Comparative World Diplomacy

Discipline: History
Instructor: Walker
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1300
End: 1415
Field Work: Day 5 - Monday, 19 October | Spain Download Syllabus

Henry Kissinger once described diplomacy as the art of restraining power. A country’s diplomacy is certainly guided by its self-interest, but it also reflects how individual nations want to be understood by the global community, and in that sense is a sort of national personality. This course provides an overview of the diplomatic traditions of Europe and the Americas in the 19th and 20th centuries. A comparative approach using texts and case studies will inquire into the varying ways that these nations define and pursue their national interests over time, and will examine in this regard the differing legal, political, social and cultural influences which go into the formulation of their national statecraft.

Field Work

Country: Spain
Day: 5 - Monday, 19 October

This Field Lab will be hosted by the U.S. Consulate where we will receive a briefing on U.S. – Spain relations from American and Spanish diplomats. We will also take a guided walking tour focused on the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, the European, American and Soviet reactions thereto, and its significance in the context of the coming World War. Students will afterwards prepare a Field Report assignment which will require them to utilize the diplomatic history and methods which we will have discussed to critique the diplomatic strategies of all participants in this conflict. Academic objectives:

  1. To understand the issues surrounding the Spanish Civil War, its larger global context, and the impact to the present day on Spanish society
  2. To gain an appreciation for the key diplomatic issues Spain faces today
  3. To interact with current Spanish and American diplomats