath of Civil War,” The World Bank Economic Review (2008).
- What do people mean when they refer to a “weak state” or a “failed state”? Can you give examples of each in the current world?
- What causes a country to become a weak or failed state?
- Why do internal conflicts such as civil wars break out?
- What policy tools are available to deal with challenges to order within borders?
- What is “nation-building”? Can you name examples of successful and unsuccessful nation-building efforts?
Class 28: The Liberal World Order
- The World: A Brief Introduction, pages 296-303.
- Wolfgang Ischinger, “The World According to Kissinger,” Foreign Affairs (March/April 2015).
- Joseph S. Nye Jr., “Will the Liberal Order Survive? The History of An Idea,” Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2017).
- G. John Ikenberry, “The Next Liberal Order,” Foreign Affairs (Jul/Aug 2020).
- Richard Haass, “How a World Order Ends,” Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2019).
- Robert D. Blackwill and Thomas Wright, “The End of World Order and American Foreign Policy,” Council on Foreign Relations Special Report (May 2020).
- The President’s Inbox, “The Liberal World Order,” (podcast).
- How would you define the liberal world order? What is “liberal” about the order?
- Which countries object to the liberal world order, and why do they do so?
- Is there any evidence that the liberal world order is weakening? If so, what can be done to strengthen it?
- Are there viable alternatives to a U.S.-led world order? Who would lead such an order and what would it look like?
- Do you believe the liberal world order benefits the United States? Why or why not?