This archive of CIAO foci provides a snapshot of issues spotlighted in past updates. These foci serve as possible paper topics for students and can be used as jumping-off points for scholarly research.
This collection represents new and innovative teaching methods for introductory and graduate-level international affairs courses: syllabi.
Course packs are ready-made selections of materials from CIAO - journal articles, book chapters, working papers and policy briefs - for learning about international affairs.
The articles and chapters are chosen to provide students with opposing views and provocative arguments for issues ranging from security issues to free trade. Each pack includes links to other textual materials, maps, and primary materials.
The War on Terrorism
The readings examine U.S. initiatives against terrorism post September 11, 2001. The position of U.S. allies is analyzed, as are potential sources of conflict and possible options for further cooperation. Alongside U.S. Administration positions, European viewpoints are expressed. Military and non-military options are considered, as are the strategies of non-military actors, terrorists, and others. With maps and other outside resources.
The Chemical Weapons Convention
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) bans the use, production, acquisition and stockpiling of chemical weapons and requires the destruction of chemical weapons by all member nations. The CWC was opened for signature in January 1993 and entered into force at the end of the signature period in April 1997. As of March 2004, 161 countries have signed, or acceded to, the Convention. The CWC is implemented by The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). At present, destruction of chemical weapons in signatory states has been delayed in some countries. Both the United States and Russia have been given extensions to complete the destruction of their stockpiles. The OPCW is stressing the need for renewed commitment for the elimination of stockpiles. Of further concern is that only 40 percent of signatory states have adhered to the CWC requirement to adopt laws aimed at reducing the proliferation of chemical weapons. Many experts consider potential terrorist acquisition of chemical agents to be a present danger.
Emerging and Re-Emerging Disease: International Public Health
This coursepack focuses on the need for international awareness and cooperative efforts to combat infectious disease, with a concentration on the AIDS epidemic. The spread of both emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera and malaria poses a serious global challenge. The globalized economy, with its ever expanding international travel and trade, has further exacerbated the spread of disease. Moreover, deteriorating public health systems in some developing countries and the re-emergence and resistance to treatment of numerous recognized diseases illustrate that infectious diseases pose a unique threat to humans worldwide.
Globalization is a framework for describing many affiliated worldwide developments. Globalization isn't simply more of the ongoing process of internationalization: it describes the increasing ease with which technologies, people, goods, services and capital move. But the term is also widely used to convey such elements as universalization and changes to sovereignty. While many embrace it, others fear it. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has suggested that opposition to globalization could have the effect of reversing progress on free trade. The International Forum on Globalization is one organization that seeks to reverse globalization. The readings in this coursepack focus on the many facets of globalization.
Human Rights and International Law
The readings in this coursepack examine the issues that have surfaced when establishing the ICC. The case of the United States case is specifically addressed with position papers for and against ratification of the treaty.
India and Pakistan
This group of papers provides background reading on one of the world's most troubled borders. With India and Pakistan both nuclear powers, and religious extremism, poverty, and now the U.S.-led efforts against terrorism, the subcontinent remains in flux. Maps and outside resources are included.
According to the most recent U.S. State Department assessments, the total number of landmines in the ground has dropped to 45 to 50 million in 60 countries, down from their initial estimate of 80 to 110 million landmines worldwide in 1999. But the actual number is less important than their impact: each year, 24,000 people are killed or injured by landmines and just a few landmines make land unusable. According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the United States has an enormous stockpile of landmines in Korea, including come 1.2 million M16 and M14 dumb mines. Afghanistan is probably the most mined country in the world, with estimates of up to 640,000 mines laid since 1979. And while newer so-called smart mines are readily available, most combatants prefer the use of dumb mines because of their low cost and ease of use. The readings in this courspack focus on landmines and their effects.
NGOs and Civil Society
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are playing an increasingly prominent role throughout the world. Conflict management, environmental concerns, women's issues, democratization, human rights and the development of civil society are just a few of the areas in which NGOs are currently working. Reaffirming the enormous role being played by NGOs, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Medecins Sans Frontieres, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and Amnesty International, among other notable organizations. Often acting where states can or will not, NGOs are regularly the first on the scene. And as NGOs proliferate and mature, academics and policy makers are now examining their successes and failures, lending a more nuanced view to the study of NGOs.
U.S.-Mexico: Sharing Trade, Borders
The readings highlight the U.S.-Mexico relationship, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its effects on the Mexican political economy. Analysts predict the future and make recommendations for Mexico's development and the U.S.-Mexico border management. Links to outside sources are provided.
U.S. Policy and Iraq
The following pieces examine contentious issues regarding Iraq. Analysts consider the effects of sanction, Iraq's arms capabilities and the possibility of a new U.S. led war with Iraq. Links to outside sources include numerous cases and reports.