Course Detail

2015 Summer Course Listing

2016 courses will be posted in early November

Political Science: Cyber Policy and Conflict

POLS 196 OL1 (CRN: 60898)

3 Credit Hours

The period for adding the course POLS 196 OL1 has ended.

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About POLS 196 OL1

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Jody Prescott ()


Dates: May 18 - June 26, 2015 Sophomores, Jrs and Srs only Prereq: POLS 021; One-Hour synchronous sessions using Adobe Connect as part of the class, to be held starting at 7:00 pm Tuesday and Thursday nights


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Section Description

Cyber Policy & Conflict will meet synchronously twice a week throughout the first summer session on Tuesday and Thursday nights using Adobe Connect?. You will be expected to complete the majority of the course work through the text book readings, watching presentations online, additional readings posted on Blackboard?, and commenting upon the readings through asynchronous postings in forum discussions I moderate in Blackboard?. This course will explore the politics, policies and laws that are relevant to the different forms of conflict that occur in cyberspace, and identify the important national and international efforts and perspectives that are shaping the nascent and evolving regulation of cyberspace. Cyber Policy & Conflict will present you with readings and lectures dealing with issues across the entire spectrum of cyber conflict, ranging from cyber criminality to international armed conflict. Importantly, from a perspective of sustainability, it will also compare and contrast the two primary current models for government regulation of cyberspace, that is, one shared by the governments of Western and democratic developed nations, such as the U.S., and one shared by the governments of authoritarian nations, such as China.

Section Expectation

At the most basic level, my intent for you in this class is to develop an appreciation for the breadth of the spectrum of cyber conflict, through the lens of the politics, policies, and laws applicable to its regulation. More importantly, I expect that as a result of our discussions about the political and legal influences upon cyber conflict, you will gain insight into the relationships between these influences and the challenges that national and international bodies face in trying to regulate cyberspace. Finally, as a result of understanding these relationships, I expect that you will be able to more critically assess future efforts at regulation and the ripple effects these might have across the cyber conflict spectrum. My learning objectives are these: 1. You will be able to compare the relative policy merits of governments responding to an instance of cyber malice as either a crime or a prohibited use of armed force, and the practical implications that flow from such decisions; 2. You will be able to explain and differentiate between the various policy principles that undergird Western and democratic developed nations? governments perspectives on the use and regulation of cyberspace as compared to those of nations governed by authoritarian regimes; and 3. You will be able to appraise competing perspectives of cyberspace use and regulation as to their relationship to and compatibility with principles of sustainability.


Because of the pace of the course, there will only be two major graded events, a 90 minute midterm exam given at the end of the third week of class, and a 165 minute cumulative final exam given at the end of the sixth week of class. Each exam will have a multiple choice portion worth 50 percent of the exam grade, and an essay section worth 50 percent. The midterm exam will be worth 20 percent of the class grade, and the final will be worth 40 percent of the class grade. The multiple choice questions will assess your understanding of the readings. You will take the multiple choice portion of the exams in Blackboard? by the finish time of the exams. You will compose your essay answers in word format, and place them in the dropbox provided in Blackboard? by the finish time for the exams. The essay portions will test your ability to quickly conduct concise and accurate analysis of issues related to cyber policy and conflict, in a holistic fashion. There will be one essay question on the mid-term, and two essay questions on the final. Exam make-ups are rarely given, and will be at my discretion and convenience. I will schedule a synchronous review session on the Wednesday night before each exam ? and we will stay on-line in Adobe Connect? until you have asked all the questions you might have. There will be five required forum postings on Blackboard that you will be responsible to post in a timely fashion, and each of these is worth 6 percent of the final grade, or 30 percent in total. For each of these postings, you will provide an answer of at least 400 words and no more than 450 words to the question I post no later than Monday of that class week. Further, you will be responsible for reading one of your fellow students? postings and providing a 100 to 125 word comment in response to it on the forum by Friday of that class week. If you do not meet the word range targets, I will deduct points. I will assign the student?s posting you are to read and comment upon in advance, and I will rotate the students? postings you are to read. These assignments will be posted in the Announcements section of Blackboard?. Here are my expectations for the postings and the comments: ? You will not write them in some sort of on-line, fill-in-the-field stream of consciousness mode ? type them up in word or some similar program. I am looking for quality work. ? Let them sit for a day or so, and then go back and review them. Be critical of yourself ? did you really answer the question? ? When you compose your response to a fellow student?s posting, don?t make it a monologue. Type it as if you were talking to the person directly in a real world classroom ? state your point, but engage them instead of posting words at them. Finally, 10 percent of the final grade will be based on your attendance at the synchronous sessions ? 1 point for each of the ten substantive lessons.


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Important Dates

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