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|NPTG 8508 - Non-State actors in DigitalAge|
Almost every aspect of international affairs is impacted by cyber matters. This 2-unit course explores how the interplay of non-state actors and cyber issues has fundamentally changed our understanding of conflict and security in the digitized, twenty-first century.
The first portion will examine: a) traditional theories regarding the causes of conflicts involving one or more non-state actors; b) various types of non-state actors (terrorists, insurgents, criminal organizations, militias, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, international organizations and malicious cyber groups); c) how these non-state actors use information, communication and technology; and d) the implication of these digital-age factors on contemporary peace and security efforts.
The second portion will apply the theories and tools discussed in the class to case studies of Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Estonia, Georgia, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and Russia. Another country or sub-topic may be explored upon approval. Participants will select a case of their choosing and conduct research in small groups. Each group is expected to submit one 20-30 page paper as well as a present their findings to the class. Each of these deliverables will count for 40 percent of the final grade. The remaining 20 percent is based on class participation.
Participants will learn about the complex of issues at play; develop critical thinking skills on how and when to apply theory to practice; gain experience in researching topics in a multi-disciplinary manner that mirrors considerations being factored in the policy environment; and gain exposure to executing the type of group papers and presentations that are expected in the workplace.