Brown University

Courses offered at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Ambassador Brian Atwood

US Foreign Policy: The Institutional Basis

This course will examine the institutions that influence American foreign and development policy. Institutions provide the organizational framework, rules and social structures that in turn impact on the policy positions of those who are part of them. The agencies and bureaus that make up the national security cluster have both professional expertise and bureaucratic qualities. We will delve deeply into these entities to understand better their jurisdictional authorities and professional perspectives. We will use case studies and roll playing exercises to enhance understanding of these orientations and their impact on the policy process.

Bilateral and Multilateral Policy and Diplomacy

This course will examine the practice and profession of diplomacy and its relationship to the policy process. The focus will be on bilateral and multilateral diplomacy; while the practice will focus on a U.S. context, the lessons learned apply to other nation states. We will briefly review the history of inter-state relations, including the international legal basis for diplomatic relations. The practice has evolved over the years and has been greatly influenced by modern technology; however, it continues to incorporate such common functions as policy formulation, representation, reporting, negotiation, intercultural contacts and interaction with the media, parliamentary bodies and other external actors.


Ambassador Richard Boucher

Diplomacy, Economics & Influence

This course examines a dozen diplomatic situations to identify the players, their interests, their tools and how they produced outcomes. We will focus especially on the economic factors – pressures, incentives and influences – that contributed to the results. By examining these elements we will understand the economic tools of diplomacy and power, and how to wield them. We will look closely at China’s growing role in the world economy and consider how China’s rise will change world affairs.

Skills for Future Diplomats – A Course in Fourteen Exercises

Future diplomats, whether they work for governments, corporations or nonprofit entities, will find new opportunities and face new challenges in promoting their international goals. They will work in a world where power is more dispersed, where players other than governments have a major role, where issues and organizations are social, cultural, regional and global rather than the sole responsibility of nation states, and where scientific and technological innovations are constantly changing the agenda and paths to influence.



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