PUBPOL 763: Global Issues: Drugs, Crime, and Terrorism

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Fall 2020
U-M Course Number
Credit Hours

Students will explore the global issues of illegal drugs, and international drug trafficking, crime and terrorism. Course content emphasizes the study of organizations and networks, policy formulation and implementation, national and international approaches and programs, and the international legal and organizational framework to deal with these issues. The instructor will devote attention to the similarities and links between illegal drugs, crime and terrorism. Students will analyze the conflict between vigorous pursuit of solutions to these issues and other foreign and public policy objectives and how this affects the national interests and foreign policies of the nations and organizations involved. Students will assess lines of action that national and international policy makers might initiate to find solutions to these problems. The instructor will place emphasis on the tools and skills needed for policy analysis and the formulation of effective recommendations for decision making. Case studies, group exercises and simulations will be used throughout the course and there will be a number of policy writing assignments.

Assignments may include:

[1] Case Policy Memoranda. Students should read all seven cases for class discussion. Students will write a one-page policy paper on four of the seven cases listed above. All students will write a paper on the first case and then choose to write on either the Peru/Arciniega or the Human Trafficking case. You will then choose two of the next four cases on terrorism on which to write a paper. 

[2] Group memorandum and oral presentation on the drug policies of the US, other countries and NGOs. Students will be divided into groups. Each group will be assigned a topic. Each group will research the issues involved and use the information to write a policy memorandum of up to five pages along with a one-page Principal Points summary sheet. Each group will make an oral presentation accompanied by visual displays as appropriate, followed by discussion with a designated critique group. 

(3] Students will participate in a classroom bioterrorism simulation, taking the roles of U.S. government officials grouped into agencies or organizations. 

[4] Each student will select a topic for a policy memorandum (or a policy paper) after consultation with and approval by the instructor. The paper should cover one or more of the three transnational issues studied – drugs, crime, and terrorism. The paper should be up to 10 pages in length.