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New Online Course for Fall 2024: The Behavioral Sciences in U.S. National Security and Public Safety

In fall 2024, Dr. Baiju Gandhi and Dr. Enrico Suardi (’19) will teach a new online course on The Behavioral Sciences in U.S. National Security and Public Safety (IWPO 714).

Dr. Enrico Suardi
Dr. Enrico Suardi

Dr. Enrico Suardi (IWP Class of 2019, Executive MA in National Security Affairs) is director of psychiatry at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, director of forensic services at the Ross Center in Washington, D.C. He is co-chair of the conflict management section of the World Psychiatric Association and the 2024-25 president-elect of the Washington Psychiatric Society. A diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry, on faculty at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Georgetown University, and George Washington University, he has served as chief child and family psychiatrist at the U.S. State Department. Dr. Suardi studied political psychology with Jerrold Post, completed his M.D. and a residency in preventive medicine in Milan, Italy, and obtained an MSc in Public Health and Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

 

Dr. Baiju Gandhi
Dr. Baiju Gandhi

Dr. Baiju Gandhi is a physician with a specialization in general psychiatry and sub-specialization in the psychiatric care of the medically ill. He graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Harris School of Public Policy with a joint M.D.-M.A. in public policy. He has practiced psychiatry at sites across the country for 15 years, and hails originally from the heartland in the Midwest. He has worked in acute inpatient, outpatient, and forensic settings treating a myriad of conditions including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, and delirium. He has made concerted effort to utilize the principles of psychotherapy in combination with medical treatment to engage both medically and psychiatrically ill individuals. Throughout his medical career he has maintained an interdisciplinary interest in foreign affairs with a current focus on topics that lie at the intersection of behavioral science and national security, such as the psychology of radicalization and psychology of diplomacy. He has taken coursework and engaged in scholarship at the Institute of World Politics in the areas of national security, domestic terrorism, and cultural diplomacy. With the knowledge gained at IWP, he is honored and excited to apply his mental health background to an upcoming course on behavior and national security in the Fall of 2024.

“We are very pleased to have two former students and professionals in this field returning to teach this important course,” said IWP Dean of Academics Dr. James S. Robbins.

The goal of the course is to provide students with an overview of basic psychological concepts as they apply to key areas of national security and statecraft.

The course begins with a historical overview of the involvement of the behavioral sciences in U.S. national security and public safety.

Students will then examine political psychology, the psychological understanding of political behavior. Political behavior at its core can be understood as the product of psychological variables interacting with one’s political environment. Understanding psychological factors that mediate destructive political behaviors such as the various forms of political violence (e.g. terrorism) is a key area of national security and statecraft analysis. Furthermore, a psychologically informed analysis of political behavior may help manage international conflict.

The course will then cover operational psychology, the application of psychological expertise to military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement operations. The course will review specific subdisciplines including terrorism and radicalization, counterterrorism and de-radicalization, the indirect assessment of foreign leaders, the psychology of intelligence and counterintelligence, the psychology of persuasion and coercion, neuro-technology and cognitive warfare, and the psychology of negotiation and international conflict resolution.

Past lecture videos from Dr. Baiju Gandhi and Dr. Enrico Suardi:

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