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17.559 / 17.560 Comparative Security and Sustainability

Fall 2004

Merchants sell their wares at the U. S.-Mexico border.The U. S.-Mexico border at Tijuana. Merchants sell their wares as people move across the border. (Photo courtesy of Dennis S. Hurd.)

Course Highlights

This course features a detailed list of readings and assignments.

Course Description

This course focuses on the complexities associated with security and sustainability of states in international relations. Covering aspects of theory, methods and empirical analysis, the course is in three parts, and each consists of seminar sessions focusing on specific topics.



Syllabus

Course Summary

This course is in three parts with each part consisting of seminar sessions focusing on specific topics. Together they cover aspects of theory, methods, and empirical analysis within security and substainability of states in international relations.

Part I: Framework and Approach

Focuses on comparative approaches to security and sustainability in national and international contexts, with special emphasis on constraints and options, as well as strategies and policy choice. Theoretical foundations include: definitions of core concepts; implications of underlying assumptions and causal logic. Alternative frameworks for theory, research and policy are examined. The focus is on explanatory and predictive potentials.

Part II: Cases and Comparisons

Comparisons are undertaken in terms of levels and locations (countries, regions, localities); systems (social, environmental, economic, political technological); methods and models (analytical, empirical and historical); time frame (past, present and future). Coverage includes developing and industrial contexts encompassed in a global perspective. The emphasis on specific countries reflects distinctive patterns of dilemmas and decision.

Part III: Implications and Inferences

Many of the issues examined involve trade-offs, inter-temporal effects, and the creation of new problems as well as possibilities. The challenge is to anticipate the possibilities of creating security as well as sustainability.



Course Requirements

Course requirements include

  • The written requirement
  • A mid-term exam
  • Regular reading of the assigned materials
  • Active class participation and discussion

Details about the written requirement can be found in the assignments section.



Mid-term Exam

Everyone is expected to take the mid-term exam. It is intended to allow the instructor to give you feedback. The mid-term is take home, open book, and questions with choice. If you do well, it will be counted for you. If you do not do well, it will not be counted against you.



Grading Criteria

The grading scheme follows the course requirement format and will be weighted as follows:


ACTIVITIESPERCENTAGES
Written Requirement50%
Mid-term Exam10%
Regular Reading of the Assigned Materials20%
Active Class Participation and Discussion20%





Course Materials

All reading assignments are listed in the readings section. Other readings may be assigned from other books during the term. Copies of the books are on reserve at Dewey library.



Calendar


WEEK #TOPICS
Part I: Framework and Approach
1Introduction
2Concepts and Theories
3Modes of (In)security and (Un)sustainability
4Local Conditions and Global Dilemmas
Part II: Cases and Comparisons
5When People Move or Boundaries Shift
6When Resources are "Scarce"
7When Environments "Strain"
8When Regimes Fail or States Collapse
9When Wars Happen
Part III: Implications and Inferences
10Technology Imperatives
11Managing Security and Sustainability
12Design Systems for Security and Sustainability







Readings

Amazon logo When you click the Amazon logo to the left of any citation and purchase the book (or other media) from Amazon.com, MIT OpenCourseWare will receive up to 10% of this purchase and any other purchases you make during that visit. This will not increase the cost of your purchase. Links provided are to the US Amazon site, but you can also support OCW through Amazon sites in other regions. Learn more.

The following books are used in the course. Not all books are read in their entirety; in these instances, the percentage of the book that is read is indicated. Readings are also listed by session.



Required Books

Amazon logo Ostrom, Elinor. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1990. ISBN: 9780521405997. (40%)

Amazon logo Becker, Egon, and Thomas Jahn, eds. Sustainability and the Social Sciences: A Cross-disciplinary Approach to Integrating Environmental Considerations into Theoretical Reorientation. London, UK: Zed Books, 2000. ISBN: 9781856497091. (30%)

Amazon logo Tainter, Joseph A. The Collapse of Complex Societies. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1988. ISBN: 9780521340922.

Amazon logo Brawley, Mark R. The Politics of Globalization. Orchard Park, NY: The Broadview Press, 2002. ISBN: 9781551112800.

Amazon logo Clark, Ian. Globalization and International Relations Theory. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780198782100.

Amazon logo Weiner, Myron, and Sharon Stanton Russell, eds. Demography and National Security. New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2002. ISBN: 9781571812629.



Readings by Session


WEEK #TOPICSREADINGS
Part I: Framework and Approach
1IntroductionAmazon logo Choucri, Nazli, and Robert C. North. "Growth, Development, and Environmental Sustainability: Profile and Paradox." Chapter 3 in Global Accord: Environmental Challenges and International Responses. Edited by Nazli Choucri. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780262531344.

Amazon logo Jervis, Robert. "Realism in the Study of World Politics." In Exploration and Contestation in the Study of World Politics. Edited by Peter J. Katzenstein, Robert O. Keohane, and Stephen D. Krasner. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999, pp. 331-351. ISBN: 9780262611442.

Amazon logo Hardin, Garrett. "The Tragedy of the Commons." In Economics of the Environment: Selected Readings. 3rd ed. Edited by Robert Dorfman and Nancy S. Dorfman. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993, pp. 5-19. ISBN: 9780393963106.
2Concepts and TheoriesAmazon logo Clark, Ian. Globalization and International Relations Theory. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780198782100.

Amazon logo Solow, Robert M. "Sustainability: An Economist's Perspective." In Economics of the Environment: Selected Readings. 3rd ed. Edited by Robert Dorfman and Nancy S. Dorfman. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993, pp. 179-187. ISBN: 9780393963106.

Goodland, Robert, and George Ledec. "Neoclassical Economics and Principles of Sustainable Development." Ecological Modeling 38 (1987): 19-46.

Amazon logo Gowdy, John. "Economic concepts of Sustainability: Relocating Economic Activity within Society and Environment." Chapter 9 in Sustainability and the Social Sciences: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Integrating Environmental Considerations into Theoretical Reorientation. Edited by Egon Becker and Thomas Jahn. London, UK: Zed Books, 2000. ISBN: 9781856497091.

Wikboldt, A. K., and N. Choucri. "Profiles of States as Fuzzy Sets: Methodological Refinement of Lateral Pressure Theory." International Interactions 32 (2006): 1-29.
3Modes of (in)security and (un)sustainabilityAmazon logo Holdren, John P., Gretchen C. Daily, and Paul R. Ehrlich. "The Meaning of Sustainability: Biogeophysical Aspects." In Defining and Measuring Sustainability: The Biogeophysical Foundations. Edited by Mohan Munasinghe and Walter Shearer. Washington, DC: The World Bank, 1995, pp. 3-17. ISBN: 9780821331347.

Amazon logo Becker, Egon, and Thomas Jahn, eds. Sustainability and the Social Sciences: A Cross-disciplinary Approach to Integrating Environmental Considerations into Theoretical Reorientation. London, UK: Zed Books, 2000. ISBN: 9781856497091.

Amazon logo Sassen, Saskia. Globalization and its Discontents: Essays on New Mobility of People and Money. New York, NY: The New Press, 1998, Introduction, pp. XIX-XXXVI. ISBN: 9781565843950.

Kratochwil, Friedrich. "Of Systems, Boundaries, and Territoriality." World Politics 39, no. 1 (1986): 27-52.
4Local Conditions and Global DilemmasAmazon logo Litfin, Karen T. "The Greening of Sovereignty: An Introduction." In The Greening of Sovereignty in World Politics. Edited by Karen T. Litfin. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998, pp. 1-27. ISBN: 9780262621236.

Amazon logo Kuehls, Thom. "Between Sovereignty and Environment: An Exploration of the Discourse of Government." In The Greening of Sovereignty in World Politics. Edited by Karen T. Litfin. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998, pp. 31-53. ISBN: 9780262621236.

Amazon logo Wapner, Paul. "Reorienting State Sovereignty: Rights and Responsibilities in the Environmental Age." In The Greening of Sovereignty in World Politics. Edited by Karen T. Litfin. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998, pp. 275-297. ISBN: 9780262621236.
Part II: Cases and Comparisons
5When People Move or Boundaries ShiftAmazon logo Weiner, Myron, and Sharon Stanton Russell. Demography and National Security. New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2002. ISBN: 9781571812629.

Massey, Douglas S., Joaquin Arango, Graeme Hugo, Ali Kouaouci, Adela Pellegrino, and J. Edward Taylor. "Theories of International Migration: A Review and Appraisal." Population and Development Review 19, no. 3 (September 1993): 431-466.

Choucri, Nazli. "Migration and Security: Some Key Linkages." Journal of International Affairs 56, no. 1 (Fall 2002): 97-124.

———. "Cross-Border Movements of Populations in a 'Fair Globalization'." Development 48, no. 1 (2005): 44-51.
6When Resources are "Scarce"Amazon logo Hardin, Garrett. "The Tragedy of the Commons." In Economics of the Environment: Selected Readings. 3rd ed. Edited by Robert Dorfman and Nancy S. Dorfman. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Company, 1993, pp. 5-19. ISBN: 9780393963106.

Ostrom, Elinor. "New Horizons in Institutional Analysis." American Political Science Review 89, no. 1 (1995): 174-178.

Choucri. Nazli. "Resource Constraints as Causes of Conflict." Ecodecision (September 1991): 52-55.

Amazon logo Pezzey, John C. V., and Michael A. Toman. "Progress and Problems in the Economics of Sustainability." Chapter 4 in The International Yearbook of Environmental and Resource Economics 2002/2003: A Survey of Current Issues . Edited by Tom Tietenberg and Henk Folmer. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2002. ISBN: 9781840649499.
7When Environments "Strain"Amazon logo Victor, David G., Abram Chayes, and Eugene B. Skolnikoff. "Pragmatic Approaches to Regime Building for Complex International Problems." In Global Accord: Environmental Challenges and International Responses. Edited by Nazli Choucri. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995, pp. 453-74. ISBN: 9780262531344.

Amazon logo Simpson, R. David. "Economic Analysis and Ecosystems: Some Concepts and Issues." Chapter 25 in Economics of the Environment: Selected Readings . 5th ed. Edited by Robert N. Stavins. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005. ISBN: 9780393927016.

Amazon logo Lofdahl, Corey L. Environmental Impacts of Globalization and Trade: A Systems Study. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002, chapter 5. ISBN: 9780262122450.
8When Regimes Fail or States CollapseAmazon logo Tainter, Joseph A. The Collapse of Complex Societies. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1988. ISBN: 9780521340922.

Amazon logo Banister, Judith. "Impacts of Migration to China's Border Regions." In Demography and National Security. Edited by Myron Weiner and Sharon Stanton Russell. New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2002, pp. 256-304. ISBN: 9781571812629.

Amazon logo Goldstone, Jack A. "Demography, Environment, and Security: An Overview." In Demography and National Security. Edited by Myron Weiner and Sharon Stanton Russell. New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2002, pp. 38-61. ISBN: 9781571812629.

Amazon logo Choucri, Nazli, and Robert C. North. "Population and (In)Security: National Perspectives and Global Imperatives." In Building a New Global Order: Emerging Trends in International Security. Edited by David B. Dewitt, David Haglund, and John Kirton. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1994, pp. 229-56. ISBN: 9780195409642.
9When Wars HappenAmazon logo Jacobsen, Karen, and Steven Wilkinson. "Refugee movements as Security Threats in Sub-Saharan Africa." In International Migration and Security. Edited by Myron Weiner. San Francisco, CA: Westview Press, 1993, pp. 201-228. ISBN: 9780813387741.

Amazon logo Brawley, Mark R. The Politics of Globalization. Orchard Park, NY: The Broadview Press, 2002. ISBN: 9781551112800.

Amazon logo Choucri, N., S. Madnick, and M. Siegel. "Improving National and Homeland Security through Context Knowledge Representation Technologies." In Emergent Information Technologies and Enabling Policies for Counter Terrorism (IEEE Press Series on Computational Intelligence). Edited by Robert L. Popp and John Yen. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006, pp. 139-164. ISBN: 9780471776154.
Part III: Implications and Inferences
10Technology ImperativesAmazon logo Durch, William J. "Keepers of the Gates: National Militaries in an Age of International Population Movement." In Demography and National Security. Edited by Myron Weiner and Sharon Stanton Russell. New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2002, pp. 109-153. ISBN: 9781571812629.

Amazon logo Holdren, John P., and R. K. Pachauri. "Energy." In An Agenda of Science for Environment and Development into the 21st Century: Based on a Conference Held in Vienna, Austria in November 1991. Edited by James Dooge, Maureen Brennan, and the International Council of Scientific Unions. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 103-118. ISBN: 9780521437615.

Amazon logo Landes, David S. "Homo Faber, Homo Sapiens: Knowledge, Technology, Growth, and Development." Chapter 5 in The Knowledge Economy . Edited by Dale Neef. Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997. ISBN: 9780750699365.

Amazon logo Bohn, Roger E. "Measuring and Managing Technological Knowledge." Chapter 10 in The Knowledge Economy . Edited by Dale Neef. Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997. ISBN: 9780750699365.

Amazon logo Arthur, W. Brian. "Increasing Returns and the New World of Business." Chapter 6 in The Knowledge Economy . Edited by Dale Neef. Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997. ISBN: 9780750699365.
11Managing Security and SustainabilityAmazon logo Ostrom, Elinor. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1990. ISBN: 9780521405997.

Keohane, Robert O. "International Institutions: Two Approaches." International Studies Quarterly 32 (1988): 379-96.

Amazon logo Holling, C. S. "Sustainability: The Cross-Scale Dimension." In Defining and Measuring Sustainability: The Biogeophysical Foundations. Edited by Mohan Munasinghe and Walter Shearer. Washington, DC: The World Bank, 1995, pp. 65-75. ISBN: 9780821331347.

Amazon logo Weiss, Edith Brown. "Intergenerational Equity: Toward an International Legal Framework." In Global Accord: Environmental Challenges and International Responses. Edited by Nazli Choucri. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995, pp. 333-53. ISBN: 9780262531344.
12Design Systems for Security and SustainabilityAmazon logo Haas, Peter M., and Jan Sundgren. "Evolving International Environmental Law: Changing Practices of National Sovereignty." In Global Accord: Environmental Challenges and International Responses. Edited by Nazli Choucri. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995, pp. 401-429. ISBN: 9780262531344.

Amazon logo Sands, Philippe. "International Law in the Field of Sustainable Development: Emerging Legal Principles." In Sustainable Development and International Law. Edited by Winfried Lang. New York, NY: Springer, 1995, pp. 53-66. ISBN: 9781859661796.

Amazon logo Jacoby, Henry D., Ronald Prinn, and Richard Schmalensee. "Kyoto's Unfinished Business." Chapter 25 in Economics of the Environment. 5th ed. Edited by Robert N. Stavins. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005. ISBN: 9780393927016.




Assignments

The written requirement constitutes 50% of the student's final grade. There are three options for fulfilling this requirement of the course.



Option 1

Take home final - essay type; three questions; no choice; covering all aspects of the course; open books and notes; full references required etc.



Option 2

Three short papers - on topics assigned in advance, or selected by the student (approved by the instructor in advance). No more than 10 pages - fully referenced - from assigned readings or other sources as relevant.



Option 3

Research paper - Here are the steps:

  1. Topic and Issues Identified in a Paragraph - Reviewed and Approved by Instructor
  2. Outline - General for Sense of Coverage - Also for Approval
  3. Tentative Bibliography - Also for Approval

Roughly 30-40 pages. References must be included.




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