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Michael R. Anderson, Director 305 E. 23rd Street, A1300 78712 • 512-232-6344

Michael W Mosser

PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Michael W Mosser
" Illegitimi non carborundum "

Contact

Biography

Since Summer 2012, Dr. Michael W. Mosser has served as a lecturer with a joint appointment in the Department of Government, the Center for European Studies, and the International Relations and Global Governance (IRG) program at the University of Texas at Austin. From August 2009 to May 2012, he was a visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. From January to June 2009, he served as Associate Director of the European Union Center of Excellence and a Fellow of the Robert S. Strauss Center at the University of Texas at Austin. From June 2009 to May 2010, he was the initial military/education liaison for the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs Robert S. Strauss Center’s “Climate Change and African Political Stability” grant funded by the US Department of Defense’s Minerva Initiative. From 2006 to 2009 he was an assistant professor at the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he taught international relations, security studies, and comparative foreign policy of Western Europe.

He has published articles in the fields of military art and science and military sociology, and is presently working on a research project re-conceptualizing military doctrine as a social construction. His latest article (co-authored with Dr. Dan Cox of SAMS), "Defense Forecasting in Theory and Practice: Conceptualizing and Teaching the Future Operating Environment," was published online at Small Wars Journal in January 2013. Previous articles include “Identimetrics: Operationalizing Identity in Counterinsurgency Operations” was published online at the e-International Relations website (http://www.e-ir.info) in March 2010 and  “The Promise and the Peril: The Social Construction of American Military Technology,” in the Whitehead Journal of International Diplomacy and International Relations, Volume XI, Number 2 (Summer/Fall 2010), pp. 91-104. In addition Mosser published the lead article in the “Puzzles Versus Problems: The Alleged Disconnect between Academics and Military Practitioners,” symposium in Perspectives on Politics 8:4 (December 2010), pp. 1077-1086, as well as “The Myth of a Global Insurgency: The Dangers of Mistaking Coherence for Capability,” in JFQ: Joint Force Quarterly, 56:1 (January 2010), pp. 140-143. While at SAMS, he published the lead article of a series on the military role in the amnesty, reconciliation and reintegration (AR2) process entitled “The ‘Armed Reconciler:’ The Military Role in the Amnesty, Reconciliation, and Reintegration Process,” Military Review, Vol. 87 (Nov./Dec. 2007), pp. 13-19.

 

 

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

39300 • Spring 2015
Meets T 330pm-630pm BEN 1.124
show description

IRG 378: Capstone Research in International Relations and Global Studies

Topic: Twenty-first Century Conflict

Spring 2015

Unique ID: 39300

International Relations and Global Studies (IRG) major

The University of Texas at Austin

 

Dr. Michael Mosser

Course location: BEN 1.124

Office: Mezes 3.222

Course time: T 3:30 – 6:30

Phone: 512.232.7280

Office hours: T, Th 9:00 – 11:00

Email: mosserm@austin.utexas.edu

(and by appointment)

Course concept

As an academic field of inquiry, international security tends to focus on the ability of states to remain secure in the face of threats to their internal and external sovereignty. Increasingly, however, the study of security has broadened to include not merely new actors, but also new conceptions of what it means to be ‘secure.’ While conflict among and within states (and increasingly non-state actors) is a major concern, the idea that insecurity can exist but still stop short of conflict has become increasingly accepted among both scholars and practitioners.     

Moreover, conflict and security have evolved since the end of the Cold War. While possible, the idea of a superpower-on-superpower strategic conflict on the scale of World War II seems increasingly unlikely. Rather, conflicts appear to occur now based much more on localized and transient grievances, or in certain cases where a major power feels the need to act unilaterally to accomplish some set of strategic aims.

This capstone course will treat all forms of conflict as our object of study, and will ask the following question: what types of conflict are we likely to see in the twenty-first century, and what patterns might we discern from these conflicts? No longer confined to interstate war, conflict since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union has ranged from superpower engaged in major conflict among states to civil war and intrastate violence. Moreover, states no longer hold the monopoly of violence. Indeed, in the last 15 years conflict has entered into areas previously thought unimaginable, such as in cyberspace.  

Course objectives:

During the course of this semester, students will be exposed to a wide range of thinking on the nature of conflict after the Cold War. Beginning with a specific focus on the changing “American way of war” since 9/11, the course moves to a broader interpretation of conflict since the end of the superpower confrontation that characterized the Cold War. The course ends with a reflection on the United Nations as the arbiter of international security, its successes and failings, and its changing role in the decades since the end of the Cold War.

Readings:

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets on Tuesday. Befitting a once-a-week capstone course, the readings are more extensive but still manageable. The average reading load per week is ~100 pages.

Recommended Reading:

  • Richard K. Betts, Conflict after the Cold War (4th Edition). Prentice Hall, 2012.
Assignments and grading

Your course grade will consist of a paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. A breakdown of the requirements and expectations for each category is below. All assignments will be converted to a 100-point scale with no curve. All grades, including final grades, will use the plus (+) and minus (-) system. Grade standards for all assignments are as follows:

93 >     A  

90-92   A-

87-89   B+  

80-86   B   

77-79   B-   

75-76   C+   

70-74   C

67-69   C-

60-66   D

< 60  F

 

 

Paper: 80%

As this class is a capstone course, the bulk of the grade for the course will consist of a capstone original research paper. Fulfillment of this writing requirement will entail completing a paper of approximately 7,500-8,000 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). Such a paper should be a thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. It should be appropriately documented with references and citations, and should stand on its own as an individual work of scholarship.

Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise the majority of the total grade for the course, but attendance and a presentation of your research count for grades as well.

The paper is divided into the following sections:

a)     

Research proposal: Worth 10% of overall grade


b)    Outline and preliminary list of references: Worth 10% of overall grade.


c)     First draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.

d)    Oral presentation to the group
: Worth 20% of overall grade

e)    Final draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.


 

Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%

 


Class discussion in a capstone seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester facilitate a course discussion on the week of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet distributed online for discussion facilitators to use. Discussion leaders are responsible for generating five questions on the readings to distribute to class via Canvas. The discussion facilitating questions will comprise 10% of your course grade.



Because this is a capstone course, it is expected that you will have already absorbed the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, I will require that each of you on the weeks that you are not facilitating discussions to prepare one discussion question for the upcoming class to submit to the discussion leader. These should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. These discussion questions will not be graded individually, but together will count for 10% of your course grade. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments. 

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

39305 • Spring 2015
Meets TH 330pm-630pm GAR 0.132
show description

IRG 378: Capstone Research in International Relations and Global Studies

Topic: The Technology of Security

Spring 2015

Unique ID: 39305

International Relations and Global Studies (IRG) major

The University of Texas at Austin

 

Dr. Michael Mosser

Course location: GAR 0.132

Office: Mezes 3.222

Course time: T 3:30 – 6:30

Phone: 512.232.7280

Office hours: T, Th 9:00 – 11:00

Email: mosserm@austin.utexas.edu

(and by appointment)

Course concept

While international security is often taught from a ‘big picture’ perspective, it can be argued that much of the actual implementation of international security is driven by technology. This capstone seminar goes beyond theorizing and delves deep into the scientific and technological aspects of international security. It keeps much of the basic understanding of international security but adds a technological focus that will appeal to those students enrolled on the IRG science and technology track.

Course objectives:

Designed to appeal to the IRG major on the science and technology track, this capstone seminar will examine in detail the technology that enables international security apparatus to function, as well as the technological challenges faced by international security actors in the 21st century.  During the course of this semester, students will be exposed to a more specialized range of topics than the traditional international security capstone course but will maintain a focus on how science and technology affect (and are affected by) international security.

Topics covered in the course will include:

  • information technology and security
  • biosecurity
  • nuclear weapons and nonproliferation policy
  • critical infrastructure
  • missile defense systems and space weaponization
  • energy, food, and water security
  • security issues related to climate change
Readings:

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets each week. Befitting a once-a-week capstone course, the readings are more extensive but still manageable. The average reading load per week is ~100 pages.

Recommended Reading:

  • Richard K. Betts, Conflict after the Cold War (4th Edition). Prentice Hall, 2012.
  • Sean Kay, Global Security in the Twenty-First Century (2nd Edition). Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.
Assignments and grading

Your course grade will consist of a paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. A breakdown of the requirements and expectations for each category is below. All assignments will be converted to a 100-point scale with no curve. All grades, including final grades, will use the plus (+) and minus (-) system. Grade standards for all assignments are as follows:

93 >     A  

90-92   A-

87-89   B+  

80-86   B   

77-79   B-   

75-76   C+   

70-74   C

67-69   C-

60-66   D

< 60  F

 

 

Paper: 80%

As this class is a capstone course, the bulk of the grade for the course will consist of a capstone original research paper. Fulfillment of this writing requirement will entail completing a paper of approximately 7,500-8,000 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). Such a paper should be a thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. It should be appropriately documented with references and citations, and should stand on its own as an individual work of scholarship.

Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise the majority of the total grade for the course, but attendance and a presentation of your research count for grades as well.

The paper is divided into the following sections:

a)     

Research proposal: Worth 10% of overall grade


b)    Abstract, outline, and list of references: Worth 10% of overall grade.


c)     First draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.

d)    Oral presentation to the group
: Worth 20% of overall grade

e)    Final draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.


 

 

 

Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%

Class discussion in a capstone seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester co-lead a course discussion on the topic of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet posted on Canvas for you to sign up to lead a discussion. Discussion leaders will prepare five questions drawn from the readings and will post them no later than Wednesday at 5:00 pm. The discussion leadership portion of your participation will comprise 10% of your course grade.



Because this is a capstone course, it is expected that you will have already absorbed the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, unless you are a discussion leader, I will require that each of you prepare one discussion question every week for the upcoming class to submit via Canvas. This question should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. These discussion questions will not be graded individually, but together will count for 10% of your course grade. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments. 

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

40260 • Fall 2014
Meets T 330pm-630pm SZB 524
show description

Course concept

As an academic field of inquiry, international security tends to focus on the ability of states to remain secure in the face of threats to their internal and external sovereignty. Increasingly, however, the study of security has broadened to include not merely new actors, but also new conceptions of what it means to be ‘secure.’ While conflict among and within states (and increasingly non-state actors) is a major concern, the idea that insecurity can exist but still stop short of conflict has become increasingly accepted among both scholars and practitioners.     

Moreover, conflict and security have evolved since the end of the Cold War. While possible, the idea of a superpower-on-superpower strategic conflict on the scale of World War II seems increasingly unlikely. Rather, conflicts appear to occur now based much more on localized and transient grievances, or in certain cases where a major power feels the need to act unilaterally to accomplish some set of strategic aims.

This capstone course will treat all forms of conflict as our object of study, and will ask the following question: what types of conflict are we likely to see in the twenty-first century, and what patterns might we discern from these conflicts? No longer confined to interstate war, conflict since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union has ranged from superpower engaged in major conflict among states to civil war and intrastate violence. Moreover, states no longer hold the monopoly of violence. Indeed, in the last 15 years conflict has entered into areas previously thought unimaginable, such as in cyberspace.  

Course objectives:

During the course of this semester, students will be exposed to a wide range of thinking on the nature of conflict after the Cold War. Beginning with a specific focus on the changing “American way of war” since 9/11, the course moves to a broader interpretation of conflict since the end of the superpower confrontation that characterized the Cold War. The course ends with a reflection on the United Nations as the arbiter of international security, its successes and failings, and its changing role in the decades since the end of the Cold War.

Readings:

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets on Tuesday. Befitting a once-a-week capstone course, the readings are more extensive but still manageable. The average reading load per week is ~100 pages.

Recommended Reading:

  • Richard K. Betts, Conflict after the Cold War (4th Edition). Prentice Hall, 2012.

Assignments and grading

Your course grade will consist of a paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. A breakdown of the requirements and expectations for each category is below.

Paper: 80%

As this class is a capstone course, the bulk of the grade for the course will consist of a capstone original research paper. Fulfillment of this writing requirement will entail completing a paper of approximately 7,500-8,000 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). Such a paper should be a thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. It should be appropriately documented with references and citations, and should stand on its own as an individual work of scholarship.

Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise the majority of the total grade for the course, but attendance and a presentation of your research count for grades as well.

The paper is divided into the following sections:

a)     

Research proposal: Worth 10% of overall grade


b)    Abstract, outline, and list of references: Worth 10% of overall grade.


c)     First draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.

d)    Oral presentation to the group
: Worth 20% of overall grade

e)    Final draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.


 

Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%

 


Class discussion in a capstone seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester lead a course discussion on the topic of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet distributed at the first and second class sessions for you to sign up to lead a discussion. Discussion leaders are responsible for generating five questions on the readings to distribute to class via Canvas. The discussion leadership and general course participation will comprise 10% of your course grade.



Because this is a capstone course, it is expected that you will have already absorbed the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, I will require that each of you prepare one discussion question for the upcoming class to submit to the discussion leader. These should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. These discussion questions will not be graded individually, but together will count for 10% of your course grade. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments. 

Flags:

Independent Inquiry

Writing

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

40261 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 330pm-630pm GAR 0.128
show description

This course is restricted to IRG majors. For IRG program information please contact Dr. Michael Anderson, Director.

The concluding, capstone seminar for the International Relations & Global Studies major is designed to give you an opportunity to draw on your program of studies to prepare a rigorous analysis of a specific aspect of contemporary world affairs.  You have the choice of two formats.  One is a tightly organized research paper; the other is structured as a policy paper directed at a senior decision-maker in a national government or international organization. 

It is profitable to all to set a number of themes for the seminar.  That enhances exchanges and allows for collaborative projects. Still, students will be given reasonable latitude in selecting topics that interest them and/or on which they have acquired specialized knowledge.  We will examine closely the nature of the policy paper and its organization as the semester progresses.  The seminar paper – in either format -  should be viewed as representative of your abilities at this stage in your career and, as such, an effective way of presenting yourself and your abilities.

 The following is a short list of possible themes: democracy promotion as an instrument of foreign policy; the strains among three standards to assess global economic interdependence: growth, equity and stability; the ethical dimensions of the use of force; the interplay of domestic politics and foreign policy process/substance.

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

40590 • Spring 2014
Meets T 330pm-630pm BEN 1.124
show description

Course Description:

As an academic field of inquiry, international security tends to focus on the ability of states to remain secure in the face of threats to their internal and external sovereignty. Increasingly, however, the study of security has broadened to include not merely new actors, but also new conceptions of what it means to be ‘secure.’ While conflict among and within states (and increasingly non-state actors) is a major concern, the idea that insecurity can exist but still stop short of conflict has become increasingly accepted among both scholars and practitioners.     

Moreover, conflict and security have evolved since the end of the Cold War. While possible, the idea of a superpower-on-superpower strategic conflict on the scale of World War II seems increasingly unlikely. Rather, conflicts appear to occur now based much more on localized and transient grievances, or in certain cases where a major power feels the need to act unilaterally to accomplish some set of strategic aims.

This capstone course will treat all forms of conflict as our object of study, and will ask the following question: what types of conflict are we likely to see in the twenty-first century, and what patterns might we discern from these conflicts? No longer confined to interstate war, conflict since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union has ranged from superpower engaged in major conflict among states to civil war and intrastate violence. Moreover, states no longer hold the monopoly of violence. Indeed, in the last 15 years conflict has entered into areas previously thought unimaginable, such as in cyberspace.  

Course objectives:

During the course of this semester, students will be exposed to a wide range of thinking on the nature of conflict after the Cold War. Beginning with a specific focus on the changing “American way of war” since 9/11, the course moves to a broader interpretation of conflict since the end of the superpower confrontation that characterized the Cold War. The course ends with a reflection on the United Nations as the arbiter of international security, its successes and failings, and its changing role in the decades since the end of the Cold War.

Readings:

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets on Tuesday. Befitting a once-a-week capstone course, the readings are more extensive but still manageable. The average reading load per week is ~100 pages.

Recommended Reading:

  • Richard K. Betts, Conflict after the Cold War (4th Edition). Prentice Hall, 2012.
  • Sean Kay, Global Security in the Twenty-First Century (2nd Edition). Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.

Assignments and grading

Your course grade will consist of a paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. A breakdown of the requirements and expectations for each category is below.

Paper: 80%

As this class is a capstone course, the bulk of the grade for the course will consist of a capstone original research paper. Fulfillment of this writing requirement will entail completing a paper of approximately 7,500-8,000 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). Such a paper should be a thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. It should be appropriately documented with references and citations, and should stand on its own as an individual work of scholarship.

Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise the majority of the total grade for the course, but attendance and a presentation of your research count for grades as well.

The paper is divided into the following sections:

a)     

Research proposal: Worth 10% of overall grade


b)    Abstract, outline, and list of references: Worth 10% of overall grade.


c)     First draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.

d)    Oral presentation to the group
: Worth 20% of overall grade

e)    Final draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.


 

Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%


Class discussion in a capstone seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester lead a course discussion on the topic of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet posted on Canvas for you to sign up to lead a discussion. The discussion leadership and general course participation will comprise 10% of your course grade.



Because this is a capstone course, it is expected that you will have already absorbed the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, I will require that each of you prepare two discussion questions for the upcoming class to submit to the discussion leader. These should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. These discussion questions will not be graded individually, but together will count for 10% of your course grade. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments. 

Flags: Independent inquiry; writing. 

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

40595 • Spring 2014
Meets TH 330pm-630pm GAR 0.132
show description

Course Description:

While international security is often taught from a ‘big picture’ perspective, it can be argued that much of the actual implementation of international security is driven by technology. This capstone seminar goes beyond theorizing and delves deep into the scientific and technological aspects of international security. It keeps much of the basic understanding of international security but adds a technological focus that will appeal to those students enrolled on the IRG science and technology track.

Course objectives:

Designed to appeal to the IRG major on the science and technology track, this capstone seminar will examine in detail the technology that enables international security apparatus to function, as well as the technological challenges faced by international security actors in the 21st century.  During the course of this semester, students will be exposed to a more specialized range of topics than the traditional international security capstone course but will maintain a focus on how science and technology affect (and are affected by) international security.

Topics covered in the course will include:

  • information technology and security
  • biosecurity
  • nuclear weapons and nonproliferation policy
  • critical infrastructure
  • missile defense systems and space weaponization
  • energy, food, and water security
  • security issues related to climate change

Readings:

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets each week. Befitting a once-a-week capstone course, the readings are more extensive but still manageable. The average reading load per week is ~100 pages.

Recommended Reading:

  • Richard K. Betts, Conflict after the Cold War (4th Edition). Prentice Hall, 2012.
  • Sean Kay, Global Security in the Twenty-First Century (2nd Edition). Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.

Assignments and grading

Your course grade will consist of a paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. A breakdown of the requirements and expectations for each category is below.

Paper: 80%

As this class is a capstone course, the bulk of the grade for the course will consist of a capstone original research paper. Fulfillment of this writing requirement will entail completing a paper of approximately 7,500-8,000 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). Such a paper should be a thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. It should be appropriately documented with references and citations, and should stand on its own as an individual work of scholarship.

Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise the majority of the total grade for the course, but attendance and a presentation of your research count for grades as well.

The paper is divided into the following sections:

a)     

Research proposal: Worth 10% of overall grade


b)    Abstract, outline, and list of references: Worth 10% of overall grade.


c)     First draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.

d)    Oral presentation to the group
: Worth 20% of overall grade

e)    Final draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.


 

Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%


Class discussion in a capstone seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester lead a course discussion on the topic of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet posted on Canvas for you to sign up to lead a discussion. The discussion leadership and general course participation will comprise 10% of your course grade.



Because this is a capstone course, it is expected that you will have already absorbed the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, unless you are a discussion leader, I will require that each of you prepare two discussion questions for the upcoming class to submit to the discussion leader. These should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. These discussion questions will not be graded individually, but together will count for 10% of your course grade. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments. 

Flags: Independent inquiry; writing.

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

40520 • Fall 2013
Meets T 330pm-630pm SZB 524
show description

Course Description

As an academic field of inquiry, international security tends to focus on the ability of states to remain secure in the face of threats to their internal and external sovereignty. Increasingly, however, the study of security has broadened to include not merely new actors, but also new conceptions of what it means to be ‘secure.’ While conflict among and within states (and increasingly non-state actors) is a major concern, the idea that insecurity can exist but still stop short of conflict has become increasingly accepted among both scholars and practitioners.     

Moreover, conflict and security have evolved since the end of the Cold War. While possible, the idea of a superpower-on-superpower strategic conflict on the scale of World War II seems increasingly unlikely. Rather, conflicts appear to occur now based much more on localized and transient grievances, or in certain cases where a major power feels the need to act unilaterally to accomplish some set of strategic aims.

This capstone course will treat all forms of conflict as our object of study, and will ask the following question: what types of conflict are we likely to see in the twenty-first century, and what patterns might we discern from these conflicts? No longer confined to interstate war, conflict since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union has ranged from superpower engaged in major conflict among states to civil war and intrastate violence. Moreover, states no longer hold the monopoly of violence. Indeed, in the last 15 years conflict has entered into areas previously thought unimaginable, such as in cyberspace.  

During the course of this semester, students will be exposed to a wide range of thinking on the nature of conflict after the Cold War. Beginning with a specific focus on the changing “American way of war” since 9/11, the course moves to a broader interpretation of conflict since the end of the superpower confrontation that characterized the Cold War. The course ends with a reflection on the United Nations as the arbiter of international security, its successes and failings, and its changing role in the decades since the end of the Cold War.

 

Grading Policy

Your course grade will consist of a paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. A breakdown of the requirements and expectations for each category is below.

Paper: 80%

As this class is a capstone course, the bulk of the grade for the course will consist of a capstone original research paper. Fulfillment of this writing requirement will entail completing a paper of approximately 7,500-8,000 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). Such a paper should be a thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. It should be appropriately documented with references and citations, and should stand on its own as an individual work of scholarship.

Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise the majority of the total grade for the course, but attendance and a presentation of your research count for grades as well.

The paper is divided into the following sections:

a)     

Research proposal: Worth 10% of overall grade


b)    Abstract, outline, and list of references: Worth 10% of overall grade.


c)     First draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.

d)    Oral presentation to the group
: Worth 20% of overall grade

e)    Final draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.


Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%


Class discussion in a capstone seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester lead a course discussion on the topic of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet distributed at the first and second class sessions for you to sign up to lead a discussion. The discussion leadership and general course participation will comprise 10% of your course grade.



Because this is a capstone course, it is expected that you will have already absorbed the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, I will require that each of you prepare two discussion questions for the upcoming class to submit to the discussion leader. These should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. These discussion questions will not be graded individually, but together will count for 10% of your course grade. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments. 

 

Texts

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets on Tuesday. Befitting a once-a-week capstone course, the readings are more extensive but still manageable. The average reading load per week is ~100 pages.

Recommended Reading:

  • Richard K. Betts, Conflict after the Cold War (4th Edition). Prentice Hall, 2012.

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

40130 • Spring 2013
Meets TH 330pm-630pm JES A205A
show description

 

Course Description

While international security is often taught from a ‘big picture’ perspective, it can be argued that much of the actual implementation of international security is driven by technology. This capstone seminar goes beyond theorizing and delves deep into the scientific and technological aspects of international security. It keeps much of the basic understanding of international security but adds a technological focus that will appeal to those students enrolled on the IRG science and technology track.

Course objectives:

Designed to appeal to the IRG major on the science and technology track, this capstone seminar will examine in detail the technology that enables international security apparatus to function, as well as the technological challenges faced by international security actors in the 21st century.  During the course of this semester, students will be exposed to a more specialized range of topics than the traditional international security capstone course but will maintain a focus on how science and technology affect (and are affected by) international security.

Topics covered in the course will include:

  • information technology and security
  • biosecurity
  • nuclear weapons and nonproliferation policy
  • critical infrastructure
  • missile defense systems and space weaponization
  • energy, food, and water security
  • security issues related to climate change

 

Grading Policy

Your course grade will consist of a paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. A breakdown of the requirements and expectations for each category is below.

Paper: 80%

As this class is a capstone course, the bulk of the grade for the course will consist of a capstone original research paper. Fulfillment of this writing requirement will entail completing a paper of approximately 7,500-8,000 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). Such a paper should be a thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. It should be appropriately documented with references and citations, and should stand on its own as an individual work of scholarship.

Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise the majority of the total grade for the course, but attendance and a presentation of your research count for grades as well.

The paper is divided into the following sections:

a)     

Research proposal: Worth 10% of overall grade


b)    Abstract, outline, and list of references: Worth 10% of overall grade.


c)     First draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.

d)    Oral presentation to the group
: Worth 20% of overall grade

e)    Final draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.


Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%


Class discussion in a capstone seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester lead a course discussion on the topic of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet distributed at the first and second class sessions for you to sign up to lead a discussion. The discussion leadership and general course participation will comprise 10% of your course grade.



Because this is a capstone course, it is expected that you will have already absorbed the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, I will require that each of you prepare two discussion questions for the upcoming class to submit to the discussion leader. These should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. These discussion questions will not be graded individually, but together will count for 10% of your course grade. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments. 

 

Texts

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets each week. Befitting a once-a-week capstone course, the readings are more extensive but still manageable. The average reading load per week is ~100 pages.

Recommended Reading:

  • Richard K. Betts, Conflict after the Cold War (4th Edition). Prentice Hall, 2012.

  • Sean Kay, Global Security in the Twenty-First Century (2nd Edition). Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

40146 • Spring 2013
Meets T 330pm-630pm MEZ 2.124
show description

Course Description

As an academic field of inquiry, international security tends to focus on the ability of states to remain secure in the face of threats to their internal and external sovereignty. Increasingly, however, the study of security has broadened to include not merely new actors, but also new conceptions of what it means to be ‘secure.’ While conflict among and within states (and increasingly non-state actors) is a major concern, the idea that insecurity can exist but still stop short of conflict has become increasingly accepted among both scholars and practitioners.     

Moreover, conflict and security have evolved since the end of the Cold War. While possible, the idea of a superpower-on-superpower strategic conflict on the scale of World War II seems increasingly unlikely. Rather, conflicts appear to occur now based much more on localized and transient grievances, or in certain cases where a major power feels the need to act unilaterally to accomplish some set of strategic aims.

This capstone course will treat all forms of conflict as our object of study, and will ask the following question: what types of conflict are we likely to see in the twenty-first century, and what patterns might we discern from these conflicts? No longer confined to interstate war, conflict since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union has ranged from superpower engaged in major conflict among states to civil war and intrastate violence. Moreover, states no longer hold the monopoly of violence. Indeed, in the last 15 years conflict has entered into areas previously thought unimaginable, such as in cyberspace.  

Course objectives:

During the course of this semester, students will be exposed to a wide range of thinking on the nature of conflict after the Cold War. Beginning with a specific focus on the changing “American way of war” since 9/11, the course moves to a broader interpretation of conflict since the end of the superpower confrontation that characterized the Cold War. The course ends with a reflection on the United Nations as the arbiter of international security, its successes and failings, and its changing role in the decades since the end of the Cold War.

 

Grading Policy

Your course grade will consist of a paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. A breakdown of the requirements and expectations for each category is below.

Paper: 80%

As this class is a capstone course, the bulk of the grade for the course will consist of a capstone original research paper. Fulfillment of this writing requirement will entail completing a paper of approximately 7,500-8,000 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). Such a paper should be a thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. It should be appropriately documented with references and citations, and should stand on its own as an individual work of scholarship.

Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise the majority of the total grade for the course, but attendance and a presentation of your research count for grades as well.

The paper is divided into the following sections:

a)     

Research proposal: Worth 10% of overall grade


b)    Abstract, outline, and list of references: Worth 10% of overall grade.


c)     First draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.

d)    Oral presentation to the group
: Worth 20% of overall grade

e)    Final draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.


Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%


Class discussion in a capstone seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester lead a course discussion on the topic of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet distributed at the first and second class sessions for you to sign up to lead a discussion. The discussion leadership and general course participation will comprise 10% of your course grade.



Because this is a capstone course, it is expected that you will have already absorbed the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, I will require that each of you prepare two discussion questions for the upcoming class to submit to the discussion leader. These should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. These discussion questions will not be graded individually, but together will count for 10% of your course grade. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments. 

 

Texts

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets on Tuesday. Befitting a once-a-week capstone course, the readings are more extensive but still manageable. The average reading load per week is ~100 pages.

Recommended Reading:

  • Richard K. Betts, Conflict after the Cold War (4th Edition). Prentice Hall, 2012.
  • Sean Kay, Global Security in the Twenty-First Century (2nd Edition). Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

39990 • Fall 2012
Meets T 330pm-630pm SZB 278
show description

This course is restricted to IRG majors. For IRG program information please contact Dr. Michael Anderson, Director.

The concluding, capstone seminar for the International Relations & Global Studies major is designed to give you an opportunity to draw on your program of studies to prepare a rigorous analysis of a specific aspect of contemporary world affairs.  You have the choice of two formats.  One is a tightly organized research paper; the other is structured as a policy paper directed at a senior decision-maker in a national government or international organization. 

It is profitable to all to set a number of themes for the seminar.  That enhances exchanges and allows for collaborative projects. Still, students will be given reasonable latitude in selecting topics that interest them and/or on which they have acquired specialized knowledge.  We will examine closely the nature of the policy paper and its organization as the semester progresses.  The seminar paper – in either format -  should be viewed as representative of your abilities at this stage in your career and, as such, an effective way of presenting yourself and your abilities.

 The following is a short list of possible themes: democracy promotion as an instrument of foreign policy; the strains among three standards to assess global economic interdependence: growth, equity and stability; the ethical dimensions of the use of force; the interplay of domestic politics and foreign policy process/substance.

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