Technology and International Affairs

Technology plays a vital role in shaping international affairs and diplomatic issues ranging from energy policy and disease prevention to cybersecurity and nuclear proliferation. The potential benefits and perils of technological innovation are at the heart of many of the most critical ongoing international debates, which in turn require diplomats, scholars, and experts who are well versed in both the technical details and policy implications of these issues. This field takes an interdisciplinary approach to training students in technology policy by introducing them to the intersection of emerging technologies and global affairs through the lens of both international relations and scientific and technological innovation. With a particular emphasis on issues of Internet policy and energy policy, this field enables students to explore the ways that scientific developments have altered the global landscape and become pivotal to resolving international disputes and forging new diplomatic relations.

Field Advisor(s)

Research Centers 

Cyber Security and Policy

The Edward R. Murrow Center for a Digital World

Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs 

Center for International Environment and Resource Policy 

Field Requirements 

MALD and MIB students are required to take the introductory course to the field and to complete at least three other courses in the field in any track. 

MGA students are required to take the introductory course to the field and to take five other courses in the field. MGA students may complete a single track or take classes from multiple tracks.  

MALD and MIB: 4 courses 

MGA: 6 courses 

Total Credits Required   

MALD: 12.00 credits 

MGA: 18.00 credits

  • DHP P235 Technology and Public Policy

  • MALD and MIB 

    In addition to the core course, students should take three courses in any one track listed in the Track Requirements section. 

    MGA 

    In addition to the core course, student should take any five courses listed in the Track Requirements section

  • A practicum is required for MGA students.

    1. Cyber Policy 

    2. International Information and Communication 

    3. Technology and Sustainable Development 

     

    Cyber Policy 

    What new risks and threats have computers introduced and how can those best be mitigated without unnecessarily impeding the innovation and growth of the tech sector? The cyber policy track focuses on the Internet and other computer-based technologies and their policy implications, including the impacts on privacy, the civil sector, the developing world, international conflict, and law. Courses in this track range from cybersecurity, encryption, and digital surveillance to artificial intelligence, economics of information security, and cyber risk management. While no technical background is necessary for this track, the courses include some training in the fundamental technological underpinnings of computer technologies, including a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of Internet architecture, cryptography, and machine learning. Students in this track will also have the option to take courses cross-listed with the computer science department for a deeper dive into the technologies. 

    MALD and MIB 

    Required course: 

    DHP P235 Technology and Public Policy

    Choose one: 

    DHP P236 Cyber in the Civilian Sector: Threats and Upheavals 

    DHP P237 Privacy in the Digital Age 

    DHP P249 International Cyber Conflict 

    ILO L235 Cyberlaw and Cyberpolicy 

    Choose two: 

    DHP D290 Cyber Risk Management 

    DHP D291 Computer Science for Future Policymakers

    DHP D292 How Systems Work 

    DHP D293 How Systems Fail 

    DHP P236 Cyber in the Civil Sector 

    DHP P237 Privacy in the Digital Age 

    DHP P238 Technology, Development and Regulation 

    DHP P249 International Cyber Conflict 

    DHP P264 Artificial Intelligence: Algorithms, Ethics and Policy

    ILO L235 Cyberlaw and Cyberpolicy

    CS 129 Computing in Developing Countries 

    MGA 

    Required course:  

    DHP P235 Technology and Public Policy

    Choose two: 

    DHP P236 Cyber in the Civilian Sector: Threats and Upheavals 

    DHP P237 Privacy in the Digital Age 

    DHP P249 International Cyber Conflict 

    ILO L235 Cyberlaw and Cyberpolicy

    Choose two:  

    DHP D290 Cyber Risk Management 

    DHP D291 Computer Science for Future Policymakers  

    DHP D292 How Systems Work 

    DHP D293 How Systems Fail 

    DHP P231 International Communication 

    DHP P236 Cyber in the Civilian Sector: Threats and Upheavals 

    DHP P237 Privacy in the Digital Age 

    DHP P238 Technology, Development and Regulation 

    DHP P249 International Cyber Conflict 

    DHP P256 Innovation for Sustainable Prosperity 

    DHP P264 Artificial Intelligence: Algorithms, Ethics and Policy

    ILO L235 Cyberlaw and Cyber Policy

    CS 129 Computing in Developing Countries 

    Choose one: 

    DHP D220 Processes of International Negotiation 

    DHP P203 Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions 

    DHP P244 Modern Terrorism and Counterterrorism 

    EIB B252 Corporate Social Responsibility in the Age of Globalization 

    EIB E213 Econometrics 

    ILO L211 Current Issues in Human Rights 

    International Information and Communication 

    International information and communication is a critical component of international affairs and at the heart of how people of different nations perceive the world and each other. By its very nature, this track is interdisciplinary by its nature, and our curriculum emphasizes the political economy, policy, industry, and civil society perspectives. The track explores both the infrastructure and content of information and communication, and the interactions between them, covering the Internet ecosystem, different forms of media, their governance and their relationship to states, and many areas of information policy. In addition to learning about the role of international information and communication in international affairs, students will learn about the economic, political, policy, and technology forces that both enable and constrain different forms of communication. They will also become familiar with many theoretical frameworks and analytic techniques commonly used in the many branches of international communication. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a strong background to confront the new policy, political, diplomacy, development, security, governance, and business challenges they will encounter in their careers from an informed analytic perspective. 

    MALD and MIB 

    Required courses:  

    DHP P235 Technology and Public Policy

    DHP P231 International Communication 

    Choose one (optional): 

    DHP D216M Networks, Analytics, and Organizations I  

    DHP D217M Networks, Analytics, and Organizations II  

    DHP D218 Influencing Policy and the Global Debate: Writing Analysis and Opinion 

    DHP P207 GIS for International Applications 

    DHP New Introduction to Data Science for Global Applications

    Choose up to two (required): 

    DHP D204 United States Public Diplomacy  

    DHP D290 Cyber Risk Management 

    DHP D291 Cyber for Future Policymakers

    DHP P236 Cyber in the Civilian Sector: Threats and Upheavals 

    DHP P237 Privacy in the Digital Age 

    DHP P238 Technology, Development and Regulation  

    DHP P244 Modern Terrorism and Counterterrorism 

    DHP P249 International Cyber Conflict 

    DHP P264 Artificial Intelligence: Algorithms, Ethics and Policy

    EIB B241 Financial Inclusion: A Method for Development  

    EIB B252 Corporate Social Responsibility in the Age of Globalization 

    ILO L211 Current Issues in Human Rights 

    ILO L235 Cyberlaw and Cyber Policy

    CS 129 Computing in Developing Countries  

    MGA 

    Required courses: 

    DHP P235 Technology and Public Policy

    DHP P231 International Communication 

    Choose one or two:  

    DHP D216M Networks, Analytics, and Organizations I  

    DHP D217M Networks, Analytics, and Organizations I 

    DHP D218 Influencing Policy and the Global Debate: Writing Analysis and Opinion 

    DHP P203 Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions 

    DHP P207 GIS for International Applications 

    DHP New Introduction to Data Science for Global Applications

    Choose up to three: 

    DHP D204 United States Public Diplomacy  

    DHP D290 Cyber Risk Management 

    DHP D291 Cyber for Future Policymakers

    DHP P236 Cyber in the Civilian Sector: Threats and Upheavals 

    DHP P237 Privacy in the Digital Age 

    DHP P238 Technology, Development and Regulation  

    DHP P244 Modern Terrorism and Counterterrorism 

    DHP P249 International Cyber Conflict 

    EIB B252 Corporate Social Responsibility in the Age of Globalization 

    EIB B241 Financial Inclusion: A Method for Development  

    EIB B242 Innovation Models for Building Inclusive Businesses 

    DHP P264 Artificial Intelligence: Algorithms, Ethics and Policy

    ILO L211 Current Issues in Human Rights 

    ILO L235 Cyberlaw and Cyberpolicy

    CS 129 Computing in Developing Countries 

    Technology and Sustainable Development 

    With the rapid introduction of technology into lower and middle-income countries over the course of the past two decades, households’ and firms’ access to information, financial services and public services has substantially changed. Overall, technology has allowed individuals to communicate information over large distances and at lower costs; governments to provide information on a number of issues; and firms to observe household behavior and preferences and offer better products. Overall, the growth of technology has substantial potential to improve people’s lives and livelihoods. Yet the key question is whether or not the potential of technology lives up to the “hype”. In other words, has technology reduced welfare outcomes as predicted? Has it affected particular groups differently? If it hasn’t had the intended effects, why? And what is the role of policy and private-public partnerships? The technology and sustainable development track cover a range of topics, from different types of technologies (mobile phones, computer, radio, Internet, renewable energy, electric vehicles, nuclear power) to different types of groups (households, firms, individuals) and different domains (agriculture, economics, environmental policy, amongst others). While no technical background is necessary for this track, the courses include some training in the foundation of solid policy analysis, including identifying key market failures to technology adoption, reviewing the costs and benefits of different public and private interventions, and designing effective policies. 

    MALD and MIB 

    In addition to the core course, students should choose two of the following courses:

    DHP P203 Analytic Frameworks for Public Policy  

    DHP P207 GIS for International Applications

    DHP P238 Technology, Development and Regulation

    DHP P254 Climate Change Law and Policy

    DHP P255 International Energy Policy

    DHP P256 Innovation for Sustainable Prosperity

    EIB E241 Development Economics: Policy Analysis

    MGA 

    In addition to the core course, student should take any four courses below. 

    DHP P203 Analytic Frameworks for Public Policy  

    DHP P207 GIS for International Applications 

    DHP P238 Technology, Development and Regulation 

    DHP P254 Climate Change Law and Policy  

    DHP P255 International Energy Policy  

    DHP P256 Innovation for Sustainable Prosperity 

    EIB E241 Development Economics: Policy Analysis

    Technology and Sustainable Development 

    International Information and Communication 

Faculty with expertise in the field:

Carolyn Gideon

Carolyn Gideon

Kelly Gallagher

Kelly Sims Gallagher