Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session
Vigorous discussion based on the readings is expected.
For weeks 2-5, a short paper is expected laying out the questions and issues. For weeks 6-11, all students should prepare a short paper on the questions and issues with each case. For weeks 6-11, a multidisciplinary team will be chosen for each week. The team is expected to put together and present a comprehensive presentation/paper on the team project. The paper (to which each student is expected to contribute 15-20 pages) must indicate who has written each part and must reflect on the case study through several lenses. The team project should make use of the menu of cross-cutting themes, below. The paper, suitably reflecting major issues raised during class, is due near the end of the semester.
The grading will be as follows:
Allison, Graham, and Philip Zelikow. Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley Longman Inc., 1999. ISBN: 0321033256.
The second half of the course is devoted to structured case studies and presentations. These class sessions will be structured as follows:
Matched pairs of students will present accounts of emerging technology from the recent and less recent past, addressing 2-4 selected crosscutting themes that emerge from weeks 1-5.
A managed discussion about the case material with personal knowledge about how key actual decisions were made in this case. [Ideally, this is a person who has participated/is participating directly in those decisions.] The objective is to allow each student to interact informally with an experienced decision-maker so that he/she understands the intricacies of the case, the factors that actually influenced choices, and the role and limits of formal analytic methods in informing the choices. An academic domain-expert may also join this discussion.