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Instructor of Record  (Student Evaluations)

This course focuses on the institution of the U.S. presidency, with a focus on the development of the office over time, executive power, and the president's relationship with other key actors. In the first class, we will explore the origins of the office itself and how it has evolved into the “modern presidency.” We will then move quickly into campaigning, the nomination process, and elections. Thereafter, we will spend time focusing on presidential power and--after briefly considering the role of the vice presidency--we will examine the executive’s relationship with the American people, Congress, and the courts. Lastly, we will critically examine the thesis of the “Two Presidencies” and look at the power of the president in controlling the foreign policy of the United States.

Instructor of Record (Student Evaluations)

Course Description: The period of heightened geopolitical tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union known as the Cold War lasted from the end of the Second World War to the early 1990's. The Cold War, however, had causes existing long prior to the 1940's, and likewise yielded effects that still exist with us today. Geographically, the conflict touched nations far from the Iron Curtain, including states in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. What caused the Cold War to begin? What led it to end? In what ways is the Cold War analogous, or not, to U.S.-China competition today, and are we now in a "New Cold War"?


Instructor: Glenn Smith

Course Description: This course provides an introduction to major theoretical and practical issues in American constitutional law and politics. In particular, the course will focus on the role of the Supreme Court in the American political and legal process---and on the distribution of power among federal-government branches and between the federal government and state governments.

GPS/Political Science 400: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific (Fall 2020)

Instructor of Record  

The United States Congress is the most studied branch of U.S. Government, and it is central to our understanding of policy, elections, and representative democracy. The purpose of this course is to examine two fundamental questions: (1) what do members of Congress do and why and (2) how do the individual and collective actions of members of Congress explain national policy? We will examine the process of legislating as well as the role of political parties, leaders, and interest groups. Throughout, we will study how Congress has evolved and consider its
effectiveness as an institution. This course will examine the nomination and election of members of Congress, constituent relationships, the development of the institution, formal and informal structures, leadership, comparisons of House with Senate, lobbying, and relationship with the executive branch. We will also compare the role of Congress in domestic policy to its role in foreign policy.

Instructor: Steph Haggard (Instructor Evaluation)

Course Description: International relations and developing international political economies of nations bordering the Pacific. Topics include the “Pacific Basin” concept; the United States and “hegemonic-stability” theory; legacies of the Korean War and Sino-Soviet dispute; immigration patterns and their consequences; and Japan’s foreign policy.

International Studies 102: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific (Winter 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019)

Instructor: Steph Haggard (Student Evaluations: 20182019S, 2019F)

Course Description: This course provides a survey of some key issues in the international relations of the Asia-Pacific. The course is divided into four modules: a) historical background and theories for thinking about the international relations of the region, focusing particularly on the rise of China, b) a look at key strategic relationships, covering the main actors: the US, China, Japan, Taiwan, the two Koreas and Southeast Asia, c) a consideration of how economic interdependence and institutions affect diplomacy and the prospects for conflict and cooperation, and d) a look at some key military-strategic issues: the prospect for arms races, the South China Sea and the new questions arising out of the cyber domain. 

GPPS 407: The International Relations and National Security of China  (Winter 2021, Winter 2023)

Instructor: Tai Ming Cheung (Instructor Evaluation)

Course Description: This course examines the nature, evolution, dynamics, and key elements of China’s approach and engagement with the international system, especially in the twenty-first century, with a focus on national security and defense. Topics include understanding the structure and process of Chinese decision making; the nature of Chinese policies and strategies; the evolution of Chinese military power; the rise of the Chinese national security state; Chinese grand strategy, and US-China relations.

GPPS 443: U.S. National Security and Decision Making  (Winter 2019, Winter 2022, Winter 2023)

Instructor: Vice Admiral Robert Thomas (Instructor Evaluation)

Course Description: The course provides a practitioner’s perspective on the methodologies of and influences on decision making in the US national security apparatus. It provides the skills for analyzing the interactions among the executive, legislative, interagency stakeholders, the media, intelligence community, and the military and its supporting industrial complex. We will look at decisional influences and biases that led to key national security decisions, beginning with the 1947 National Security Act.

GPCO 467: Policy Responses to Global Problems (Winter 2019)

Instructors: Barbara Walter and Weiyi Shi

Course Description: This capstone is designed to test the analytic skills of students, using them to explain complex real-world problems: security, persistent recurring conflict, persistent inequality and intergenerational debt, women’s rights, environmental change, energy/resource systems, and financial contagion. Emphasis will be placed on determining the nature and dimension of the problem, exploring a range of solutions and assessing the capacity of public institutions.

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