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The ISP track of the GIST MA program at KU offers a broad, integrative approach to the study of global and international issues, supported by the perspectives and theories from multiple relevant disciplines. Students enrolled in the program will focus on various transnational processes that affect states and societies around the world, such as migration, environmental degradation, the global economy, the role of international organizations, and religious, nationalist and social movements. All ISP MA students will take a set of eight courses, three during the fall and spring semesters respectively and two during the summer. A comprehensive research paper will be presented at the end of the program. A brief description of each course appears below.

Fall 2019:

GIST 702 – Globalization. Focuses on the political aspects of globalization, with an emphasis on the changing role of the state in global affairs, democratization, nationalism and ethnic conflict, political Islam, international security, and the changing character of war.

GIST 750 – Islamic Law. An examination of the history, doctrine, texts, and role of Islamic law throughout the world with a focus on the Koran and other sacred texts, the Sunni-Shi’a split, the status of women and religious minorities, and principles of the substantive areas of law.

PUAD 854 – Innovation and Organizational Change. Course examines innovation in organizations, successful change processes, and solutions to resistance to change within organizations.

GIST 751 – Human Rights and U.S. National Security. Explores the history, debates, and contemporary issues related to human rights and U.S. national security policy, including counter-terrorism, security assistance and cooperation, peacekeeping, & protection of civilians, and global criminal accountability.

Spring 2020:

GIST 624 – Social Movements in the Middle East. A review of the waves of social movements that have taken place across the Middle East region in recent years, including Iran’s Green Movement, the Arab Spring movements of 2010, and Kurdish nationalist movements.

POLS 673 – International Organizations. Course discusses international organizations with a special emphasis on the United Nations. A central theme of the course rests upon the question of whether strengthened international organization offers the only alternative to further world wars. 

SOC 780 – Civil Society and the State. A study of the complex interrelationships between civil society and development, civil society and violence, democracy, religiosity, social movements, and citizenship, with a special emphasis on developments in sub-Saharan Africa.

POLS 678 – Chinese Foreign Policy. An in-depth examination of China’s changing policies toward other countries with special emphasis on policy-making process, negotiating behavior, military strategy, economic relations, and cultural diplomacy.

Summer 2020:

GIST 810 – Graduate Writing Experience. Independent study in preparation for the comprehensive M.A. examination.

GIST 501 – Conflict Prevention and Resolution. Interdisciplinary study on a special topic. 


Past Courses: 

Courses for the ISP program vary from year to year. Previous courses have included: 

  • GIST 701: Approaches to International Studies
  • POLS 789: International Relations in Political Philosophy
  • GIST 750: Dilemmas of International Politics
  • GIST 750: Cultural Anthropology
  • GIST 750: Conflict and Development 
  • GIST 705: Intelligence and Interagency Operations
  • REL 747: Seminar in Religion, Society, and Social Change

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