Rice University Master of Global Affairs
Master of Global Affairs

Course Descriptions

GLBL 501     Global Systems

Designed to help students think theoretically and analytically about leading issues in international affairs by introducing them to social science methods and scholarship, and exposes them to the uses of such concepts in practice, through examination of contemporary problems and relations between nation states. Introduces central concepts and approaches from a variety of social science perspectives, particularly comparative politics and international relations used to explain, analyze and evaluate international politics and economics.

GLBL 507     Decision Making Under Unscertainty

The course examines how leaders on the world stage-those in governments, international organizations, and non-state actors-make decisions that alter the course of international affairs. These decisions are made under conditions of uncertainty with limited information, elements of surprise about what will happen next, and often carry high degrees of risk. The course considers key theoretical models of uncertainty in decision making and examines specific foreign policy decisions that managed the uncertainty toward a successful outcome and those that ended in failure or expensive mistakes.

GLBL 514     Middle East Cauldron and US Policy

This course examines the expanding public dimension of diplomacy by investigating the growing global interests and trends in the 21st century’s diplomatic environment. This course also examines the underlying political, socio-economic, and cultural trends and surveys US national security interests, foreign policy, and public diplomacy around the world.

GLBL 523     Quantitative Applications in Global Affairs

The course takes a problem-driven approach to practical applications of quantitative research methods in political and policy studies. Using a series of international domestic policy topics, students will learn to apply and extend their knowledge of research design and statists as part of developing a systematic approach to the study of global affairs. Student assignments will involve research related to the practice of global affairs, including comparative policy-making, political economy and security.

GLBL 531     World Politics and Global Governance

This course has three parts: First, it will engage cutting edge research on the causes and dynamics of interstate conflict and civil war. Second, it will discuss theories and practices of international organizations such as the UN, IMF, and WID. Finally, with the background knowledge from the first parts, the course will discuss how China's rise may bring changes to both dimensions.

GLBL 532     International Business Development

This is a comprehensive course in how governance of the global economy affects business and investment decisions. It is designed to provide students with an understanding of the main international economic institutions that have been developed to oversee the global economy, and how these institutions affect the international business and investment climate. Lectures and class discussions will focus on real world examples of the impact of the international trade and financial institutions (the G-8, G-20, WTO, IMF, and World Bank) on global and individual country economic environments, with particular emphasis on non-OECD countries.

GLBL 542     International Macroeconomic Policy

How does exchange rate policy fit into a country's macroeconomic environment? How do international capital markets constrain policy space? Students will model the linkages between exchange rates, interest rates, capital flows, and prices. The course will emphasize emerging economies.

GLBL 543     Energy Policy

Energy is credited with many contradictory properties. It is a curse that enables dictatorship and war, undermines the work ethic, and taints our environment. It is also the world's largest business and a chief ingredient of state power, stitching together disparate countries in webs of mutual dependence. Energy shapes our physical landscapes and personal habits, providing services that make us comfortable and secure, while producing waste that threatens this way of life. These are the areas where energy and politics intersect, the topics of concern to this course.

GLBL 552     International Security- De-Risking Business Threats

This course seeks to define the risks and risk-mitigation strategies employed by both nation-states and multinational businesses. We will examine how businesses control their risks by following compliance laws around the world. We will also examine what a superpower is within the context of the geopolitical challenges America is facing (fracturing of national institutions/will/consensus, our potential relative decline, shifting alliances, China's rise, the European Union stagnation and diminution, and Russian aggression) as we look to answer the following question: who would even want to be a superpower.

GLBL 553     International Crisis Management

Approximately 85% of the nation's critical infrastructure (water, electricity, food/agriculture, energy, finance, IT, communication, medical, transportation, chemical, etc.), and nearly all of the global banking system is owned and operated by private corporations. How do these corporations prepare for a crisis even that impacts national security, national economic issues, or public order/safety/health, and therefore requires an integrated joint partnership with the government or other organization(s) to plan for and manage the crisis incident?