Global Affairs

Global Affairs
http://mga.rice.edu/
180 Baker Hall
713-348-2367

Mark Jones
Faculty Director
mpjones@rice.edu

Abbey Godley
Assistant Dean for Student Programs
agodley@rice.edu

The Master of Arts in Global Affairs is a co-sponsored degree between Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and the School of Social Sciences. The program offers graduate students a professional Master of Arts degree that simultaneously requires high standards of scholarship and practical training for careers in government, the private sector, and international organizations. 

The Master of Global Affairs is a two-year, 36 credit hour degree program. The program requires a non-credit bearing pre-term math boot camp held in the evenings before classes begin. The first year core-curriculum requires a sequence of 18 credit hours exposing students to a variety of topics in global affairs. The second year is reserved for pursuit of an Area of Study, participation in a required internship, and completion of a capstone project. The program is considered full-time with classes offered in the evening. 

Global Affairs does not currently offer an academic program at the undergraduate level.

Faculty Director

Mark P. Jones

Professors

Dominic Boyer
Lyn Ragsdale
Richard Stoll
Ted Loch-Temzelides

Associate Professor

Songying Fang

Baker Institute Fellows

Edward P. Djerejian
Russell Green
Steven Lewis
Jim Krane
Tony Payan

Lecturers

Michael Ard
Cory Birenbaum
Holly Heard
Scott McHugh
Andrew Wolfe

For Rice University degree-granting programs:
To view the list of official course offerings, please see Rice’s Course Catalog
To view the most recent semester’s course schedule, please see Rice's Course Schedule

Global Affairs (GLBL)

GLBL 501 - GLOBAL SYSTEMS I

Short Title: GLOBAL SYSTEMS I

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Designed to help students think theoretically and analytically about leading issues in international affairs by introducing them to social science methods and scholarship, and exposes them to the uses of such concepts in practice, through examination of contemporary problems and relations between nation states. Introduces central concepts and approaches from a variety of social science perspectives, particularly comparative politics and international relations used to explain, analyze and evaluate international politics and economics. Master of Global Affairs students only.

GLBL 502 - INSTITUTIONS & DEVELOPMENT

Short Title: INSTITUTIONS & DEVELOPMENT

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will explore a broad, multidisciplinary range methodologies and requisite analytical tools needed to identify, measure, and assess the determinants and effects of international development, the nature of change in the development process, and of the associated role of policy and institutional design. This will include the normative analysis of change (applying various concepts of well-being, efficiency, social justice and poverty), the application of economic concepts (to the interpretation of household and firm behavior, strategic interactions and economy-wide patterns), and the role of political, governmental and social behavior in shaping the possibilities for, drivers of and resistance to change. This will be undertaken through a mixture of discussion of overall patterns backed by a strong focus on case studies in particular country settings. Master of Global Affairs students only.

GLBL 503 - INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICS FOR MASTERS STUDENTS

Short Title: INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICS

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course familiarizes students with basic concepts of research design and statistical methodology that used in policy analysis. It covers (1) fundamental concepts of scientific inference and barriers to inference in observational data, (2) the implementation and evaluation of experimental and observational research designs in policy analysis, (3) descriptive and graphical statistics, (4) statistical hypothesis testing, (5) elementary use and interpretation of the generalized linear model, and (6) using the R statistical software environment for data organization and analysis. It is strongly recommended that students complete this course in the fall semester of their first year; in all cases, it must be completed before the end of the first year. Master of Global Affairs students only.

GLBL 504 - QUANTITATIVE APPLICATIONS IN GLOBAL POLITICS AND POLICY

Short Title: GLOBAL POLITICS AND POLICY

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The course takes a problem-driven approach to practical applications of quantitative research methods in political and policy studies. Using a series of international and domestic policy topics, students will learn to apply and extend their knowledge of research design and statistics as part of developing a systematic approach to the study of global affairs. Student assignments will involve research related to the practice of global affairs, including comparative policy-making, political economy and security. Master of Global Affairs students only.

GLBL 505 - MACROECONOMICS AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

Short Title: MACROECONOMICS&GLOBAL ECONOMY

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This part develops our foundations on topics such as national product and income concepts, measurements, and relationships; interrelationships of the major segments of the national economy; forces affecting the general level of economic activity. Here we study how the major markets (those for labor, capital, and goods) operate. These markets are first studied in isolation. Why some countries have rapid economic development, and others low growth and pervasive poverty? We will explore the ways in which growing economic interdependence shifts global wealth. We will discuss the role of global energy supply and of ongoing technological progress as a force of change in the global economy. Masters of Global Affairs students only. Mutually Exclusive: Credit cannot be earned for GLBL 505 and GLBL 524.

GLBL 506 - MACROECONOMICS FOR THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

Short Title: MACROECONOMICS FOR GLOBAL ECON

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The second part of the course puts the markets studied in the first part together and studies their interactions. The key issues here are: (a) how macroeconomic variables behave and (b) how can policy affect these outcomes both domestically and internationally. Students will engage in a short team project to explore the role of economic development in international settings, including topics such as energy supply, labor and employment, population, education, health and nutrition. International economics: balance of payments, foreign exchange markets, international trade theory, tariffs, quotas, and exchange controls. The course will focus on the relationship between international policy and economics. North-South relations, including the US-Mexico economic relation will be discussed. Master of Global Affairs students only. Mutually Exclusive: Credit cannot be earned for GLBL 506 and GLBL 524.

GLBL 507 - DECISION MAKING UNDER UNCERTAINTY

Short Title: DECISION MAKING UNCERTAINTY

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The course examines how leaders on the world stage-those in governments, international organizations, and non-state actors-make decisions that alter the course of international affairs. These decisions are made under conditions of uncertainty with limited information, elements of surprise about what will happen next, and often carry high degrees of risk. The course considers key theoretical models of uncertainty in decision making and examines specific foreign policy decisions that managed the uncertainty toward a successful outcome and those that ended in failure or expensive mistakes. Master of Global Affairs students only.

GLBL 510 - CULTURAL DIRECTIONS IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Short Title: CULTURAL DIRECTIONS

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Investigates the cultural and social dimensions of the development and implementation of international policy; emphasizes historical and ethnographic case studies to understand the variable impacts of policy implementation in different contexts. Master of Global Affairs students only.

GLBL 512 - INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT

Short Title: INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Introduction to a broad range of areas related to the analysis and resolution of conflict, focusing on the interdisciplinary study of defining, understanding, and addressing conflict. International and community conflict, characteristics, negotiation, collaborative problem solving, process-advice. Students will research international conflict escalation, stalemate, de-escalation, settlement, resolution, or management; mediation skills to facilitate the resolution of disputes and differences, techniques of third party intervention with individuals and groups. Learning approach includes lectures, simulations, modeling and practice mediations. Master of Global Affairs students only.

GLBL 513 - INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Short Title: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Study of theories and best practices from academia and governments/NGO’s related to international cooperation, including international law and treaties, international coalitions and sanctions, international and transnational organizations, translocal city and NGO partnerships, government and business partnerships, transnational governance and publicly diplomacy, including soft power and collective action for global public goods. Master of Global Affairs students only.

GLBL 514 - THE MIDDLE EAST CAULDRON AND UNITED STATES POLICY

Short Title: M. EAST CAULDRON & U.S. POLICY

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course examines the expanding public dimension of diplomacy by investigating the growing global interests and trends in the 21st century’s diplomatic environment. This course also examines the underlying political, socio-economic, and cultural trends and surveys US national security interests, foreign policy, and public diplomacy around the world. For Master of Global Affairs Students Only.

GLBL 515 - INTERNATIONAL SECURITY IN A MULTIPOLAR WORLD

Short Title: INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 1.5

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The post-Cold War international order is moving from a unipolar system to one characterized by strong interstate competition. Concepts once associated with 19th century Europe, like “the balance of power”, are demonstrating their continued relevance. Interstate conflict has been in decline, but its likelihood might increase within this more unstable system of states. This course will review the main intellectual currents in the international security subfield, with particular emphasis on the work of Barry Buzan and the English school of international relations. Students will critically apply theory to case studies on contemporary wars, nuclear proliferation, and violent substate actors such as terrorist organizations, humanitarian intervention, and peacekeeping operations. Master of Global Affairs students only.

GLBL 519 - MASTER OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS INTERNSHIP

Short Title: MASTER GLOBAL AFFAIRS INTRNSHP

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Internship/Practicum

Credit Hours: 1-6

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The Master of Global Affairs internship is a graduate-level supervised field experience for students in the MGA program. All internships must be preapproved and must be conducted after the student has completed a minimum of 18 credit hours in the program. Master of Global Affairs students only. Repeatable for Credit.

GLBL 520 - MASTER OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CAPSTONE

Short Title: MASTER GLOBAL AFFAIRS CAPSTONE

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The Master of Global Affairs capstone course is the culmination of all graduate coursework and internship experience in the program; it is a significant piece of work than what is normally expected of a term paper. The capstone project must reflect a scholarly and professional analysis informed by the application of analytical strategies that address a real-world problem or public policy issue. All MGA students must complete the capstone in their final semester.

GLBL 521 - DIRECTED READING IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS

Short Title: DIR READING IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the MAGA program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Graduate level independent reading course. Topics vary. Master of Global Affiars students only. Repeatable for Credit.

GLBL 523 - QUANTITATIVE APPLICATIONS IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS

Short Title: QUANTITATIVE APPLICATIONS

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the MAGA program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The course takes a problem-driven approach to practical applications of quantitative research methods in political and policy studies. Using a series of international domestic policy topics, students will learn to apply and extend their knowledge of research design and statists as part of developing a systematic approach to the study of global affairs. Student assignments will involve research related to the practice of global affairs, including comparative policy-making, political economy and security.

GLBL 524 - MACROECONOMICS IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY

Short Title: MACROECONOMICS GLOBAL ECONOMY

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the MAGA program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course develops our foundations of aggregate economic analysis; use of the aggregate demand/aggregate supply model for the determination of output, employment, and prices. The focus will be on topics such as national product and income concepts, measurements, and relationships; interrelationships of the major segments of the national economy; forces affecting the general level of economic activity. Here we study how the major markets (those for labor, capital, and goods) operate. These fundamental concepts will be used to analyze international economic policy. Mutually Exclusive: Credit cannot be earned for GLBL 524 and GLBL 505/GLBL 506.

GLBL 525 - INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

Short Title: INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the MAGA program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course covers two general areas in International Security: (1) traditional (i.e., "state-centered") and (2) non-traditional security issues. The first half of the course is devoted to recent developments in the study of interstate security. We will contemplate unipolarity, American security policy, the rise of some peer competitors, and the changing nature of interstate relations in the 21st century. The second half of the course will explore the growing significance of a number of emerging non-traditional security concerns. In this portion, we will discuss counterinsurgency, civil war, terrorism, humanitarian intervention, among other developing issues.

GLBL 531 - WORLD POLITICS AND GLOBAL GOVERNANCE

Short Title: CHANGE IN WORLD POLITICS

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course has three parts: First, it will engage cutting edge research on the causes and dynamics of interstate conflict and civil war. Second, it will discuss theories and practices of international organizations such as the UN, IMF, and WID. Finally, with the background knowledge from the first parts, the course will discuss how China's rise may bring changes to both dimensions.

GLBL 532 - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND GLOBAL ECONOMIC GOVERNACE

Short Title: INT'L BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the MAGA program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This is a comprehensive course in how governance of the global economy affects business and investment decisions. It is designed to provide students with an understanding of the main international economic institutions that have been developed to oversee the global economy, and how these institutions affect the international business and investment climate. Lectures and class discussions will focus on real world examples of the impact of the international trade and financial institutions (the G-8, G-20, WTO, IMF, and World Bank) on global and individual country economic environments, with particular emphasis on non-OECD countries.

GLBL 542 - INTERNATIONAL MACROECONOMIC POLICY FOR MASTER'S STUDENTS

Short Title: INTL MACROECONOMIC POLICY

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: How does exchange rate policy fit into a country's macroeconomic environment? How do international capital markets constrain policy space? Students will model the linkages between exchange rates, interest rates, capital flows, and prices. The course will emphasize emerging economies.

GLBL 543 - ENERGY POLICY

Short Title: ENERGY POLICY

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the MAGA program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Energy is credited with many contradictory properties. It is a curse that enables dictatorship and war, undermines the work ethic, and taints our environment. It is also the world's largest business and a chief ingredient of state power, stitching together disparate countries in webs of mutual dependence. Energy shapes our physical landscapes and personal habits, providing services that make us comfortable and secure, while producing waste that threatens this way of life. These are the areas where energy and politics intersect, the topics of concern to this course. Mutually Exclusive: Credit cannot be earned for GLBL 543 and GLBL 541/POST 401/POST 501.

GLBL 551 - CYBERPOLITIK: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS IN TECHNOLOGY AND INFORMATION

Short Title: CYBERPOLITIK

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: How are the evolving cases of cyber-attack and breach as well as the actions of government and corporations shaping how cyberspace is governed? What object lessons are there in security cases such as those involving WikiLeaks and the Snowden affair? This course examines the widely pervasive and enormously effective nature of cyber threats today, explaining why cyber-attacks happen, how they matter, and how they may be managed.

GLBL 552 - INTERNATIONAL SECURITY: DE-RISKING NATIONAL THREATS AND BUSINESS THREATS

Short Title: INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course seeks to define the risks and risk-mitigation strategies employed by both nation-states and multinational businesses. We will examine how businesses control their risks by following compliance laws around the world. We will also examine what a superpower is within the context of the geopolitical challenges America is facing (fracturing of national institutions/will/consensus, our potential relative decline, shifting alliances, China's rise, the European Union stagnation and diminution, and Russian aggression) as we look to answer the following question: who would even want to be a superpower.

GLBL 553 - INTERNATIONAL CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN A MULTI-RISK, INTER-CONNECTED WORLD

Short Title: INTERNATIONAL CRISIS MGMT

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Approximately 85% of the nation's critical infrastructure (water, electricity, food/agriculture, energy, finance, IT, communication, medical, transportation, chemical, etc.), and nearly all of the global banking system is owned and operated by private corporations. How do these corporations prepare for a crisis even that impacts national security, national economic issues, or public order/safety/health, and therefore requires an integrated joint partnership with the government or other organization(s) to plan for and manage the crisis incident?

GLBL 573 - NON-THESIS GRADUATE RESEARCH

Short Title: NON-THESIS GRADUATE RESEARCH

Department: Global Affairs

Grade Mode: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Course Type: Research

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the MAGA program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Individual research for graduate students in the Master of Global Affairs.

Description and Code Legend 

Note: Internally, the university uses the following descriptions, codes, and abbreviations for this academic program. The following is a quick reference: 

Course Catalog/Schedule 

  • Course offerings/subject code: GLBL

Program Description and Code

  • Global Affairs: GLBL

Graduate Degree Description and Code

  • Master of Arts in Global Affairs degree: MAGA

Graduate Degree Program Description and Code

  • Degree Program in Global Affairs: GLBL