Energy issues have always been important in international relations, but in recent years may have become even more important than in the past due to the widespread awareness of existing limits to energy sources and negative climate impacts. The course discusses global trends in energy consumption and production, various available scenarios for potential developments in the coming decades, the availability of oil reserves and the evolution of the oil industry. It then discusses natural gas and highlights the differences between oil and gas. It will also discuss renewable energy sources, nuclear energy and EU energy policy. The course aims at providing students whose main interest is in international relations a background on energy resources, technology and economic realities to allow them to correctly interpret the political impact of current developments. It also aims at providing students, who already have a technical background in energy science or engineering, with the broad global view of energy issues that will allow them to better understand the social, economic and political impact of their technical knowledge. ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR : Giacomo Luciani Scientific Advisor for the Master in International Energy at the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) Sciences Po, Giacomo Luciani is also Adjunct Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva and Director of the Executive Master in International Oil and Gas Leadership. For the period 2010-13 he was appointed Princeton University Global Scholar, attached to the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Near Eastern Studies. His research focuses on the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa and on global energy issues. RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND : The course requires no special scientific, mathematical or economic background; all key concepts are clearly and elementarily explained. It is expected that it will be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students in schools where an equivalent course is not offered (this being the case for the vast majority of schools). USPC Sorbonne Paris Cité Supported by Université Sorbonne Paris Cité IDEX Investissements d'Avenir Funded by Investissements d'Avenir - 'ANR. Info : Course content : Licence Creative Commons BY NC SA

Commitment: 8 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week


This course offers an introduction into the public economics theory. It does not aspire to cover theories of taxation, public expenditures, regulation etc. at length and in-depth. Rather, our ambition is to give a bird's-eye view of central themes of public economics and related disciplines, and teach concepts, logic, and ideas, rather than methods of analysis, which would require an entirely different course format. Our choice of topics covered by the course reflects a trade-off between salience and centrality, on the one hand, and suitability for a brief online introductory course, on the other. The course content is neither comprehensive (which would be a "mission impossible" for virtually any public economics course"), nor representative of other such courses. With these limitations and caveats in mind, we encourage our students to continue their public economics studies in a more regular fashion, and see our role inter alia in motivating interest in such "continued education". The central theme of the course is the role of government as a mechanism of resource allocation which complements and augments markets. Governments are viewed as public agencies set to correct market failures. Such agencies however are prone to failures of their own, and hence markets and governments are two imperfect alternatives. We deal with government's limitations, with particular emphasis on those that have to do with informational asymmetry, limited administrative capacity, and imperfect accountability to society. Otherwise the course's man themes are economics of taxation, regulation, politics of public economics, incentives in government, and government vis-à-vis (civil) society.

Commitment: 6 weeks, 6-8 hours per week


This course introduces class participants to the political significance and societal consequences of challenges facing U.S. and international policymakers. It is designed to help participants develop skills to analyze policy proposals and advocate for their preferred options for issues on the public policy agenda ahead. The class assumes basic knowledge about governing institutions and democratic processes, while recommending supplemental materials for further study to complement reading links provided. The course focuses on future policy challenges, while examining the broad historical context in which policies are adopted and implemented. As the course evaluates how issues are advanced by private sector interests, non-governmental organizations, and government policymakers, it examines how groups become effective policy advocates. Particular attention is paid to how winning coalitions are formed and how issue framing shapes the outcome of policy campaigns. The goal is neither to produce partisan talking points, nor to favor one governance philosophy over others. Rather it is to clarify the public policy challenges ahead and to enhance participants’ understanding of how policy options are adopted in the real world arena of contemporary politics. Coming soon, you will be able to join Signature Track, a system that verifies your identity when you take an exam. This option will allow you to earn a Verified Certificate, which provides formal recognition of your achievements in the course and includes the University of Virginia logo. Before then, you can complete a “test run” of the exam. You can then re-take the exam after the Verified Certificate becomes available. For information regarding Verified Certificates, see https://courserahelp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201212399-Verified-Certificates"

Commitment: 9 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week


Terrorism has arguably been one of the defining factors of our age. It frequently makes headlines, threatening or attacking governments, private business and ordinary citizens. And in many parts of the world, it has been one of the most important threats to peace, security and stability. But what does this exactly mean? What is the nature of this threat? Who or what is threatened, how, by whom and why? What can be done about it or how can we at least limit the impact of terrorism and make sure that terrorists do not make headlines and manage to scare us? These are just a handful of questions that will be addressed in this course that consists of three parts. First it focuses on the essence of terrorism as an instrument to achieve certain goals, in addition to an exploration of this phenomenon and the difficulties in defining it. The second part provides an overview of the state of the art in (counter) terrorism studies. Since ‘9/11’ terrorism studies have grown exponentially, reflecting the rise in perceived threats. But what has academia come up with? What theories, assumptions and conventional wisdom has it produced that could be of help in understanding terrorism and dealing with it? The most interesting results are examined and compared with empirical evidence with the aim to either stress their importance or to debunk them as myths. The final part looks into the implications and possibilities for policy making. The course ends with a module specifically designed to address one of today's most topical issue: the foreign fighter phenomenon.

Commitment: 30 hours of videos, quizzes, and projects