“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 an era of great confusion and threats to our civilization, this course explores why and how culture matters in civil society, intelligence, and political decision making. This transformative awareness is beneficial for internal stability, national defense, and alliance building. We will explore how cultural factors affect human interaction and political dynamics. We will identify how global and local factors can be evaluated to enhance civil society and national security.
Politics cannot be detached from culture. Shared values transcend how we connect with diverse allies and can illuminate social vulnerabilities of adversaries. This course is designed to help students develop a methodology to better understand our own and other nations’ cultural habits. Our exploration of major political and cultural indicators can explain the actions and attitudes of both Western and non-Western states. History and personal awareness provide the tools for integrating these skills into a “Full Spectrum” approach to achieve successful statecraft.