This seminar includes field trips to government institutions and opportunities to hear from local experts in the field of national security.
This course will introduce students to the moral, legal, and policy dilemmas faced by national security professionals in defending the nation, including the use of enhanced interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists, the use of racial profiling as a technique in law enforcement, whether we have a moral duty to intervene in foreign nations for humanitarian purposes, and whether we should accept a reduction in personal privacy for enhanced security. We will explore the differing views on these, and other, national security dilemmas, and attempt to understand the motivating ethics for each. We will also develop, hone, and critically evaluate our own views.
The reading assignments for each class will give students a basic understanding of the primary arguments for and against a certain legal or policy position; we will spend each class debating these positions. The writing assignments will help develop the students’ critical and persuasive writing ability.
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to
• The ability to understand key political and security concepts such as state and non-state actors, constitutional authority, terrorism, separation of powers, and civil liberties
• The ability to understand competing theoretical and analytical approaches to national security
• Knowledge of the foremost controversies in current national security practices
• The ability to understand cross-cultural points of view and the questions to consider when preparing for cross-cultural communications
• The ability to locate, select, and use appropriate sources to present an argument persuasively in a research paper
• Oral and written communication skills by presenting information to the class, debating controversial issues, and evaluating and analyzing the arguments of different stakeholders in class discussions and papers.
• Students will be required to read the assigned materials prior to each class, and to bring to class a short paper reflecting at least three points from the reading that the student either agreed or disagreed with, as well as three questions about the reading, for in class discussion. Additional requirements include:
• Class attendance
• Four short papers (editorial style; 2 pages) in which students argue their own view on national security matters.
David Perry, Partly Cloudy: Ethics in War, Espionage, Covert Action, and Interrogation (Jan Goldman ed., Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2009)
Joseph Margulies, Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power (Simon & Schuster 2006)
James Olson, Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying (Potomac Books, Inc. 2006)
Michael Walzer, Arguing About War (Yale University Press 2004)