Center for Global Affairs

National Security Decision Making Processes: Applied Theories

This seminar examines national security decision-making from both a theoretical perspective and from its execution in practice, focusing in particular on the dynamics and processes by which national security decisions are actually made and implemented, and the range of factors that influence them. The first half of the course reviews the relevant theoretical approaches to foreign policy decision-making and introduces students to the key actors, structures and institutions of U.S. national security policymaking. The second half of the course focuses on practical application and execution, using case studies and in-class simulations of the U.S. interagency process to reveal decision-makers in action ¿ as human beings operating in complex sociological, bureaucratic and (geo)political systems. This course is designed for all those with an interest in the primary dimensions of national security decision making processes, but is especially suited for those who wish to see theory in practice, including future practitioners. Students will develop their knowledge base of national security theory, structures and processes, their policy writing and analytical skills, and their oral presentation and interpersonal skills.
Course Number
Associated Degrees