Students in International Communication will build personal understanding of relevant areas of 1) communication, 2) strategic messaging, 3) international health communication, and finally, 4) international relations including its relation to cultural studies of global media. This intensive course critically engages with key areas such as: global communication, international politics, transnationalism, security, stakeholders, social movements. Students observe contemporary developments in the realm of global and transnational media. Examples include East/West relations, global online communities, global/local interactions, transnational media and media flows, role of technology, models of mass communication, cultural production of global media, hybridity, etc. Students gain an appreciation for the scale and scope of global communication across borders and how new subcultures form through surprising interfaces between peoples and nations.
This is an introductory Level III course on International Relations (IR) which is foundational for all students who want to become familiar with the theoretical and conceptual language of IR as a subset of political science. The course will begin by teaching students the basic theories, concepts, methods, and principles used in the field as well as with the formation, evolution, and extension of the modern nation-state system and its challenges by discussing concepts such as sovereignty, free-trade, and civilization, including themes such as pre-emptive war, Global War on Terror, and Liberal (humanitarian) Interventionism. To do so, students will familiarize themselves with conceptual frameworks necessary to critically evaluate events (i.e., Arab uprising) by attempting to explain their effects – especially in the Arab World – through three facets: 1) International Security (IS), 2) International Political Economy (IPE), and 3) International Law (IL). To do so, following week 4, students will be introduced to a thematic exploration of major topics of international relations by moving beyond “Mainstream” approaches thereby familiarizing themselves with how a “Critical/Alternative” approach seeking to deconstruct and reveal the limit of mainstream (realist) communicated narratives in channeling justice. These include topics relating to Terrorism, Pre-Emptive War Strategy, National Security Doctrine, Internal and External Displacement, Private Military Contractors, Humanitarian Intervention, and Democratization.
International Journalism focuses on the origins, development, export and modern Western journalistic practice. Beginning with the origins of the field in the age of mercantilism, this course traces the rise of newspapers in the 19th and 20thcenturies and the rise of what Jurgen Habermas called the “public sphere.” As such, important parallels are drawn with the functioning of contemporary democracies and the export of the Western “free press” model of journalism. The course incorporates consideration of comparative media systems, including Western (“free” or “public service”), developing, revolutionary and authoritarian (formerly, Soviet), and the impact of current events such as political turmoil, climate change, COVID-19, etc., on the Western and developing models. Students in the course will gain expanded knowledge of the history and origins of journalism and will refine skills that allow them to meaningfully critique journalism and compare and contrast among existing media systems. Students should also gain exposure to work of professionals in the field, e.g., celebrated journalists, international correspondents, etc. Students should gain an opportunity to better understand the profession of international reporting and read some classic examples of journalism by international reporters, while being inspired to produce their own work.
This course introduces students to Critical Media Studies (CMS) by utilizing Critical Security Studies (CSS) thereby further analyzing the links between communication, political sociology, and government. Traditionally, mainstream security studies structuring International Relations (IR) literature focuses on state security and the state as the main referent object thereby reifying a (neo)-realist and/or (neo)-liberal lenses to communicate and frame political issues informing world events. This course is divided into 3 parts. The first part will introduce students to the evolution of media in the Arab world. The second section will introduce students to a variety of critical approaches and/or frameworks to further deconstruct the effects and relations linking media, politics, and government. These include Critical Theory, Discourse Analysis, Postcolonialism, Post-Structuralism, and Securitization Theory. The themes this course will analyze and debate using the aforementioned approaches include: the Environment, Gender, Modernity, Civilization, Migration, Border Security, and finally, Terrorism. In short, our goal is to use a CMS and CSS approach to broaden our intellectual horizon thereby interpreting, communicating, and explaining contemporary issues by navigating inter-disciplinary approaches accenting politics, media, and government.
Media and conflict course is an important course that allow the students to develop an understanding of how media deals with the critical issues like war, security, and conflicts in national and international contexts. The course will provide a cross-disciplinary approach considering both cultural and political dimensions relating to media responses. The course will focus on some several thematic issues like a) public diplomacy and soft power, b) the role of new media in perceptions of conflict, circulation, and reception of imagery of conflict, and finally, c) the effects of news reporting on government policy and NGO activity.
This Level 4 course seeks to extend students with a multi-disciplinary and critical understanding of the complex ways in which peoples conduct politics in the Arab and non-Arab world. It addresses the questions of Why, what, and how to study and compare different political and economic systems. From a Comparative Political perspective going beyond a problem-solving approach in tandem with the use of a critical political sociology approach, the course examines the historical, economic, social, and cultural factors that have shaped politics across the East (i.e., Orient) and the West (i.e., Occident) during the 20th and 21st century. It aims to make students cognizant of historically contingent concepts and/or theoretical frameworks, such as the Nation-State and the Ummah, Modernization theories and the Dependency School, Religion and Secularism, and finally, Globalization and Social Movements, thereby equipping students with conceptual tools helping them compare different societies and explain their failure and/or success in developing political-economic system. Themes this course will navigate include gender and politics, social movements, and the Arab uprising, “civil society” and globalization, and finally, the global political economy, are examined in order to illustrate the changing and differing nature of politics in the Arab and non-Arab world in recent years.
What does it mean to think, and act, ethically and morally in the world? What is the relationship between ethics, politics, and power? The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the necessary theoretical, philosophical, and historical perspectives allowing them to think critically about theories and issues related to relation between ethics and politics. International ethics is a rapidly expanding field within the discipline of International Relations because of the clear moral and unethical posture of many recent global problems occurring, and concepts accenting, the 20th and 21st century. In relation to events these include exponential poverty and inequality, climate change, universalizing/globalizing a particular philosophical worldview, internal/external displacement, and pre-emptive war(s). In relation to concepts these include the nation-state and ummah, religion and secularism, reason and revelation, free-trade and fair-trade, human and citizen. This course will examine mainstream International Relations theoretical perspectives (i.e., neo-realism and neo-liberalism) and will then move on to discuss the incorporation of different/critical theoretical perspectives. These approaches are necessary to examine ethical issues, including the ethics of war and the global war on terror, the political economy, the recent refugee crisis, and humanitarian interventions. By the conclusion of the course students should have familiarized themselves with the limit of mainstream approaches to IR and use critical approaches aiding them to analyze issues thereby making global political relations more ethical.
With our planet’s population now more urban than rural, a visible pyroxene, more than 30 years of above average global surface temperatures, changing geopolitical relationships that shape migration, military engagement, and markets, the world is in constant turmoil. But beyond the fact of flux – which is a natural human phenomenon – what are the politics of these ecological and social challenges? Some transformations generate environmental and social harm, while others promote a shift to greater equity and sustainability. In light of these sociological tensions, this course on sustainable environmental politics takes as its focus the politics of reconstruction and transformation. Our main framing question is the following: how and with what consequences are humans transforming our planet? As a Level 4 course, the students will be exposed to multiple perspectives to answer this question. Throughout this course, with an international relations lens, we will investigate the nature of – and responses to – global environmental challenges and changes, considering a critical approach to questions and assumptions examining a number of key areas such as global environmental politics, including transnational governance, political economy, and environmental justice.
This Level 4 course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of the relation between cultural diplomacy (i.e., soft power or smart power) and International Relations. A foreign policy and its transcultural relations can succeed or fail depending on the cultural traits embodying and communicated between two or more countries. Cultural diplomacy – as an (re)emerging type of public diplomacy – is one of the main instruments of political power and in many contexts is more effective than the application of coercion and declaration of war by a state. In fact, many of the global issues facing the world today are incapable of a military solution, thereby lending themselves instead to (cultural) diplomacy to address. This course delves into the history of diplomacy and the role of “culture” in mitigating or faltering diplomatic relations by providing students with a “cultural understanding” of the institution of diplomacy and how it has evolved in the 20th and 21st century. The multiple diplomatic vehicles navigated throughout this course emphasizing the practice of cultural diplomacy include: Gastronomy, Sports, Artistic Sites (i.e., museums, movies, festivals), and Educational Exchange Programs. While a realist approach to international relations considers diplomacy – therefore culture – as trivial since it is interests rather than principles that inform such worldview, this course seeks to emphasize why and how an international relations based on civilizational homogeneity rather than cultural heterogeneity complicates cooperation between different cultural backgrounds. Since the course is divided into 3 sections, by the end of the course, students will be able to understand the conceptual foundations of cultural diplomacy as a field as well as to analyze a variety of past and current examples of successes and failures in diplomacy such as the lack of inter-religious dialogue or the lack of dialogue that exists between certain cultures and societies of the world.
Media and Mass Communication students are required to complete a one-hour course in preparation for the Capstone Graduation Project in International Relations. Students must understand the dimensions of the Capstone Graduation Project in which they will develop proficiency in the core knowledge of their specialization. Students will be introduced to the expectations of a Capstone project in International Relations, as well as a gentle introduction to fundamental theories and philosophy surrounding research. Students gain an opportunity to also refine their verbal skills through debate and reflection on key concepts. The Capstone Seminar is intended to introduce students to the concepts of field-based contextual analyses. The Capstone Seminar will prepare students to undertake the Capstone project which is vital to attaining the AUE degree. The seminar will also include reflections on special topics, e.g., digital media, technology, research methodologies, globalization, intercultural communication, and others that specifically impinge on the field of IR and its future.
Media and Mass Communication students are required to complete a three-credit hour course on the Capstone Graduation Project. To be graduated, students are requested to demonstrate that they have developed capability and proficiency in the core knowledge of their specialization and can show capability in learning aptitudes in the four specializations. It will be a challenging and thorough adventure however the reward for undertaking a significant experience are enormous and will without a doubt give AUE graduates a capable begin in vocation they may pick. Moreover, English dialect and innovation capability should likewise be illustrated. The Capstone Graduation Projects ought to be as field-based. The Capstone Graduation Project is intended to give students a helpful working comprehension of the requirements and desires expected to move on from AUE.