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Special Topic Courses

Spring 2018 Special Topic Course Descriptions

POLI 339 - Terrorism & Counter Terrorism (Desjeans)
This course examines international terrorism and counterterrorism efforts , focusing on the western democracies and on US counterterrorism in particular.  It will concentrate substantially on the three post World War II phases of terrorism when the tactic of terror became a common aspect of asymmetric conflict by non-governmental individuals and groups.  There will be special focus on the current phase of terrorism--religiously motivated terror--looking at its roots, potency, and sustainability.  Students will also examine and discuss the range of western counterterrorism tactics, including controversial US practices in the aftermath of the 911 attack.

POLI 359 – Eastern European Politics (Kovalov)

The course examines the developments of contemporary politics across Eastern and Central European countries. These states have undergone a dramatic transformation since World War II -politically, economically, and socially. In order to understand these developments, this course looks at how East and Central European states came under the dominance of the Soviet Union; how their rebellious societies contested and resisted the communist regimes; and finally, how those regimes collapsed in the late 1980s. We will also examine the most recent transformations – the integration with the western world through memberships in NATO and the European Union, the “color revolutions” of the early 21st century, and recent tensions in relations between Russia and the West.

GEOG 301 – Comparative Indigenous Water Rights and Governance (Watson)

Water has sustained not only Indigenous peoples' traditional economies, but is often a key element for Native spiritual lives; therefore, struggles over the control of water have been central to Indigenous strategies of economic development, activism, and decolonization. In this course we will compare case studies around the world where Native communities have or are engaged in conflict over water governance: the recent protests in the US over the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock tribe is just one of many struggles Indigenous peoples wage over water rights. Students will examine the Indigenous Knowledge systems that have evolved around water, and review contemporary attempts to “co-manage" water in a variety of national contexts.