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IWP 640
Four credits

“If you know your adversary and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
— Sun Tzu

In this era of great confusion and threats to our civilization, this course explores why and how culture matters in civil society, intelligence analysis, and political decision making.  This essential awareness is beneficial for both national defense and alliance building. We will explore how cultural factors affect human interaction and political life and how the relative effect of such factors can be evaluated to enhance civil society and national security.

There is considerable evidence that politics cannot be divorced from culture, from considerations of values that transcend how we connect with our allies and penetrate the social vulnerabilities of adversaries. This course is designed to help students develop a methodology for better understanding our own and other nations’ cultures. It offers an exploration of major political and cultural indicators involved in assessing the actions and attitudes of both Western and non-Western states.  And we will learn, through history and personal awareness, the process of integrating these skills into a “Full Spectrum” of building effective statecraft.


Semester Available