POLS 437 International Security [CRN 75653]
Overview of Course
This course is an in-depth examination into the evolving field of international security. Throughout the voyage, we will explore the major concepts and theories of international security, with special attention to case studies involving the port countries on our itinerary — in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, East and South Asia, and North and South America. We will ask: can the theories we have long employed to understand how the world works still apply to our rapidly changing world? Heads of state communicate via Twitter; revolutions unfold via Facebook; wars can be waged via computer terminals. Challenges to state sovereignty and international security abound: climate change, genocide, human trafficking, hacking, global financial crises, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, even killer robots. How has conflict changed in the last century — especially since World Wars I and II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the first and second Gulf Wars, 9/11 or even Covid-19? Specific topics covered will include the causes, types, tactics and future of war; the effects of nuclear weapons on international relations; terrorism; national security and human security; and emerging transnational threats and challenges, including climate change, cybersecurity, and global pandemics.