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Please note that these schedules are tentative and subject to change. Syllabi are posted to the DC Program Blackboard as soon as they are available.

Maymester 2022 Courses (May 19 - May 26) Maxwell-in-Washington

PAI 700 | Assessing Strategic Risks and Trends in the National Security Context | Kris Patel

This course will provide graduate students with a structured analytic approach to assess national security and foreign policy risks and trends. The course will use case studies and hands-on exercises to demonstrate the practical application of fundamental structured analytic techniques and the use of diverse information sets to policymaking and resource decision-making. These techniques are used by strategic planners in leading global intelligence organizations, national security bureaucracies, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations as part of their strategic foresight and scenario generation activities. 

PAI 700 | Transatlantic Relations in a Multipolar World | Michael Williams

The Transatlantic Relationship, formally embodied in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has been a cornerstone of international security since the end of the Second World War. NATO helped to ensure that a war between the Soviet Union and the United States did not occur. It helped to pacify post-World War II Europe, to reduce fear amongst European states and to enable European integration and the eventual development of the European Union. Following the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Soviet Union NATO facilitated the transition to democracy in eastern Europe. This seminar explores the historic foundations of NATO and dissects current issues such as the challenge from Putin’s Russia, rising illiberalism in Europe, populism in the US and EU, migration pressures, defense industrial issues, terrorism and the role of China in Europe and the wider world.  The course finishes by exploring possible future developments of what has been known as the “most successful alliance in history” in an emergent era of multipolarity.

PAI 730 | Central Challenges in National Security Law and Policy | James Baker

Using a series of case study modules that jump off the front page, the course examines critically the hardest U.S. national security law and policy challenges of the decades ahead. The case studies range from decisions to intervene and what laws apply if we do intervene in humanitarian crises, insurrections, or civil wars, and what laws should govern when we are involved; dealing with the Arab Spring; dealing with Iran and North Korea related to nuclear weapons; anticipating and controlling new technologies in warfare and surveillance; managing civil/military relations in protecting the homeland; countering the cyber threats to our infrastructure and cyber-attacks waged by nation states, such as China and Russia; managing public health as a national security issue; resource depletion and global warming as a national security issue. Students will learn to integrate legal and policy analyses and will gain lessons in how policy is made and implemented with significant legal guidance. 

Summer 2022 Courses (June 6 – July 22) Maxwell-in-Washington

PAI 700 | 21st Century Strategy | Sean McFate (M/W)

The art of war and grand strategy is often invoked yet rarely understood, resulting in catastrophe. Too often policy makers, members of congress, academics, think tankers, journalists, pundits and even flag officers discuss strategy but remain ignorant of the concept. Consequently, strategy is frequently confused with tactics, bureaucracy, academic theory and other things — all to ruinous effect — as evidenced in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. You will learn universal strategies for the strong, the weak and most things in between. We will examine the ideas of Sun Tzu, Kautilya, Jomini, Clausewitz, Mao, T.E. Lawrence, Galula and other scholar-practitioners. Case studies include the Peloponnesian War, American Revolution, 2006 Lebanon War and African warlords. The course will teach you how to think strategically and builds on what senior U.S. military officers learn at war colleges, taught by a professor at such an institution. However, we will probe much deeper than what is usually taught at war colleges and civilian institutions so that you are equipped to fight and win 21st century wars. 

PAI 700 | Humanitarian Actions: Challenges, Responses, Results | Jacob Kurtzer (M/W)

Via case studies and a review of relevant readings, assess major humanitarian challenges worldwide since 1992. Disasters caused by nature and man: conflicts and major economic stress. Challenges for women, children, refugees, displaced people. Involvement of government, UN agencies, NGO’s, militaries, donors, press, and others.

Fall 2022 Courses (August 29 – December 8) Maxwell-in-Washington

All courses take place from 6:00-8:40 p.m.

Course Schedules and descriptions


(8/29 - 12/5)

(8/30 - 12/6)


(9/1 - 12/8)


Politics, Power, and Global Sport

The Frontier of Finance: Digital Currencies, Security, and Development

Climate Change, Security, and Global Development

China's Rise and Challenges to the Global Order

Issues in Public Diplomacy

Comparative Foreign Policy (EMIR only)

Strategic Foresight for International Relations

African Conflicts: Causes and Consequences

Economic Statecraft

Navigating the National Security Bureaucracy

From Fragility to Resilience: New Approaches to Global Development

PAI 715 | Politics, Power, and Global Sport| Jeff Gonda

This seminar explores the intersections of sports, politics, and society in an international context. Combining examinations of contemporary topics and historical case studies, the course addresses the enduring and complex links between sport and major issues in global affairs including cultural diplomacy, nationalism, and human rights.

PAI 715 | The Frontier of Finance: Digital Currencies, Security, and Development| Bejoy DasGupta

This course will focus on how the global financial revolution underway, the Fintech revolution, can help lead to sustained, inclusive and strong growth and enhance security, as elaborated in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The course will explore cutting edge themes at the intersection of finance, technology, policy, development and security, as well as cross-border dimensions to include the challenges posed by Cryptocurrencies. It will not be narrowly focused on technology, and is appropriate for students pursuing development, economic and security fields.

PAI 715| China's Challenge to the Global Order | Robert Daly

This master’s seminar focuses on contemporary challenges to the global order posed by China’s growing economic and political power. The course charts China’s reform and opening, its development and integration into the global economy, and the challenges created for Western economic and security institutions and alliances. Specific topic areas covered include China’s non-market status and trade conflict, competition for technological leadership, ICT governance and standard setting, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the implications of China’s South China Sea activity. The course will combine extensive background readings, lectures, and discussion. Students will benefit from frequent guest lectures and discussions with experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

PAI 715 | Global Sustainability & Development: Policy Impact at the National Level | Melinda Kimble

This course offers an overview of the concept of sustainability and its application in economic, environmental, social and development spheres from the perspective of policy practitioners. It examines the issue through the perspective of three planetary ecosystems – water, land and air – and explores associated public policy issues – urbanization, globalization, depletion of ocean resources, land-based sources of marine pollution, deforestation, climate change and national security. Drawing on a policy thinking tool developed for this class, the seminar will assess the evolution of international legal frameworks and related concepts since 1970 and apply the tool to identifying and analyzing current and future policy options at the local, state, national and global level. This course provides business and finance, economic development, national security as well as environmental majors a command of key concepts, analytic tools, and professional literacy for addressing sustainability issues across a range of disciplines.

PSC 783 (EMIR only) | Comparative Foreign Policy | Tammy Schultz

A survey and critique of approaches to understanding foreign policy and national security decision-making from the perspective of the practitioner who must deal with problems of individual choice, small groups, bureaucratic politics, and organizational constraints in the conduct of foreign policy. Case studies and simulations will help to provide first-hand experience in policy decision-making.

PAI 715 | Issues in Public Diplomacy | Shawn Powers

This course will provide a deep dive into the origins of information statecraft and explore case studies to provide a detailed understanding of the scope, sophistication, and significance of the geopolitics of information. Building on key theoretical models, including markets for loyalties, networks, and game theory, this course will provide an analytic framework for understanding the range of information statecraft activities, as well as the key variables likely to influence the success or failure of a public diplomacy campaign or program. Monitoring and evaluation techniques and best practices will also be covered, as well as the foundations of digital analytics and metrics. Classes will feature occasional guest speakers from the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the NGO community. At the end of the course, students will be subject matter experts on public diplomacy and global media strategy, the information statecraft toolkit, and the significance of these tools and tactics in international affairs.

PAI 700 | Economic Statecraft | Danica Starks

As the crisis in Ukraine makes clear, some national security challenges require the adept use of the tools of economic statecraft. This course examines the mechanisms, operations, and outcomes of these economic tools. The course focuses on tools designed to coerce change and those offered as incentives and positive inducements. Case studies may also address trade barriers and preferences, financial sanctions, export controls and investment restrictions, foreign lending, and development aid.

PAI 715 | Strategic Foresight for International Relations | James-Christian Blockwood

This course will provide graduate students with a structured approach to thinking about the future of the international environment. It is a foundation in qualitative foresight methodologies with direct application to national or organizational strategic planning. It also provides a tour du horizon of the global trends shaping the world 10-20 years into the future and beyond. Through real-world case studies and classroom exercises, the course exposes students to the practical application of foresight methodologies to policymaking and resource decision-making. These methodologies are routinely used by strategic planners in leading global intelligence organizations, national security ministries, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations. Strategic foresight is an under-appreciated “hard” international relations skillset, particularly useful in navigating the profound global transitions underway that affect risk and competitiveness for countries, companies, and individuals.

PAI 715 | From Fragility to Resilience: New Approaches to Global Development | Erol Yayboke & Sara Reckless

While some countries move up the development ladder on the way to greater economic growth and stability, others struggle with cyclical fragility and the negative repercussions that come with it. The path from fragility to resilience is rarely linear, requiring a mix of security, stabilization, humanitarian aid, and development assistance. This course will look at causes of fragility and examine the non-kinetic tools deployed in fragile states, especially their utility and effectiveness in specific country and regional cases. Primarily discussion-based, the course will also include regular guest speakers who are regional experts and/or practitioners.

PAI 700 | Navigating the National Security Bureaucracy | Hon. Ryan McCarthy

This course, taught by former Secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy, will use case studies to examine the complexities of policy formulation and implementation in the national security establishment with a special focus on the Department of Defense. Considerations such as organizational culture, personality, as well as bureaucratic politics will be examined.

PAI 715 | African Conflicts: Causes and Consequences | Michael Shurkin

This course will be an overview of security issues from African and global perspectives. The course will begin with a historical look at colonial powers in Africa, the dynamics of the Cold War and how it shaped the wars of decolonization and the establishment of African liberation movements. The course will then address the fate of the post-colonial states and the emergence of US security assistance after the end of the Cold War as well as the emergence of transnational threats in the region.

For Maxwell Students Only:

PAI 738 | US Intelligence Community: Governance and Practice | Robert Murrett

This course meets Monday and Wednesday morning on SU's main campus and is only available in DC online

This course examines the evolution of the US Intelligence Community since its inception in 1947 through the present day. Key phases and specific events will be explored, including efforts during the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam Conflict, the Church Committee, the Balkans Conflict, pre- and post-9/11 operations, the 9/11 and WMD Commissions and the legislative overhaul mandated by Congress in 2004.  The course also will review governance and oversight of the intelligence community by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and students will study the functional elements of intelligence tradecraft (human intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery analysis, etc.), and engagement with international counterparts. The class will participate in case studies that students will evaluate, provide briefings for, and make recommendations in regard to, both in terms of analysis- and intelligence-driven decision-making on policy and operations.

Professor Robert Murrett instructs this course.  

PAI 715 | Washington Internship | Mark Jacobson

Students can earn up to three credits working (usually unpaid) as an intern for an agency or organization that focuses on issues of global development or global security.

View Internship Evaluation Guidelines

Wintersession 2023 Courses (January 3 - January 13) Maxwell-in-Washington

PAI 700 | Geopolitics of Energy and Climate Change | William Hederman

Understanding international relations requires an appreciation for the international dynamics of energy and closely related environmental issues. This course provides students with the essential information and tools to help analyze a broad range of energy and environmental matters from an international policy perspective.


PAI 771 | Public Management of Technological Development | Sean O'Keefe

This course provides a survey of major public policy influences on the formulation and implementation of commercial technology and innovation strategies.

The primary public influence of commercially developed technology and innovation is regulatory in nature, but also pertains to public financed contracts and grants managed by public agencies to support technology developments for application to public programs and services.  Government policy and statutory requirements can create the need for technology solutions or impede the development of others.  Similarly, the public sector can actively affect market opportunities through the promotion of specific policies and government sponsored programs, as well as the elimination of others.

Technology development offers public and private organizations new avenues to explore productivity enhancement and improved service delivery or increased profitability and market expansion which, in turn, leads to the imperative for innovation change. Successful technology strategies are closely linked to business strategies which match the organization’s existing capabilities or offer a road map to a new service or product developments.  To the extent there is an application or impact to public objectives, public policy and public management practices can either facilitate or deter market incentives to achieve the objectives.

The public sector is frequently both the consumer and regulator of technology advances.  For aspiring public managers, this course will examine the active and passive government influences, which can and have been exerted over technology and innovation management.  For aspiring business managers and technical professionals in engineering or information systems, this course will provide a perspective of the applications of public policy and public management practices and will offer constructive avenues on how government actions on behalf of the public may be anticipated.

Spring 2023 Courses (January 17 – May 1) Maxwell-in-Washington


PAI 895 | Managerial Leadership | LeAnne Howard and Josh Burgess

This is the Leadership and Strategy in Global Affairs course and a core requirement for the EMIR degree. Objectives are to establish an understanding of the schools of leadership thinking, especially current trends, to practice requisite skills, and to plan for additional learning and development through assessment and action planning.

Course readings focus on leadership theory and practice and their application in the changing organizational environment in a global workplace. Case studies and groups discussion. 


PAI 996 | Master's Capstone | Barbara Petzen (EMIR students only)

This is the capstone course and a core requirement for the EMIR degree. Students complete substantive research projects while embedded in one of the thematic or regional programs at CSIS. Students work directly with CSIS experts on capstone projects designed to hone and showcase their capacity for both cogent analysis of real-world problems and effective policy communication.

Based on interest, working teams of master's candidates conduct research reports to craft actionable policy analysis and recommendations on a complex issue area. Since valuable policy recommendations may be lost if they are not communicated well, teams also learn to transform their policy analysis into an online project that communicates their results with clarity, creativity, and compelling multimedia storytelling.

Professional development workshops on data collection, analysis, analytic writing, and presentation are covered to support students in the development of their projects and to help prepare them for personal career advancement.

Project teams receive mentorship and guidance from CSIS faculty and media advisors throughout the duration of their projects.  A final oral presentation and a written report to CSIS and the faculty advisor are the major course requirements.

EMIR candidates who successfully complete the capstone project will be able to:

  • Understand complex and fast-changing international security and foreign policy issues;
  • Analyze complex data sets to discern key patterns and trends;
  • Formulate insightful analysis of an issue area and design appropriate policy recommendations or compare likely repercussions of different policies;
  • Craft compelling policy narratives combining cogent analysis and creative data visualization;
  • Communicate findings effectively both orally and across a range of multimedia platforms;
  • Collaborate effectively on diverse teams to produce a high-impact product.

PAI 700 | Disinformation and Influence in the Digital Age | Todd Helmus  Disinformation has always been a tactic of political and social influence, but the advent of social media and targeted advertising has increased its potency and efficacy. How are nation states and domestic actors using online disinformation to shore up power and profit, and how can policymakers address this threat to democracy while keeping its values intact? This course will examine the elements of foreign policy, tech policy and regulation, changes in the media environment, and government responses that affect digital disinformation and its success, and equip students to critically observe and analyze this fast-changing sphere. Students will engage in seminar style discussions, meet with policymakers handling these key issues, and have some hands-on time to better understand the dynamics driving disinformation. 

PAI 700 | Foresight, Insight, and the Fiction of National Security | Tammy Schultz 

While old paradigms seem to be failing us in war and peace, the creative management of national security challenges are more important than ever. We require new approaches – not reading the same, old texts, or using the same, old methodologies and theories.  It is primarily for this reason – the need for imaginative, strategic leaders – that this class uses fiction as the launching point for discussion. As the 9/11 Commission noted in their report, “The most important failure was one of imagination.” Students in this course will use fiction as a springboard will hone several key student skills including creativity, the ability to better empathize with complex situations and potential opponents, understanding unfamiliar or strange cultures in order to consider unseen challenges and potential solutions and, grappling with ambiguity, contradictions, complexity, and ambivalence – entertaining for fiction but critical when considering the real world. Perhaps most importantly, students will hone their ability to ask the right questions – a prerequisite to finding least bad options, which is increasingly their job as they move into higher leadership positions. Finally, students will emerge from this course changed readers – better able to deconstruct (and reconstruct) text, think critically about what is read, and know when, and when not to, apply these frameworks.

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