Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

David M Bachman
SIS 495
Seattle Campus

Task Force

Small-group seminars address current problems in international affairs, each focusing on one specific policy question and producing a joint task force report. Restricted to senior majors in International Studies. Prerequisite: SIS 200; SIS 201; SIS 202; SIS 401.

Class description

This task force examines the geostrategic implications of a number of interrelated trends: very high US consumption of fossil fuels; rapidly growing Chinese consumption of fossil fuels, and the possibility that the situation of "peak oil" has been reached (when on a permanent basis, more oil is extracted than is discovered). Very high US oil consumption makes the US dependent on oil imports. China's rising demand forces China to develop energy relations with countries that the US finds unsavory (and where US oil companies are not part of the business environment). Peak oil suggests that no matter what is done, supply of oil will be increasingly tight (meaning rising prices and, other things being equal, lower growth). How should the US deal with its own high oil consumption and imports? How should the US relate with China on global oil holdings and energy markets? What can be done about peak oil? These are some of the key questions to be addressed by this task force.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Task Force--students will present a team based paper making policy recommendations. Two weeks of lectures and readings, then individual and team based projects.

Recommended preparation

Background in US foreign policy, Chinese politics and economics, high tech issues.

Class assignments and grading

Readings, class attendance, individual paper, collective report, oral defense.

Individual paper, role in collective project, oral performance in class and in defending the collective project.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by M Jane Meyerding
Date: 10/17/2007