Students in class​​​​

Students may be granted an exemption from specific courses based on prior study. To receive an exemption, you must present the syllabus of the relevant course you completed and also your transcript in which your grade in the course appears. Credit units are not earned for an exempted course. Students are required to take other courses to make up the credits required for fulfilling the degree requirements. For this purpose you may register to an additional seminar in which a short paper will be submitted (rather than a seminar paper).

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War, Strategy and Military Doctrines - Prof. Azar Gat

Prof. Azar Gat

The course examines the question of why war occurs and its changing prevalence and form in the modern world and into the 21st century. We study doctrines of nuclear, naval, mechanized and air warfare and the challenges of guerrilla and terror. 


The International System - Professor Uriel Abulof

How has the international system emerged and evolved? What can theories tell us about the motivations of peoples in pursuing war and peace? What are the roles of philosophy, ethics, and religion in global politics? How does economic and technological globalization affect decision-making and diplomacy? Is the nation-state waning? What role do domestic policies play in setting foreign policy? These are the key questions we will try to answer in this course, which aims to shed light on the literature and state-of-the-art research, to develop critical thinking and writing, and to foster a deeper understanding of contemporary issues in global politics. 



Modern Diplomacy – Dr. Yoav Tenembaum

The course dwells on the conceptual, theoretical, and practical dimensions of Modern Diplomacy, concentrating on various aspects of Modern Diplomacy, from its historical evolution to its role in international conflicts and international crises. In the course, we discuss the interchange between the media and diplomacy, as well as the role of the diplomat in shaping foreign policy. In addition, the function of international organizations, such as the United Nations, in delineating a new form of diplomacy will be assessed in its historical and contemporary aspects.



Political Economy in the Global Age – Professor Tal Sadeh

Dr. Tal Sadeh

Three major paradigms are known in the study of International political economy: Liberalism, Mercantilism and Marxism. This course examines the historical development of the international political economic system, the role of multinational corporations in it, and the politics of finance and trade, all from the different perspectives of each of the above paradigms. The course also emphasizes the respective roles of domestic politics and international politics in shaping the world economy. The discussion focuses on, but is not limited to post- WW2 system.



International Law and the Middle East Conflict - Prof. Robbie Sabel

Prof. Robbie Sabel

The course is intended to provide students with the background to the role that international law plays in both formulating foreign policy in the Middle East and in the attempts to solve the conflict. The course deals with basic relevant elements of international law including: The sources of international law; the role of States in international law; acquisition of territory, recognition of States, the law of the United Nations; the laws of war; the laws of belligerent occupation; human rights law; the rights of refugees; the law of the sea. The course will also study the elements of international law that are reflected in select documents associated with the conflict between Israel and its neighbours. Among the documents to be studied: The 1917 Balfour Declaration; The 1922 League of Nations British Mandate; The 1949 Armistice Agreements; Relevant UN General Assembly and UN Security Council Resolutions; The Camp David Agreements with Egypt; The Peace Agreement with Egypt and Jordan; The Oslo Agreements, The Arab League Peace Initiative; the "Roadmap".



The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict – Professor Uriya Shavit

The course will provide an introduction to the modern history of the Middle East and to the evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict from its origins in the late 19th and early 20th centuries until the present. It will explore Islam as a religion and a civilization; the collapse of the Othman Empire and the creation of modern Middle Eastern nation states; the main ideologies that shaped Arab societies throughout the 20th century; the origins of Zionism; the rise of Arab opposition to the Zionist enterprise in Palestine; the outbreak of the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948 and the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem; the Six Day War, Yum Kippur War and their implications; the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty; the ascendance of the Palestinian National Movement, the first Intifada and the rise and fall of the Oslo Accords; and the ideology and practice of Hamas.



Workshop: Middle East Crisis Simulation – Dr. Jeppe Plenge Trautner

Dr. Jeppe Plenge Trautner

The course engages students in a discussion of the analytical strength and practical applicability of current International Relations and Strategic Studies theories and concepts. It combines what the students learnt during the Security and Diplomacy programme with negotiations techniques to prepare them for a role-playing simulation centered on international responses to a fictitious crisis brought about by the Iranian nuclear ambition. The first part of the course discusses a constructivist interpretations of international relations (both the subject and the academic discipline), and invites students to consider their own pre-conceptions of war and armed conflict. During the second part of the course students prepare for the simulation, simulate the crisis, and analyse the simulation processes and outcome.


Research Methods – Professor Udi Sommer

The academic writing workshop will provide students with the basic tools to writing good research projects in political science. We will discuss the formulation of a research question, learn how to locate and review pertinent scholarship (online and in the library), consider issues of reliability and validity, learn how to choose independent and dependent variables, discuss the formulation of a model and a set of hypothesis, and examine how to conduct the analysis and draw conclusions. After the workshop, students should be in a position to complete interesting, effective, engaging and professional research projects on questions of security and diplomacy.


Workshop: Security Field Trips and Ambassador Forum

The workshop consists of full day security field trips to Israel's various borders and military air force and naval installations. The tours are  guided by a retired colonel in the Israeli army. Meetings with senior military and diplomatic correspondents. The workshop also includes a visit to Israel’s foreign ministry and  meetings with ambassadors to Israel, moderated by the advisor to Israel's National Security Council. 

MA Comprehensive Exam

The exam is the culmination of the student’s coursework throughout the academic year and counts as 10% of the MA final grade. Questions in the exam will require the implementing of knowledge gained in all mandatory courses. Passing the exam is required for the awarding of the MA degree for students pursuing the non-thesis option. Students who write a thesis in the program are not required to take the final exam. 

Israel's Strategic Doctrine - Major General Giora Eiland

Israel's survival in a highly hostile and volatile region constitutes a unique chapter in the history of strategic responses to national security challenges. What was the role played in this survival by a coherent defense doctrine? And what does this teach us about defense doctrines in general? Using historical and hermeneutical approaches, the course proceeds from an examination of Israel's predicament to an analysis of the remarkable vision and foresight of Israel's first prime minister and defense minister David Ben Gurion. The conceptual framework he devised – which culminated in the sweeping success of the Six Day War – will be studied against the background of Cold War realities. We shall then examine the current challenges to Israel's vintage 1953 strategic doctrine, which call for dramatic adjustments to a very different world. 


International Negotiations: Strategies and Tactics - Dr. Hilla Dotan

Negotiations take place every day in a wide variety of contexts; between politicians, diplomats, country representatives, business partners, roommates, landlords, parents, bosses, spouses, and even friends. We negotiate our salaries, whether we will exchange prisoners of war, allow asylum seekers, where to go to dinner, and even who will take the garbage out. Although negotiations are an inseparable part of our everyday lives, many of us know very little about our own behaviors in negotiations, the best strategies, and what makes an effective negotiation. Why did we succeed in a specific deal or with a specific country and not another? How come we can’t achieve the same outcome in a different context? Why do some people always get the best deals while others do not?

Negotiation is the art and science of getting what you want from the other side through back –and- fourth communication. It is the art of securing agreements between two or more individuals who are both attempting to maximize their own individual, organizational and/or country’s outcomes.

This course provides an exposure to advanced analytical tools, frameworks, a series of simulations and debriefings with the purpose of providing class participants the opportunity to identify, analyze and develop their negotiation abilities in our complex global world. The basic premise of the course is that negotiation skills are best learned through practice grounded in deep analysis and self-reflection. Although theoretical concepts and principles will be presented in class lectures and in readings, the course will focus primarily on improving practical skills in dyadic and group situations through a series of in-class simulations. Each simulation has been carefully chosen to address a diverse set of negotiation problems that are faced by diplomats, officials, ambassadors and country representatives in various private or public organizational settings. The simulations aim to build on each other and raise issues that complement diagnostic and technical skills taught in other courses in the program. A key focus is not only teaching participants a diverse set of skills, but learning to select the most effective strategy and how to apply the learned skills in a given situation/context.

American Foreign Policy from the End of the Cold War to Biden - Dr. Yoav Fromer

The end of the Cold War was a watershed moment in America’s relationship with the world that was conceived by many Americans as a historical validation of their way of life destined to usher in a “new world order” of American leadership. Instead, the past three decades since have painfully punctured that spirit of national self-confidence and witnessed the unraveling of those great expectations by various geopolitical, security, economic, environmental and diplomatic challenges. This course will review them alongside their subsequent policy responses through in-depth case studies (among them: humanitarian interventions of the 1990s, the September 11 attacks, the Bush Doctrine and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, ISIS and Obama’s foreign policy, the rise of China, decline of the EU and the return of Russia, as well as the global financial crisis, NAFTA and globalization), in order to critically reconsider America’s role in the world today and understand how it was shaped. Among the key questions that will be raised: what have been the guiding principles behind America’s post-Cold War foreign policy? Has it succeeded in achieving them? Does America have global responsibilities and commitments – if so, are there limits to its exercise of power in their pursuit, is America in decline? 

National Cyber-Security Policy: Local and International Concerns, Dilemmas, Solutions - Dr. Amit Sheniak

Our daily lives become increasingly dependent on information technologies, computer mediated communication and Internet connectivity. Correspondingly, the last decade has revealed the multifaceted threat that this dependency entails and has been marked by a shift in public and national perception of cyber-security related issues.

This seminar emphasizes both the similarity and novelty of cyber-security issues in relation to international relations, security studies and policy formation. It exposes the student to today’s main national cyber-security trends, focusing on dilemmas, norms, policy initiatives and emerging doctrines. Examining various national and international cases, the seminar encourages the students to develop their own ideas in regards to issues such as: cyber-deterrence, the offense-defense balance, attribution abilities, public-privet cooperation, security-economic ecosystems, data assurance, “fake news” and more. 

Intelligence in Today's World Brigadier General (Ret.) Itai Brun 

Intelligence organizations dealing with the Middle East have been challenged, over the last several years, by a complex and rapidly changing environment, which in the opinion of many, can only be defined as unprecedented. The seminar "Intelligence - Challenges in an Era of Dramatic Changes" focuses on the essence of intelligence, its part in the decision-making process and the way it copes with the changes in the strategic and operational environment. The seminar will deal with existing definitions for intelligence, the different approaches to intelligence, the relations of intelligence with decision makers, the phenomena of surprise, the analysis methodology, and the role of intelligence in war (and in other types of conflict). In addition, the seminar will examine the implications of the information revolution and the development of the cyber dimension on intelligence.

China's Foreign Policy Dr. Gedaliah Afterman

This course will provide the students with knowledge on China's foreign and security policy, its origin, historical background, principles, political content and decision-making process. The main themes include China’s foreign and security policy changes and transition since the beginning of the Reform Era in the late 1970's, major figures and institutions, China's core national interests and their impact on foreign policy and security policy in bilateral and multilateral spheres.

International Security Dr. Jori Breslawski

This course offers an introduction to a range of traditional and contemporary international security theories. We will immerse ourselves in the academic literature on these topics and work towards being able to contribute to both academic and policy debates about international security. After completing the course, students will be conversant in the most important theories in international security, and many contemporary topics occupying the agendas of policy makers, including nuclear proliferation, political leaders, and peacekeeping.


Why are some countries rich and others poor? Why is the combination of democracy, freedom, and prosperity infrequent? Why do many countries seem caught in poverty and violence traps? We will survey major theories of economic and political development in political science and economics and also engage with the empirical literature, including novel experimental approaches. We will critically discuss the role of institutional, geographic, and cultural factors in development, and discuss specific topics. We will also venture outside mainstream social science and cover anthropological perspectives. The temporal and geographic scope of the class is broad, but we will oversample materials and cases from sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The course should be of interest for those seeking to adopt a social-scientific perspective to the problems of development, as well as to those interested in working as practitioners. Students should be familiar with basic statistics and game theory.

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