Legal scholar Martti Koskenniemi has emphasized that, just as the classic optical illusion can be viewed as a duck or a rabbit, international events simultaneously carry legal and political significance. This combination of law and politics is apparent as the Biden administration formulates and implements its foreign policy. This seminar will explore the interplay of law and politics in the first year of the Biden presidency. We will look at examples ranging from the US's push to regain a stronger presence in the United Nations to reengagement with the Paris Agreement on climate change. As a course that fulfills the Advanced Writing Requirement (AWR), each student will write a paper on a topic concerning some aspect of foreign policy under the Biden administration. This could focus on a specific country or an issue that spans across jurisdictions. We will discuss the writing and editing process throughout the semester. In addition to the written work, you will present your research to the class as part of the course. The weekly two-hour session will meet remotely.
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