Fall 2016 Offerings

IAFF 6141 International Science and Technology Policy Cornerstone Seminar

Professor Nicholas S. Vonortas

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the policy issues related to the support, use, management, and regulation of science and technology. It addresses U.S. domestic as well as international issues, is concerned with governmental policies as well as non-governmental, and it is focused on both the economics and politics of science and technology issues. In today's world, scientific discoveries and technological innovations influence almost every aspect of human existence. The effects of many of these innovations innovations influence almost every aspect of human existence. Many changes induced by these innovations have been extremely positive, bringing advances in health, communications, material wealth, and quality of life. At the same time, science and technology have helped create apparently intractable problems, including new risks to human health, pollution of the natural environment, and the existence of weapons capable of mass destruction. Given all these impacts, making effective and fair decisions regarding technologically complex issues is one of the most challenging tasks of modern governance. Especially demanding is policy-making for international economic competition, which is increasingly defined in terms of technological competence. The diffusion of centers of technological excellence around the world and the progressive convergence of local markets in terms of consumer tastes and preferences have obliged economic agents to adopt a global outlook; not only do firms compete internationally but they also depend upon each other's technological, financial, and marking strengths to stay afloat. In this course we examine a number of important characteristics of the new international environment that are directly related to the technological competence of firms and of nations as well.

Public syllabus can be found here 

IAFF 6145.10 U.S. Space Policy

Professor Scott Pace

This course is an examination of the origins, evolution, current status, and future prospects of U.S. space policies and programs. It will cover the U.S. government's civilian, military, and national security space programs and the space activities of the U.S. private sector, and the interactions among these four sectors of U.S. space activity. This examination will be cast in the context of the space activities of other countries, and of international cooperation and competition in space. The goal of the course is to give the student an exposure to the policy debates and decisions that have shaped U.S. efforts in space to date, and to the policy issues that must be addressed in order to determine the future goals, content, pace, and organization of U.S. space activities, both public and private.

Pubic Syllabus can be found here 

IAFF 6148.10  Space and National Security

Professor Peter Hays

Recent military operations in Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq indicate space capabilities have become a foundational enabler of most U.S. military actions and an increasingly important component of U.S. national security.  Worldwide, there is growing recognition and focus on the broad and ubiquitous contributions space capabilities make to global prosperity and security.  The 2001 Space Commission Report found that because U.S. military and economic security has become so dependent on space capabilities, the nation could face a “space Pearl Harbor.”  The U.S. National Space Policy from October 2006 stated: “In this new century, those who effectively utilize space will enjoy added prosperity and security and will hold a substantial advantage over those who do not.  Freedom of action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power.”  And the current National Space Policy released in June 2010 indicates: “Space systems allow people and governments around the world to see with clarity, communicate with certainty, navigate with accuracy, and operate with assurance.”

This course will look at various events and developments around the world that have influenced the ways that U.S must reassess its actions relating to employment of space capabilities and improvements of mission assurance in a complex and fragile environment. Students will also look at new space security strategy approaches including strengthening deterrence, developing and deploying robust offensive and defensive counter space capabilities, leveraging state-of-the-world commercial and international capabilities, rebalancing multi-domain options and modernization priorities, and developing and deploying space architectures with improved resilience, defensive operations, and reconstitution capabilities. Finally, this course will foster a dialogue concerned with current international tensions and consequently the need and related consequences of employing space control capabilities. This course examines these and other issues associated with U.S. strategy, policy, management, and organization for the national security uses of space.

Public Syllabus can be found here 

IAFF 6158.11 Science, Technology and Policy Analysis

Professor Allison Macfarlane

Many of the most important and salient policy decisions taken by governments are those that involve science or technology.  Climate change, dangers posed by environmental hazards such as DDT and dioxin, the debate over immunization against diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella, the decisions involving nuclear weapons are policy issues that involve science and technology to a great degree.  How policymakers use science to make decisions, how policy affects science and technology, how risk and uncertainty are accounted for (or not) in decision-making, whether policy decisions involving science and technology should be democratized, and how the public impacts science policy decisions are all topics that will be covered in this course.  Science and Technology Policy Analysis will provide a grounding in the field of science and technology policy and will be underpinned by the sociology of science and technology.  The course will take an international perspective on issues and provide opportunities for comparative analysis.   A technical background is not required but will enhance one’s understanding.

Public Syllabus can be found here 

IAFF 6158.12 Cybersecurity

Mark Duke

Cyberspace represents an entirely new domain of human activity.  Just as it creates new opportunities for society and the economy, it also poses new challenges, particularly for U.S. national security.  This course places the rise of cyberspace in a geo-strategic context and seeks to equip students with intellectual tools useful in assessing contemporary debates.  It introduces basic technological concepts, assesses their impact on state sovereignty, examines the nature of vulnerabilities, threats and operations enabled by cyberspace and how they relate to warfare, considers cyberspace’s broad impact on international relations, reviews a history of U.S. policymaking, and considers contemporary debates about cyberspace’s future in American power.  It is discussion oriented, stresses the connections among trends and developments in different areas, and relates contemporary issues to broader analyses.

IAFF 6158.13  Renewable Energy in a Decarbonizing World

Nina Kelsey

This course investigates the politics and policy of renewable energy in the context of global climate change. Development of renewable energy is a critical tool in the effort to reduce carbon in the global economy. In this course, students will examine theory and practice of renewable energy policy and policymaking both in the context of international policymaking and comparatively at the national level for key states and regions like the US, China, and the EU. Students will also look at the broader context and implications for renewable energy policy in areas such as global energy systems, international trade, intellectual property, and development and distributional impacts.

Public Syllabus can be found here 

IAFF 6118 Applied Qualitative Methods 

This course introduces students to the main methods of qualitative research: interviewing, taking oral histories, running focus groups, doing surveys and participant observation. Student will be able to discuss the ethics of qualitative research, looking at some studies that have been criticized as unethical. Students will also spend part of the semester conducting their own research projects, which they will present to the class. Finally, this course will allow students to learn about qualitative research through "how-to" readings, reflective articles by practitioners, guest presentations, and through practicing the techniques read about. 

Other courses offered by CISTP faculty

ECON 6255.10  Economics of Technological Change and Innovation 

This course provides an overview of important issues related to technological change that have attracted the attention of economists up to the present time. Among all social sciences, economics may be argued to have taken the longest and broadest interest in technological advancement and innovation. The specific assumptions and methodolo­gies of mainstream economic analysis have, however, been vigorously criticized more recently for failing to deal with the sources of technological advance. Criticism has basically coalesced on two fronts. First, it is argued that mainstream economics has not paid adequate attention to the institutional setup supporting innovation and economic growth. Second, it is argued that an overly mechanistic approach has failed to take into account the evolutionary processes involved in scientific and technological advancement. This course attempts to provide a balanced view, taking into account both mainstream and neo-institutional/evolutionary approaches as well as expanding to the appraisal of the sources of new technolo­gy.

Spring 2017 Courses coming soon...Students can start registering for Spring 2017 courses on NOVEMBER 2nd.

Previous Courses

Spring 2016 Courses

IAFF 6142 Technology Creation/Diffusion

Nicholas Vonortas 

The purpose of this course is to examine the factors that underlie the creation of new technologies and  their diffusion throughout the economy. The discussion will cover issues of interest to new technology pro‐ ducers and/or users in the private business sector, universities and government. Although the main focus will be the prevailing environment in developed market economies, developing countries will be dealt with to some extent. We will examine in some depth important recent global developments in technology crea‐ tion and dissemination and their historical overlaps. And, of course, we will address the implications for policy.

IAFF 6146 Space Law

Henry Hertzfeld 

Space activities, by the nature of their unique characteristics, operate in an international and global environ‐ ment. Nearly 50 years have elapsed since beginning of human activity in space. A body of law has evolved that deals with space activity. The foundations of these international legal principles are found in five treaties developed within the framework of the United Nations during the late 1960s. They reflect the governmental nature of space programs of that era. Many nations participating in space activities also have domestic laws that regulate and administer the activities of their citizens who now participate in the growing commercial environment of space.
This course will review the underlying principles of international space law. The emphasis will be on issues that will be of concern in the future as space activity moves into the commercial world. However, many technologies and uses of space may encounter conflicts between civil and defense concerns. Such legal is‐ sues include liability for accidents, registration of space objects, non‐proliferation, and transparency. The course will also review domestic (primarily U.S.) space law and the many regulatory agencies that are involved in licensing and approving commercial space activities.
Finally, looking a bit further into the future, there are numerous legal uncertainties that must be resolved to lower investment risks if private space activities are to be funded, built, and operated. These issues include: the relationship between air law and space law, space traffic control, environmental concerns, licensing and financial responsibility, and international over‐flight and landing considerations
IAFF 6153 Science, Technology, and National Security

Peter Hays 

A broad, complex, and multidimensional set of factors contribute to the ability of states to use science and technology to advance their national security. This course examines how effectively states, and the United States in particular, develop policies designed to translate science and technology into strategic advantage.

In addition, it addresses innovation, changing global security dynamics, revolutions in military affairs, and the effect of globalization and international economic integration on defense industries. The course also includes discussion of technology transfer, export controls, and the evolution of defense industries and mili‐ tary power.
Syllabus can be found here 
IAFF 6158 Issues in Space Policy


Scott Pace 

IAFF 6158 Energy Policy

Allison Macfarlane

IAFF 6158 Cybersecurity

Rhea Siers

IAFF 6159  ISTP Capstone

David Grier

A seminar designed to synthesize the skills and knowledge that students have acquired in their graduate study. Open only to M.A. candidates in science and technology policy.

Summer 2016 Courses

IAFF 6158.11 International  Sustainable Energy Development 

Jason Morris 

Sustainable energy development efforts have expanded rapidly around the world over the past two decades. Regions, nation-states, financial institutions, NGOs, cities and communities across the globe, motivated by challenges such as energy poverty, energy security and climate change, have begun to lay the groundwork for a lower carbon energy future to be built around renewable energy technologies and more energy efficient practices. This course will explore these efforts through three overlapping frames: the deployment of renewable energy technologies, the political, economic and governance structures which inform and constrain such deployments and the social impacts of such deployments. A guiding thesis will be that the barriers to more comprehensive and equitable sustainable energy development are primarily social, political and economic rather than technological