Courses tagged with "MIT" (12)
This course covers the history of American foreign policy since 1914, current policy questions, and the future of U.S. Policy. We focus on policy evaluation. What consequences did these policies produce for the U.S. and for other countries? Were/are these consequences good or bad?
This course examines the causes and consequences of American foreign policy since 1898. Course readings cover both substantive and methods topics. Four substantive topics are covered:
- major theories of American foreign policy;
- major episodes in the history of American foreign policy and historical/interpretive controversies about them;
- the evaluation of major past American foreign policies--were their results good or bad? and
- current policy controversies, including means of evaluating proposed policies.
Three methods topics are covered:
- basic social scientific inference--what are theories? what are good theories? how should theories be framed and tested?
- historical investigative methodology, including archival research, and, most importantly,
- case study methodology.
Historical episodes covered in the course are used as raw material for case studies, asking "if these episodes were the subject of case studies, how should those studies be performed, and what could be learned from them?"
This course examines the problems and issues confronting American national security policymakers and the many factors that influence the policies that emerge. But this is not a course about "threats," military strategies, or the exercise of military power.
What threatens those interests? How should the U.S. defend those interests? What kind of military should we build? Should the U.S. enter into alliances with other countries? Do we need a larger Navy? How much should we spend on weapons procurement?
The course has four broad goals:
- to demonstrate that definitions of national security and the specification of vital interests are subjective and fluid and that they are as much functions of domestic politics as they are responses to international politics and "objective threats";
- to demonstrate that policy decisions involve complex tradeoffs among political, social, economic, military, legal, and ethical goals and values;
- to explore how the many organizations, institutions, and individuals that participate in American national security policymaking affect policy formulation, implementation, and outcomes; and
- to better understand the historical context, evolution, and linkages of national security problems and solutions.
The course is organized along an historical time line. Beginning with the final days of World War II we follow American national security policy from the first stirrings of confrontation with the Soviet Union and China, into two hot wars in Asia that cost over 100,000 American lives and spawned social upheavals, through a close encounter with nuclear war, stumbling into the era of arms control, and conclude with the collapse of the communism. Selective case studies, memoirs, and original documents act as windows into each period. What were US national security decision makers thinking? What were they worried about? How did they see their options?
This course surveys American political thought from the colonial era to the present. Required readings are drawn mainly from primary sources, including writings of politicians, activists, and theorists. Topics include the relationship between religion and politics, rights, federalism, national identity, republicanism versus liberalism, the relationship of subordinated groups to mainstream political discourse, and the role of ideas in politics. We will analyze the simultaneous radicalism and weakness of American liberalism, how the revolutionary ideas of freedom and equality run up against persistent patterns of inequality. Graduate students are expected to pursue the subject in greater depth through suggested reading and individual research.
China's rise as a great power raises important questions about how that power might be used in its relations with other states. Nowhere are such questions more salient than in the future trajectory of China's conflict behavior, including its approach to deterrence, crisis management and the use of force. To explore these important questions in China's international relations, this seminar examines the evolution of Chinese strategic thought, in primary sources as well as its reflection in the interactions among Chinese states and between China and other states.
This course will serve as both an introduction to contemporary political philosophy and a way to explore issues of pluralism and multiculturalism. Racial and ethnic groups, national minorities, aboriginals, women, sexual minorities, and other groups have organized to highlight injustice and demand recognition and accommodation on the basis of their differences. In practice, democratic states have granted a variety of group-differentiated rights, such as exemptions from generally applicable laws, special representation rights, language rights, or limited self-government rights, to different types of groups. This course will examine how different theories of citizenship address the challenges raised by different forms of pluralism. We will focus in particular on the following questions:
- Does justice require granting group-differentiated rights?
- Do group-differentiated rights conflict with liberal and democratic commitments to equality and justice for all citizens?
- What, if anything, can hold a multi-religious, multicultural society together? Why should the citizens of such a society want to hold together?