Fall 2020


, 3 pts, GU4813


The goal of the instructors of this course is to use the online format to students’ advantage by enlisting a team of top international relations scholars from universities around the USA to lecture on what they know best. Students will hear from, and have the opportunity to engage, a range of both prominent and up-and-coming scholars on cutting-edge topics.

The overarching theme will be international conflict. Within that theme, we will explore a diverse array of topics, including: global governance and the US-China conflict, deception and secrecy, the origins of coups, the effectiveness of peacekeeping, the role of women in violent conflict, the role of leaders in conflict, how artificial intelligence and robotics will influence international politics, and norms of civilian protection during warfare, among others.

While faculty members can often give lectures on a wide range of subjects, there are typically one or two things that they know really, really well—possibly better than anyone else on Earth. Our goal is to have an entire class in which those people talk about the things they know best. We thus hope to turn the “lemons” of the need for online classes due to the covid-19 pandemic into “lemonade” by enabling students to learn directly from the foremost experts on each week’s topic.

While students will hear lectures from and have access to discussion sections with faculty at fourteen different institutions, Professor Fortna will be responsible for the course throughout the semester for all Columbia students enrolled in the class.

Section Number
Call Number
Virginia Page Fortna