Assignments for POL 240, Global Security (Fall 2018)

Welcome to the course! This course is about the profound changes to the world of international or global politics that are taking place all around us to day and for the past thirty years and the problems that these changes pose to individual and national security. There is a special emphasis on cyber security.

All of your assignments will be posted on this site, so check back regularly for assignments and announcements related to the course.

Excellent bunch of Final Exams! Thank you for a good course.

I will continue to post news articles relating to cyber security and to Russian and Chinese activities relating to global security, both cyber and kinetic.

The following (and other) articles refer to recent Chinese and Russian activities:

  1. China
  2. Russia
  3. United States
  4. The Great Powers at Play
  5. Exiles (and Others) Beware

For the Final Exam:

The final will be held on Wednesday, December 12th, at 3:00pm in Room G221 of Rowley, across the hall from our classroom. The exam will have exactly the same format as our mid-term, but will be 90 minutes long. Room G221, a computer lab, will enable those of you who wish to type your exam to do so. I think it's a better location than the Library Instruction Room.

The format will again be (1) five ten-point definitions/identifications chosen from a list of at least eight terms and (2) two twenty-five point essays on the readings since the last mid-term.

The terms for the definitions will mostly be cyber or cybersecurity terms, but will also include some of the more general strategic terms that were in the readings and that we discussed. As I said on Wednesday, I will choose terms that were discussed in the texts and that were discussed in class, not terms that received a one-sentence definition in the text and that were not mentioned in class. My purpose is to include terms that anyone would reasonably know after taking a basic course like this one and acquiring a basic understanding of the international cybersecurity situation. Familiar hacking techniques, such as DDoS, come to mind, as well as some of the analytical terms, such as "cyber-attack vector." I will not include mere acronyms in the list.

One of the essays will focus specifically on the activities, policies, and strategies of Russia and China. We have probably read more about these countries' recent activities in the cyber (and kinetic) world than abouit anything else in the course. The second question will focus specifically on strategies and methods that countries—including the United states, China, and Russia—to protect their national and their citizens' interests. This was addressed in the opening chapters of the Jarmmon text and in the assigned chapters by Yannakogeorgos and Jasper.

The required readings since the last mid-term are (1) the first five chapters of Jarmon and Yannakogeorgos The Cyber Threat and Globalization and (2) three other chapters:

  1. Panayotis Yannakogeorgos's "Internet Governance and National Security," from Understanding Cyber Security
  2. Jasper's "Cyber Attacks" a chapter from Strategic Cyber Deterrence
  3. Jasper's "Strategic Landscape," another chapter from Strategic Cyber Defense

In addition to these readings, we reviewed some pages from the Kay text and I asked you to review some of the articles that I posted below concerning China, Russia, and the United States and their Great Powers political maneuvering. (I added a few more today.) I did not ask you to read all of them, mind you, but a few of them might be useful in your China/Russia essay question.

While the exam will focus on the material assigned since the mid-term, the test will assume that you are (still) familiar with some of the key concepts that we learned at the beginning of the course: realism, levels of analysis, modes of globalization, and so on. Brush up on them as needed.

See you Wednesday!

For the Class of Wednesday, December 5th:

The reading assignment is (1) the Scott Jasper handout on three forms of deterrence and the "active cyber defense option" that Jasper champions in his book, Strategic Cyber Deterrence, and (2) pages 32-36 in Sean Kay's text on Global Security. With all of these threats to our security that we have been reading about, we have got to figure out something to do about them! Please review the recent articles (those with asterisks) linked below that reflect world flashpoints.

For the Class of Wednesday, November 28th:

Please read chapters 4 and 5 of the Cyber Threat and Globalization text, "China" and "Russia." Astrid, Madison, and Forrest will present.

The copies of the articles for review are in the front of the wall rack outside my office door. Your article has your name on it. Copies of the story on the United States commission report on Chinese advances in cyber technology ("U.S. Panel on China Tech") are also in the rack. Take one!

Here is the model review of The Origins of the Necessary and Proper Clause that I recommended to you. Your review should make the appropriate adjustments and changes in the model to reflect your article review as opposed to this multi-author book review. The rules specific to this review are here.

Hard copies—I will only accept hard copies!—are due in the wall rack outside my office by 3:00pm on Friday, November 30th. I will give you four bonus points if you hand in your review by 4:00pm Monday, November 26; I will give three bonus points if you hand it in on Tuesday, November 27; I will give you two bonus points if you hand it in in class on Wednesday, November 28; and I will give you one bonus point if you hand it in by 4:00pm Thursday, November 29.

CCP Cells Implanted in Chinese and Foreign Businesses

For the Class of Wednesday, November 14th:

Please read the articles/chapters that I handed out by Scott Jasper ("Cyber Attacks," from Strategic Cyber Deterrence) and Panayotis Yannakogeorgos ("Internet Governance and National Security," from Understanding Cyber Security). As always, extra copies are in the wall rack outside my office door. Yannakogeorgos is the same writer who is co-author of our Cyber Threat text. Forrest, Madison, and Astrid have yet to make your class presentations. If any of you wants to present on one of these two articles, let me know. One to an article; first come, first served. Reviews due Friday, November 30th

I am in the process of responding individually to your emails requesting articles to review. Please send me an email expressing your interest in either non-cyber national security issues or cyber security issues. I want to divide these categories relatively evenly among you.I will try to honor your wishes, but if you are among the last students to contact me, you may not get your preference.

The chapters on Russia and China in the Jarmon text (chapter 4 & 5) are assigned for the class of November 28th.

For the Class of Wednesday, November 7th:

Please read chapter 3 of the Jarmon book. You might want to read this essay by Roger Scruton, "The Case for Nations" and consider it in light of the section on "globalization."

For the Class of Halloween, October 31st:

An awful lot to do! The reading assignment is simple: chapter 2 of the Jarmon book. Plus, prepare any questions you may have on that chapter or on chapter one for our speaker, Lee Neuse. Mr. Neuse will respond to those questions, and in any remaining time before 5:00pm will discuss some additional material relating to the chapters.

After a short break at or around 5:00pm, we will hear three student presentations on various sections of chapter 2. And finally, I will return the corrected exams. Busy, busy class.

For the Class of Wednesday, October 24th:

As announced, the reading assignment is the first chapter in the Jarmon text, The Cyber Threat and Globalization. If my speaker cannot make it to the class on Wednesday, we will simply go over the different sections of the chapter: I will ask individual students to explain and discuss the different subjects in the order in which they appear in the chapter. No great knowledge is needed; simply show me that you have read the material and made a good faith effort to understand it. There may be a quiz.

I will have your corrected exams for you at the next class: Wednesday, October 31st.

For the Class of Wednesday, October 17th:

We will be having the mid-term in the Library Instruction room in Reinsch Library. If you are not sure where it is, ask any librarian or scout it out ahead of time.

The material that we have discussed thus far falls roughly into three categories: (1) various conceptual approaches to the study of international relations and international or global security ("realism" and so on); (2) general concepts applicable to the study of global security (globalism, conventional warfare, technological developments in warfare, and various types of assymetric warfare, for examples); and (3) particular historical or national studies (such as the material on the great powers, on Taiwan, Rwanda, and so on). In class we have repeatedly tried to apply the different conceptual approaches to global security to these historical case studies.

The exam will cover all of the assigned readings for the past semester that are listed on the assignments page. This includes:

The important material on Kenneth Waltz's three levels of analysis is discussed in both the Holsti article and chapter 2 of Kay. The handout from Waltz's Man, the State, and War presents the three levels most clearly—I strongly suggest it—but Holsti and Kay accurately report it in their writings.

You are also responsible for the content of the student reports (two of which were also on Waltz's three levels of analysis) and my lecture on terrorism. The material from the Jarmon text on recent Chinese cyberactivity will not be on this exam.

Finally, it might be helpful to review some of the articles on the recent shenanigans of the great powers that I have linked below.

There will be two kinds of essay questions: five one-page definitions/identifications/explanations of major concepts and themes (categories one and two, above) that you choose from a list on the exam, each worth ten points, and two twenty-five point essays that will probably include reference to the particular historical situations—i.e., countries and conflicts—that we discussed in class and in the text (category three). The essays may ask you to apply the global security approaches to particular historical situations.

A good way to study for the exam, and to catch up on any reading that you missed, is to pay attention to the headings and subheads in the chapters and know what Kay (and Holsti) mean by the main terms in those headings. This is especially useful in learning the main concepts with which we are concerned.

For the Class of Wednesday, October 10th:

Please read chapter 7 of the Kay text on assymetric warfare. I also asked you to pick either the account of the India-Pakistan or the Taiwan flashpoint in chapter 5 for the mid-term, which we will briefly discuss. It will be given on Wednesday, October 17th.

There has been a lot of hacking and cyber news this week. The Wall Street Journal had a story about a Russian Hackers. Also a story about the machinations of the Great Powers: India Buys Russian Missiles. AND a story about alleged spy chips implanted in hardware by a Chinese company, Super Micro. Google "Chinese spy chips."

For the Class of Wednesday, October 3d:

Please read chapter 6 of the Kay text for class. Students who are going to present short reports on the flashpoints or hotspots described in chapter 5 should try to see me during office hours on Monday.

For the Class of September 26th:

We have now reviewed the major approaches to international relations/international security that constitute the framework for everything that follows in the course. We turn to more particular issues in the weeks to come.

Kathryn, Nathan, and Derek will present on the China, Russia, and the United States sections of the chapter. The two reports on Waltz were excellent.

News stories are constantly coming out about the three way competition between China, Russia, and the United States that is currently taking place. The links above are some of the recent articles that I have come across. I will continue to add to the list. You should be scanning the news media for additional stories. If you come across any of interest, make youself a copy and bring it up in class.

Please check out this essay contest sponsored by the Okinawa Convention.

For the Class of September 19th:

Very good class discussion on Wednesday! Lots of good questions and answers, and even some back-and-forth among members of the class, which is what we are aiming for. Please keep it up.

For Wednesday the 19th, please read Kay, chapter 3, "The Search for Peace," a survey of non-realist approaches to international relations and international security. Please read, also, pages 96-102, ("Nation-State Economic Espionage" through "Win Victory Before the First Battle") of the Cyber Threat and Globalization text (hereinafter "Jarmon") that we will be using extensively during the second half of the semester.

In Kay, focus particularly on the sections of chapter 3 describing Liberalism or liberalal internationalism, as it is ofen called, and "post-modernism." As Holsti had suggested, use the realist position as the point of departure, and compare each of the other approaches to the core principles of realism. We will work our way through the approaches surveyd in the chapter. I hope the short section from Jarmon whets your appetite to read more of that text. The opening, technical chapters are a good place to start (I am still studying them myself) with more information about the internet and stuff digital that you probably ever wanted to know, but in this day and age . . . .

Papers on Waltz will be presented by Jose and Lily. A couple extra copies of the Waltz chapter are in the box outside my office door, if you are interested. Waltz will give us another perspective from which to approach international relations and security.

For the Class of September 12th:

Please read chapter 2 of Kay, "The Quest for Power," which is a general discussion of the "Realist" approach to international relations. Now that the class roster is set, there will be a short quiz aimed at showing me if you have read—studied—the assigned reading. Look up all of the words, both technical and common English, that you are not familiar with. If you are late to class, you will have missed the quiz, so be there on time!

Chapter 2 is pretty dense: it is a long chapter full of a lot of concepts and historical examples, and Kay's writing is not particularly elementary. In order to keep your bearings as you read the material and not get lost in the details, I suggest that you get out a sheet or two of paper and make a basic outline by simply listing the headings and subheadings in the chapter. The headings or general divisions of the chapter are centered on various pages; the subheadings or subdivisions of each of the general divisions are aligned to the left margins of the pages. I homestly cannot understand how anyone who wishes to understand the contents of this dense chapter can do so without making a lot of notes: not in the margins, but on a separate sheet of paper—or two, or three.

Thus, the heading of the first general section of the chapter is "The Traditions of Realism," and the first subdivision within this general section is "The Security Dilemma and Incentives for War," and so on through the chapter. Kay is pretty good about organizing his chapters: if the heading or subheading has two or three named elements (some of which are concepts, some of which are not) in it, Kay discusses those elements in the order in which the heading/subheading lists them. For example, in the aforementioned subheading, he discusses the security dilemma first and then various incentives for war. So on your sheet(s) of paper, leave a few blank lines after each heading/subheading to jot down the main point(s) that Kay makes about each term in the heading/subheading; namely, what is "the security dilemma," and what are the various incentives to war that he enumerates.

You should have three priorities here: (1) form a good definition of each of the conceptual terms listed in the headings; (2) note Kay's account of how revised or modern realism differs from classical or traditional realism; and (3) relate each part of the chapter to the "core premises" of realism that Kay sets forth in the opening paragraphs of the chapter.

I would like to give you a short preview of the second half of the course, so please get your copies of Jarmon and Yannakogeorgos The Cyber Threat and Globalization by next class. The assignment for the class of September 26th will include a reading from The Cyber Threat, pp. 96-102 ("Nation-State Economic Espionage" through "Win Victory Before the First Battle").

BTW, a nuclear electromagnetic pulse bomb, or "emp," is the term I could not think of in class. If one exploded over the United States, there would be devastating results given our tremendous reliance on telecommunications and cyber systems.

Joseph S. Nye, Jr., "Soft Power," 80 Foreign Policy (Autumn, 1990), 153-171.

For the Class of September 5th:

Please read the handout by Ole Holsti on the different models or approaches to the subject of international relations. I put extra copies of the reading and of the syllabus in or under the box on the chair outside my office (Rowley 1018). Take notes; make a rough outline for your own use in the class discussion, if you wish. Look up any vocabulary words—not just the theoretical concepts and technical terms, but also the English vocabulary that Holsti uses and that any intelligent reader should be familiar with—with which you are unfamiliar. We will probably begin class with a short quiz on the reading.

Books for the Course:


  • Russians Hack into American Utilities
  • Proposed Penalties for [Russian] Hackers
  • Russian and Chinese Involvement in Latin America
  • Countering Russian and Chinese Involvement
  • United States-Russia Competition in the Arctic
  • The China Syndrome
  • Malware Glossary