GLBL 750

The Jackson Institute invites applications to GLBL 750, American Power in the 21st Century: Lessons in Diplomacy with Sec. John Kerry.

Led by former Secretary of State John Kerry ’66, this seminar will examine U.S. foreign policy in the 21st Century. It will take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding diplomacy both in theory and practice, and will examine the core subjects on which the Kerry Initiative is focused: failed and failing states, the challenge of authoritarian populism, rising sectarianism and violent extremism, climate change and other environmental threats, capacity building and anti-corruption, global economic opportunity and development.

Students will focus on a series of case studies from the perspective of those who make and implement U.S. foreign policy. The course will use these case studies to grapple with cross-cutting themes that are central to U.S. foreign policy, including:

  • What are the sources of U.S. leadership in the world? How has our nation’s perception of its global responsibilities changed? How do we define U.S. interests and defend the post-1945 international order?
  • To what extent is foreign policy shaped by long-term, structural forces like globalization versus short-term, inflection points like political crises? In what ways is change driven by top-down priorities versus bottom-up movements?
  • How can the tools of U.S. foreign policy (military, economic, legal, and diplomatic) be deployed in a strategic and coordinated fashion? How do we create and leverage through sanctions, foreign aid, and multinational pressure?
  • Who is responsible for the creation, and implementation, of foreign policy? What are the roles of the President, the Congress, the Judiciary, and the international community? How do subnational entities, non-state actors, and media influence in the formation and execution of foreign policy? How trends at home intersect with our work abroad?

The seminar will be an opportunity to explore what assertive, active, and astute diplomacy looks like in the 21st century. The 20th century was defined by the civilized world’s struggle to develop the rule of law and international norms as an alternative to chaos, disorder, and dictatorship. But today, prevailing assumptions are being upended and the rules of diplomacy are changing. As we look towards the future, the seminar hopes to provide our next generation of foreign policy leaders with new paradigms to tackle urgent challenges and defend peace and prosperity in an increasingly complex world.

First class is on January 14 from 3:30pm to 7:10pm, and classes meet on Thursdays from 5:30pm to 7:20pm and on Fridays from 9:25am to 11:15am on these dates:

January 31
February 1
February 21-22
March 7-8
March 28-29
April 18-19*

*Final class on April 19th is from 9:25am to 1:10pm.

Applications are due no later than 12:00am on Friday, December 21, 2018.

GLBL 750 Seminar Application (Spring 2019)


  • *Undergraduates Undergraduates who are admitted to the course are responsible for obtaining course approval via the Request to Elect a Graduate or Professional School Course form
  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, txt, rtf.