New Course Offered: Diplomacy in a Complex World

The Dickey Center and the International Studies Minor program are excited to offer this Fall 2024 course taught by our Magro Fellow, recently retired Ambassador Erica Barks-Ruggles.

INTS 80.04 | GOVT 85.50 is a broad view of how states, societies, and institutions manage complex global challenges including climate change, increasing inequality, emerging technologies, and challenges to the global order that has supported the rapid democratization of over half the world. The course will center on the role of diplomacy in addressing these challenges, creating opportunities, and preserving a rules-based international order that upholds democratic institutions that reinforce human rights and freedoms.

The course meets requirements for INTS and SOC and is taught in period 10A.

  • Session 1: Setting the Stage – The historical context of war, diplomacy and international affairs – institutional structures, political theory of war, and the role of diplomacy
  • Session 2: Complex Global Challenges: Climate Change, Growing Inequality, Emerging Technologies, and the Evolving Global Order
  • Session 3: Case Studies: Resource Abundance and Scarcity and Climate Stresses in Africa, and Pacific Island States
  • Session 4: Growing Inequality – Why it matters in societies and internationally
  • Session 5: Case Studies: Gender inequality, Racial and Ethnic Inequality, Educational and Economic Inequality; what can be done and how, and what is the role of diplomacy?
  • Session 6: Emerging Technologies – What are they, why do they matter, what (if anything) should be done to constrain them. (AI, genetic technology, nano technology, miniaturized space exploration)
  • Session 7: Guest lecturer on AI and Emerging Technology
  • Session 8: Rising Authoritarianism and Threats to Democracy and International Institutions. This class will lay the groundwork for discussions in the next two sessions on Russian and Chinese influence on these trends, and how democracies can counter these efforts.
  • Session 9 and 10: Threats to and the Evolving Global Order: China, Russia, and the resurrection of the Authoritarian State
  • Session 11: Case Studies: Elections, Political Parties, and Social Mobilization (Poland, Rwanda, Guatemala, Philippines)
  • Session 12: Why Should We Care? The Role of the United States – The UN, NATO, G-7
  • Session 13: The Super-Empowerment of Individuals and non-government actors: Security Devolution Warlords, Militias, and Local Security (CAR, Afghanistan)
  • Session 14: Diplomacy's Limitations and New Trends: Negotiations, Sanctions, Carrots and Sticks
  • Session 15: International Institutions: The Need for Reform, Global Stability, Global Inclusion, and Global Action What Works, What Doesn't and lessons learned?
  • Session 16: NGOs, Humanitarian Actors, and the role of the press in preserving peace and preventing conflict
  • Session 17: Recommendations for the Complex World – Policy Recommendation Memos presentations
  • Session 18: Feedback and Question and Answer Session from Policy Recommendation Memos session

Magro Fellows are accomplished practitioners who join our community for a term. Barks-Ruggles has served as US Ambassador and Representative (e.g., Rwanda, Paris, Cape Town, and in Washington, DC). 

Learn more here.