SEST-707 The Impact of the Maritime Domain on U.S. Foreign and National Security Policy
Spring for 2016-2017
Kim, Patrick; Keating, Steven
This seminar examines the dynamic impact that the Maritime Domain (including marine environmental factors) presents to the international community in general and to the United States, in particular. The seminar will consider impacts of climate change, resource competition, territorial claims and their relationship between the law of the sea (LOTS), including both customary international law, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and U.S. national security policy. The seminar will provide students with an overview of specific maritime law issues and how they affect U.S. foreign relations and national security, using both historic and contemporary examples as case studies. The first sessions of the class will provide an introduction to basic international law concepts and the history of maritime law, including prominent historical examples of the intersection of maritime law and foreign relations. The seminar will also introduce students to geospatial intelligence, and how this form of intelligence can inform decision-makers with improved understanding of consequential developments in the Maritime Domain. Later in the semester, we will examine more contemporary examples of how LOTS affects issues such as resource allocation in the Arctic and territorial claims/freedom of navigation in the East and South China Sea. Students will be responsible for debating the larger policy questions about how legal rules of maritime law can affect foreign and national security policy and vice versa. The overarching goal of the class will be to (1) familiarize students with the legal issues involved with various maritime foreign policy issues, and, more importantly, (2) prepare students to participate in the ongoing policy debate about whether and how international legal regimes such as UNCLOS can play a role in achieving U.S. national security policy goals. This seminar is designed for future policymakers, NOT for lawyers. No prior legal training is required or assumed. Similarly, experience or education in maritime foreign policy issues is not required or assumed. The goal of this seminar is to provide students with enough familiarity with the major legal issues associated with various maritime foreign policy issues to understand and participate in the debate about whether and how international legal regimes such as UNCLOS affect U.S. foreign policy. The legal topics covered are by no means exhaustive of the myriad legal issues that arise in that context. By the same token, the course is only meant to provide familiarity with the legal issues, not true expertise.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

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Spring '17: Keating, S; Kim, P (file download)
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