Task Force, Winter 2007


SIS 495A         Warren             Economic Development Policy for Washington State

This task force will focus on engaging with and elaborating Governor Gregoire's development strategy titled 'The Next Washington.' Her strategy is based on six assumptions: 1) Washington performs on a global economic stage, 2) government should build infrastructure for the private sector, 3) sometimes government's primary role is to step aside, 4) government should invest directly in some sectors, 5) jobs and the environment are not in a zero-sum relationship and 6) education is the single most important economic investment we can make. We will evaluate these assumptions, perhaps make recommendations for changes to them and identify pragmatic, politically feasible means for realizing this ambitious development strategy.


SIS 495B         Ellison              Current Issues in U.S.-Russian Relations

This TF will get an overview of world regions and problems on which U.S.-Russian relations currently are focused and will provide an opportunity to study a major question as your writing project. You also will learn a great deal about other aspects of current U.S.-Russian relations from reading and participating in discussion of other students’ papers. A useful method of preparation for the TF is to examine the Report from Prof. Ellison’s 2006 Task Force; it can be seen in the JSIS Student Services Office.


SIS 495C         Hamilton           Lessons Learned from China’s Extraordinary Industrialization:
                                                New Wash. Consensus on Promoting Global Econ Development

We are a task force commissioned by the World Bank to assess how China’s economic development should inform World Bank policy on promoting economic development.  The report is designed to give background information and to provide recommendation for future policies. The goal of the course is to develop a report that is broad enough for everyone to write a chapter incorporating original research, and yet focused enough to allow for the development of a narrative centered on core themes.  The report should not get tangled up in minutiae about China, although one or more chapters should spell out the details of development in China.  Rather, the report should provide a broad historical understanding of global economic development and international trade, a concrete understanding of current conditions, and a clear set of policy options that flow from the previous analysis.


SIS 495D         Robinson          Relief to Reconstruction: International Policy after Kashmir quake

This Task Force is charged to review the current state of knowledge, debate, and policy-making on humanitarian relief provision in complex emergencies. Its report should provide a broad overview of contemporary responses to complex emergencies and conduct a specific analysis of the emergent trends in South Asia (Pakistan and Kashmir) after the 2005 earthquake. Specifically, the report should provide recommendations on questions about international humanitarian aid implementation such as: Should humanitarian agencies ever work with or through national militaries? What are the best material forms of relief and rehabilitation aid in complex humanitarian emergencies? Should aid agencies work primarily through governmental institutions or civil society organizations? How should aid agencies select local partners for service delivery? Should international aid organizations undertake to direct or coordinate civil society philanthropic activity? Should aid interventions seek to implement development goals or policies?  By examining such questions, Task Force members will develop recommendations regarding ways national governments and international agencies can best work together to provide relief during complex emergencies. The TF will present its report to an international humanitarian aid agency.


SIS 495E         Montgomery     Climate Change:  Realities, Issues, and U.S. Policy

Controversy continues to surround the topic, yet the scientific consensus is now very strong that humans are significantly responsible for determining the direction and extent of change in the Earth’s climate. Due to the nature of this influence—tied directly to energy use, agricultural practices, and other socially penetrative realities—and the implications of what must be done to mitigate it, the subject is a highly politicized one. Debate over global warming is immediately linked to debate over energy (and therefore national) security, foreign policy, economic growth, life style, and, in much of the industrializing world, development itself. This Task Force will examine the current state of knowledge, debate, and policy-making relevant to climate change and will try to determine the best course for the U.S. Among the questions to be addressed:  What is the basic evidence for global warming and what changes are predicted to occur, with what effects in advanced and developing nations? What forms of mitigation are being proposed, with what economic and social consequences? How are different governments and industries responding, and in what ways? Are there any prospects for an improved global agreement? How has the issue been represented to the American public, and to what effect? By examining such questions, Task Force members will develop a realistic understanding of climate change, as both a physical and a socio-political phenomenon, and develop recommendations for future U.S. policy.


SIS 495F         Soverel             US National Security Strategy – War on Terror

This Task Force is responsible for determining U.S. interests in the context of the current global security environment and devising a national strategy for protecting/securing those interests, including especially in Iraq, Afghanistan and the War on Terrorism. Even though the US possesses military capacities which far exceed those of any other state, perhaps any combination of states, it has found it difficult to convert these military advantages into lasting political realities especially in the Middle East/South Asia and North Korea. The current US forward leaning, pre-emptive, foreign/defense policy and demonstrated American willingness to use military force (Afghanistan and Iraq) have far-reaching global as well as profound domestic implications. Stabilizing the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan and devising strategies to prevent or contain Iranian/North Korean nuclear ambitions dominate the American foreign policy apparatus and domestic political agenda. Solving these related issues -- i.e. developing a global national security strategy to protect American and its interests -- will be your task during this task force.


SIS 495G         Huber R           Congress and U.S. Foreign Policy

Students will gather first hand, practical experience in preparing a Statement of Policy (SOP), the President's official statement sent to the Congress on appropriations legislation. The legislation in question is the foreign assistance appropriations bill, the central piece of legislation by which the Congress impacts U.S. foreign policy. The SOP describes to Congressional leadership the various provisions of the bill that the President either supports or opposes. It also indicates "the bottom line," whether, in the case of the foreign operations bill, the Department of State recommends the President sign, sign with changes, or veto the bill. After an initial lecture by the instructor on the legislative process and U.S. foreign policy, the instructor and the class will review official hearing documents and floor debate on the foreign appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2006 (the last bill for which final action was taken by Congress and the President). An actual SOP (not for fiscal year 2006) will also be given to the class so that later in the course they will be asked to write sections of it. The final classes will involve a division of labor in which students will write their own SOP on the fiscal year 2007 and present it to the President.


SIS 495H         Hellmann          US-Korea Relations at the Dawn of the Asian Century

This Task Force will address current US-Korean relations from several perspectives: security (US-Korea Alliance, Non-Proliferation, war on terrorism, etc.), economics (bilateral free trade agreement, China as the new economic superpower), diplomacy (Six Party Talks, Asian regionalism, etc.). This is a threshold moment in the international relations of Northeast Asia and in bilateral US-South Korean relations, and the TF will focus on selected critical policy issues that will be evaluated both in an historical context and in terms of the rapidly changing political economy of the region. The TF will have two unique operational features: 1) interactive internet will be used to interface with Korean and US specialists and Korean students; 2) an effort is underway to develop a parallel TF involving students at Seoul National University to bring a Korean perspective to the topic and to broaden the dimensions on which this TF proceeds.