New York City - Extended Study Trip - Off-Campus Study Skip Navigation

Extended Study to New York City

POSC 383: National Security

On-campus class followed by a three-week trip to New York City

Director: Professor Fred Chernoff, International Relations Program
On-campus course: Spring 2012
Tentative travel dates: May 10 - May 31, 2012
Course credit: On-campus component is 1 credit; NYC component is .5 credits

The purpose of the extended study in New York City is to enhance students' understanding and knowledge of 1) national security issues; 2) strategic concepts that underpin notions of 'security'; 3) role and perspective of various institutions, international organizations, and interest groups; and 4) the national policy-making process.

The extended study course is tied to the on-campus course 'National Security' (POSC 353). The on-campus course has three components. The first half of the course is a history of strategic theory from Sun-Tzu and Machiavelli, through the Napoleonic period (studying Clausewitz), to the end of the 19 c. (Mahan and Mackinder), and concluding with the employment of strategic concepts in WW II. The second brief section deals with the superpowers during the Cold War. The third segment, roughly five weeks, considers contemporary issues of conflict and strategy.

The last part of the course focuses on three issues: Arab-Israeli conflict, India-Pakistan, the war in Iraq and the UN's role in peacekeeping. These issues will occupy the last five weeks of the term.

The extended study allows students to meet with representatives of many countries and hear those countries' perspectives on important issues and gives students a chance to pose questions to government officials. Instead of hearing their instructor answer questions about the perspectives of India or Serbia, they have the chance to interact personally with representatives of those governments.

Content and Format

The extended study will, as noted, deal with three issues: Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war and invasion, insurgency and pacification in Iraq and Indo-Pakistani conflict over Kashmir. These are the policy issues that the on-campus course will have covered. The group will meet with representatives of about a dozen governments, have approximately three outside lecture by scholars at universities in New York City, and two one-day trips. One trip will go to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where we will be hosted by a panel of faculty there, and the other is to the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., where we will spend the day with the “Current Affairs Panel” composed of lieutenant colonel and colonels (or equivalent) from all four services. In New York City, there will be a tour of the U.N. and a visit to the museum on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid in New York Harbor.

Students should be well prepared for very informed discussions of these issues, as each student will be doing in-class group presentations of at least two of them while on campus and in New York several students will be assigned the task of writing up questions for each of the speakers.

The material and content of the extended study should enhance the understanding of topics covered in several other Colgate courses, particularly Contemporary American Foreign Policy (POSC 366), Post-Cold War International Relations (POSC 370), and/or U.S. Foreign Policy 1917-present (HIST 316).

Course Credit

The course in New York will be one-half credit. (The on-campus component will be a full one-credit course; the New York component will be one-half credit.)


The group will depart on the Saturday immediately after final exams end and will continue for three weeks. It will run from Saturday, May 10 through Saturday, May 31. The Monday after commencement will be a free day, since students may be traveling back from campus that day.