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Summer Programs

Each summer, the school welcomes visiting students and working professionals to explore the world of international relations through courses and certificate programs. Whether you seek to build professional skills in a graduate certificate, complement an internship, or prepare for graduate school, you will be inspired by world-renowned faculty known for their academic and practical experience and build a network of talented classmates working across sectors and industries.

Summer Courses: June 3-July 26, 2024

Select among in-person or online courses for the schedule that works best for you. All summer courses are worth four graduate credits each, the same as during the academic year, and can be transferred to many of the schools’ degree programs.

Below are summer 2024 Offerings. The most up-to-date courses will be listed on the online course search here.

In-person Courses: June 3-July 18, 2024

Structured for the working professional, in-person courses are small and held in the evenings from approximately 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Courses meet two times per week, Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday, in a condensed 6.5-week term

Focus Areas: SA International Economics and Finance, SA Research Methods

This is an applied course on big data analytics with focus on data mining. R will be the main tool for problem solving with Python as the other option. Topics will cover data visualization, exploratory analysis, association rules, classification and regression trees, deep learning (neural networks), text mining, and social network analysis. Prerequisites: General understanding and experience with statistical models, including multivariable regression models, analysis of variance, and test of hypotheses. No previous programing experience is required, and the textbook offers extended code that can be used directly or modified.

Prerequisite: Statistics for Data Analysis

Instructor: Roumen Vesselinov, Course Schedule: T/Th

Focus Areas: Governance, Politics, and Society Development, Climate, and Sustainability, Security, Strategy, and Statecraft

This course is centered around three main questions: whether business should be concerned about its human rights impacts, the increasing importance of corporate human rights due diligence, and what type of remedy is available for victims of corporate abuse. Students will gain expertise on human rights related business risks and how to advise companies in a transnational business environment through role-playing exercises and case studies like the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar and Apple in China. The course will focus on corporate sustainability, in light of pressures facing business at home and abroad, including their response to issues such as climate change, the COVID pandemic, and systemic racism. The class will address the crucial role of investors, civil society and consumers, and the legal regime in rewarding (and penalizing) businesses that do not take human rights and the environment into account. By the end of the course, students will have gained advocacy writing experience from the point of view of a civil society activist, as well as a corporate change maker, and the opportunity to engage first hand with guest lecturers working on these issues.

Instructor: Nina Gardner, Course Schedule: M/W

Focus Areas: Core; Leaderships, Ethics, and Decision-Making
This is a survey course in comparative politics that provides an overview of major theoretical approaches and issue areas in the field of comparative politics. It exposes students to a wide range of themes through reading of foundational work each week. The course starts by introducing competing theoretical approaches adopted by scholars of the field, including the state-centric, comparative historical, rational choice, and institutional perspectives. Using these approaches, the course then proceeds to examine issue areas such as political economy of developed and developing countries, democracy and authoritarianism, voting and parties, nationalism and ethnic politics, and the international context of domestic politics.

Instructor: Allison Berland, Course Schedule: M/W

Focus Area: Development, Climate, and Sustainability; International Economics

The course will focus on key macroeconomic and financial policy issues with a focus on Emerging Markets. The course is divided into two parts. The first part explores the causes, dynamics and consequences of selected crises episodes affecting emerging markets, from the debt crises of the 1980’s to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second part of the course addresses selected issues regarding crisis resolution, including the political economy of crises, their long run impacts on the economy, and the future of the international financial architecture. By the end of the course, it is expected that students will be able to identify the major factors leading to crises in emerging markets, assess the difficult policy trade-offs that policymakers face when dealing with crises, and evaluate alternative policy options.

Instructor: Eduardo Cavallo, Course Schedule: M/W

Focus Areas: Security, Strategy, and Statecraft

Examines hands-on tactics of dispute settlement and mediation on both the local and international scenes. Although relating to conceptual approaches to mediation and negotiation, focuses primarily on interpersonal aspects and the business of bringing people to an agreement. Also looks at ethical aspects of mediation and conflict resolution.

Instructor: Kenneth Hyatt, Course Schedule: M/W

Focus Areas: Core; International Economics

This course provides an introduction to the study of international trade. The first part of the course will focus on theoretical frameworks designed to understand the drivers and implications of international trade and review empirical applications of these models. The second part of the course will cover distributional consequences of trade policy instruments, arguments for trade protection, and the organization of the world trade system. Advanced topics in microeconomics, not covered in most Principles of Microeconomics courses, will be introduced. Students may not register for this course if they have not previously taken a Principles in Microeconomics course (an entry requirement for MAIR students)

Prerequisite: Principles of Microeconomics

Required for the Certificate in International Economics.

Instructor: Muhammad Husain, Course Schedule: M/W

Focus Area: Core; International Economics

Covers the basic theory underlying international macroeconomics. Topics include international financial markets and the macroeconomics of open economies; balance of payments and the trade balance; exchange rates and the foreign exchange market; expectations, interest rates and capital flows; monetary and fiscal policy in open economies; exchange rate regimes; and macroeconomic policy in open economies. Basic algebra will be used in this class. Principles of Macroeconomics is a prerequisite for this course.. This course is a prerequisite to most upper-level economics courses at SAIS.

Prerequisite: Principles of Macroeconomics

Required for the Certificate in International Economics.

Instructor: Jaime Marquez, Course Schedule: T/Th

Focus Areas: International Economics and Finance, Development, Climate, and Sustainability

This course is designed to familiarize students with the key economic challenges facing developing countries. It will combine theoretical with empirical analysis and use specific examples from the developing world to deepen understanding of the drivers of economic development and the obstacles that stand in their way. This is an introductory course, without prerequisites, and is appropriate for students without prior course work in development.

Instructor: Jonah Rexer, Course Schedule: T/Th

Focus Areas: Research Methods

Covers a range of practical tools for development-related information gathering, including for project planning, design and evaluation. Grounded in survey and interview skills, also reviews participatory approaches, rapid appraisal, action research and many other techniques. Gives special attention to methods suitable for low budgets, limited time and nonprofessional management staff. Makes extensive use of real-world cases.

Instructor: Hunji Rim, Course Schedule: T/Th

Focus Areas: Europe and Eurasia; Security, Strategy, and Statecraft
This course examines Russian foreign and national security policy and has five goals. The first goal is to enable students to make accurate and reliable assessments of the principal actors, main drivers, and structural constraints shaping Russian foreign and national security policy. The second goal is to enable students to make accurate and reliable assessments of Russia’s important relations and key issues with major powers and regions. The third goal is to enable students to determine what policy instruments and institutional mechanisms the Russian decision-makers use to defend Russia’s national interests, to advance Moscow’s strategic objectives, and to realize the Kremlin’s policy priorities in key functional areas. The fourth goal is to enable students to evaluate the accuracy, credibility, and utility of the main Russian open sources available online in the public domain for the policy relevant research and intelligence analysis. The fifth goal is for students to develop critical thinking and writing skills so that they can produce high quality analytical products for various types of consumers, using open-source information.

Instructor: Alexandre Mansourov, Course Schedule: M/W

Focus Areas: Core; World Order and Disorder

This course surveys a variety of broad theoretical approaches to analyzing international politics. Examines approaches to the study of power, state interests, peace and war, international law, and economic cooperation; presents a critique of realist, liberal, and constructivist conceptions of international politics; and introduces basic methodology, weighing the evidence to assess the relative merits of theories.

Instructor: Brad Potter, Course Schedule: T/Th

Online Courses: June 3-July 26, 2024

Online Courses are asynchronous learning divided into weekly modules, consisting of pre-recorded lectures, activities, and assignments housed in the Canvas learning management system. While there is no scheduled class time to attend, faculty will schedule weekly live meetings for you to interact with your classmates and synthesize the material reviewed in Canvas. The live sessions are optional and may be recorded for those unable to attend. Assignments and activities, just as with in-person courses, have due dates and deadlines and are administered using Canvas.

Focus Area: International Economics; Research Methods

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to econometrics. Develops tools for estimating functional relationships and critically reading empirical studies that use different econometric techniques; presents assumptions of multivariate regression and discusses the most common econometric problems and the potential consequences and remedies; and discusses omitted variables, sample selection, heteroscedasticity, autocorrelation, multicollinearity and use of discrete variables. Introduces students to instrumental variable technique. Uses statistical software in applied exercises.

Prerequisite: Statistics for Data Analysis

Instructor: John Harrington, Course Schedule: T/Th 5:30-6:30pm

Focus Area: Governance, Politics and Society; Security, Strategy, and Statecraft

Politics affects risk on many levels (e.g., international, national, regional, and local), and is the result of the interaction of many different elements. In this course, we start by examining some basic issues with regard to risk analysis as well as why forecasts often fall short before examining three broad issues: country structural fragility; problems with collective action policymaking; and operational breakdowns. The first looks at how the sociopolitical and institutional dynamics of a country affects its evolution. The second looks at how the policy formulation process works and why it often yields a less than ideal result. The third looks at the challenges of implementation. As such, the class focuses more on the risks that face countries than on how particular risks might impact corporations or NGOs, though the latter is also examined. The two types of risks are related but are not identical (e.g., regulatory changes may be good for a country, but bad for a company or NGO). We conclude by examining how to prioritize and mitigate risk. Each class aims to provide students with a set of frameworks to think about and assess these issues. Students all get a chance to work on case studies to develop their skills.

Instructor: Seth Kaplan, Course Schedule: T 6:30-7:30 PM

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Summer Academies

Spend four weeks of your summer exploring international affairs in Bologna, Italy or Washington DC and earn four graduate-level credits. The program is open to undergraduates and recent college graduates.

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