INAF-200 Research Seminar
Fall for 2016-2017
Spring for 2016-2017
Open to all undergraduate students.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Spring '17: McMorrow, M (description)
Spring '17: McFarland K (file download)
Spring '17: Shambaugh G (file download)
Spring '17: Painter, D (description)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
INAF-200-01 Researching Forced Migration
Spring for 2016-2017
Students work to lay and build the academic, intellectual, and research foundations they are going to need in order to enter the arena of world politics with the necessary knowledge and skills. One emergency calling out for expert response concerns refugees and migrants. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR]finds that “forced displacement” has increased to a staggering level never before recorded in human history: over 65 million persons in 2015—or one out of every 113 people among us. If we are not shocked by that, Pope Francis says, surely our hearts have become hard and dehumanized.
But the challenge is to our minds, as well as our hearts, and calls for careful skill development: This begins by researching: the meaning of “Forced Migration” in world politics; the chief causes and the extent of these population outflows: the best (and worst) practices humanitarian organizations have been devising in response. As Doctors Without Borders [MSF] insists, however, our research must begin by focusing on the migrants themselves, what they have to tell us about their experience of being forced to leave all they have known of home (often with nothing), of their most pressing needs, and of their own resilience. Such research makes stringent ethical demands on the researcher:
How can we learn from human beings, or “human subjects” while taking every moral and ethical precaution necessary to protect their autonomy, rights, protections, and privacy?
And how can we best assess narratives from those we study and from whom we hope to learn?
This seminar introduces students to some of the research methods necessary to respond to such questions. Since the seminar also asks students to learn about, ponder, and wrestle with the question of how a person’s identity “changes” when he or she becomes a “refugee” or a “migrant” or “an internally displaced person,” or a “stateless person,” the class content meets the requirements for a Diversity-Global designation, a new component of a Georgetown degree.
The class is taught by Professor Marilyn McMorrow whose own expertise is Political and Normative Theory of International Relations.
INAF-200-02 Researching Alliances
Spring for 2016-2017
This course is intended to teach undergraduate students how to do research on military alliances. Part of the class will focus on learning about the history and nature of alliance systems, as well as the relevant international relations theory behind them. The bulk of our study will focus on the United States’ role in alliances throughout its history. However, the emphasis of the class is on exposing students to an array of research methods and problems, using alliances as a sample subject. Students will learn techniques and methods that they can apply to other research in their time at Georgetown. They will also learn how to read research in a more sophisticated way.
This course is divided into five parts. The first section of this course will focus on the international relations theories underpinning alliances. While a history of alliances will be a key topic throughout the course, the second section will focus on this history in general and America’s relationship to and use of alliance systems. The third section will focus specifically on how to do research, as we look at basic research questions regarding alliances and research planning. Section four will focus on the available data. What sources are available when researching alliances and how are they used appropriately? The final section will bring together what we have learned thus far, as we delve into key questions regarding alliances and study the different analytical perspectives from which authors have approached this subject.
Students will learn how to conceptualize, design, and execute an original research project on a policy-relevant topic. To this end, students will learn how to develop and employ suitable research methods; how to collect and use appropriate data; and ultimately, how to write a coherently argued research paper and give an effective presentation. In addition, students will learn to constructively critique and contribute to the work of others.
The professor is Director of Programs and Research at the SFS Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. He is a diplomatic historian who served in multiple roles at the Department of State and the Intelligence Community.
INAF-200-03 Researching the Environment and International Politics
This seminar will explore the global environment and world politics. It will introduce students to theoretical and policy debates regarding environmental conflict, cooperation and management; the interplay of science, politics, uncertainty and risk; market and political failures and potential solutions for managing environmental issues. Students will contribute to these debates by conducting and presenting research on contemporary issues such as sustainable development, the geopolitics of energy, the over-consumption or illicit exploitation of shared resources, and the economic political, military or social implications of climate change.
INAF-200-04 Researching the Geopolitics of Oil
Spring for 2016-2017
Oil has been central to geopolitics since the early 20th century. This class will introduce students to the students to the process of choosing, conceptualizing, organizing, and executing a research project and to the primary and secondary sources needed for conducting research into the geopolitics of oil. The focus of the class will be preparation of a research paper utilizing the best available sources.