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University of Oklahoma

[IAS 5940] Topics - International Studies - 507

Robert Andrew

Course Description

Topics - International Studies

The practice of diplomacy is more important now than ever to help address and solve major disputes in today’s world.  A world-wide pandemic, a resurgent and aggressive Russia, and a powerful challenge--in all aspects of DIME: Diplomacy/Information/Military/Economic--from China demand that diplomacy remains the preferred method of trying to address/resolve these problems.  Additionally, the practice of diplomacy is just as important for addressing “day to day” issues around the world as it is for the next conflict/crisis/paradigm-shifting event.  


What is diplomacy?  Who actually “practices” U.S. diplomacy?  What are the practical aspects of diplomacy that make up our routine interaction with foreign nation-states and other entities?  The U.S. Secretary of State is certainly the face of U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy.  However, it is the work that goes on behind the scenes at the mid and lower levels of diplomacy that directly supports the Secretary’s and the President’s foreign policy objectives.  


This course, using in-class lectures and class discussions, is designed to provide you with a greater understanding of how day-to-day diplomacy is conducted by U.S. Foreign Service Officers from the Department of State and other entities at our embassies around the world.  We will learn from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and others about the state of World Order.  We will take a look inside the structure of the U.S. Department of State as well as a U.S. Embassy and how it operates.  We will look at major diplomatic challenges during recent and the current Administrations.  We will look at the case for renewal of American Diplomacy.  We will also look at the challenging process that one must undertake in order to become a U.S. Foreign Service Officer within the State Department.

Course Dates

DatesMarch 21-April 30, 2022
Last day to enroll or drop without penaltyFebruary 20, 2022

Site Director

This is a three-credit hour online course. Please see your local Site Director or email our online site coordinator at

Professor Contact Information

Course ProfessorRobert B. Andrew, Adjunct Instructor
Mailing AddressDept of International & Area Studies, The University of Oklahoma, 729 Elm Ave, Norman, OK 73019
Telephone Number(405)-476-3241 (personal cell)
Professor availabilityThe professor will be available via email to students before and after the course. Office hours are by appointment only via Zoom, starting 30 days before class starts. All students should check their OU email/Canvas regularly 30 days before the course begins for communications from the instructor about the course.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online.

Materials posted on the OU Canvas learning management system: Access Canvas at, enter your OU NetID and password, and select course to access material. If you require assistance with Canvas, please click on the Help icon. You can search the Canvas guides, chat with Canvas support, or contact OU IT. 

The professor may assign further reading during the course.  There will be additional materials on Canvas.

The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal
The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal
by William J. Burns
Published by Random House
ISBN: 9780525508885
Inside a U.s. EmbassyDiplomacy at Work
Inside a U.s. EmbassyDiplomacy at Work
by Dorman
Published by Potomac Books Inc
ISBN: 9780964948846
World Order
World Order
by Kissinger, Henry
Published by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
ISBN: 9781594206146
Career Diplomacy : Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service
Career Diplomacy : Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service
by Kopp, Harry, Naland, John K.
Published by Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781626164697

OU Email

All official correspondence from instructors will be sent only to students’ address.


Email Account and Canvas: Students are expected to check their OU email accounts and the course site on Canvas daily for updates from the instructor


Course Objectives

Upon conclusion of this course students will have gained an improved understanding and appreciation for the following:

  1. How the practice of diplomacy works on a day to day basis in the current era.
  2. The organizational structure of a typical U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Department of State.
  3. Diplomatic history and world order.
  4. Writing official State Department-like reporting cables.
  5. The assessment process to become a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State.

Course Outline


Week of:


Class Activity

Assignment(s) Due


Mar 21


Course Introduction on the Practice of Diplomacy: What is Diplomacy? How is a U.S. Embassy organized? The U.S. Dept of State?


-Kissinger, Introduction,

-Burns, Prologue

-Dorman, pages 1-117

-Kopp/Naland, pages 1-70

-Week 1 lecture slides

-Article: The Wisdom Gap


Start reading Kissinger, Chapters 1-2

Discussion Question Response (due Mar 27)


Reading as listed.  For Dorman and Kopp/Naland books, you should scan & be familiar with topics covered (don’t need to read every word of their books).


Mar 28

Europe and Its Pluralistic International Order; and Balance of Power and its End; and A Day in the Life of a Diplomat and War Stories

-Kissinger, Chapters 1-2

-Dorman, pages 119-206

-Kopp/Naland, pages 73-162

-Week 2 lecture slides

-Discuss First Written Assignment

Discussion Question Response (due Apr 3)


First Written Assignment is due at end of Week 4, April 17 by 11:59 p.m.


Apr 04

Middle East and Iran/Nuclear Proliferation; Asia & Diplomacy

-Kissinger, Chapters 3-4 & 5-6

-Burns, Chapters 8-9

-Week 3 lecture slides

-First Quiz this week

Discussion Question Response (due Apr 10)


First Quiz on Canvas due NLT 11:59 p.m. Apr 10;  Available from Apr 9-10, two hours to complete once started



Apr 11

U.S. as a Dominant Power

-Kissinger, Chapters 7-8

-Long Telegram


-Week 4 lecture slides

-Finish First Written Assignment

Discussion Question Response (due Apr 17)


First Written Assignment due on April 17


Apr 18

Technology & Diplomacy; Challenges with Europe/Russia/Ukraine & China

-Kissinger, Chapter 9

-Clinton, Chapter 24 (PDF on Canvas)

-Burns, Chapters 6-7

-Week 5 lecture slides

-Discuss Final Written Assignment


Discussion Question Response (due Apr 24)


Final Written Assignment due to Canvas by 11:59 p.m. on April 30.




Apr 25

Foreign Service Selection Process and Course wrap-up

-Dorman, pages 207-255

-Kopp/Naland, pages 163-221

-Week 6 lecture slides

-Movie on Diplomacy (see this week’s lecture slides)

-Finish Final Written Assignment

-Final Quiz this week


Final Quiz on Canvas due NLT 11:59 p.m. on April 30; available to take from April 25-30, two hours to complete once started


Final Written Assignment Due by 11:59 p.m. April 30 to Canvas

Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

There are three graded components to the course:

  1. Class preparation/participation measured by online discussion topics. The instructor will post a discussion question in the Canvas Discussion section no later than each Monday (Mar 21 to Apr 18) corresponding with the reading content for the upcoming week.  Students should analyze the question and write a thoughtful response to the question no later than the following Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.  You are only required to answer 3 of 5 questions presented during the course.  The objective of this assignment is to prompt you to engage the reading and provide your own independent analysis of the issue.  Please use and cite the texts and/or article readings to support your answer to the discussion question.  Discussion question responses should be approximately 200-400 words in length.  To facilitate a constructive dialog among your fellow students, respond to three student posts with comments for each question you answer. 
  2. Two quizzes done in Canvas (see box below for dates).
  3. Two written assignments submitted to Canvas. The First Written Assignment is a 3-5 page single-space reporting cable, approximately 1500-2000 words, similar to how actual Foreign Service Officers report on issues in their assigned countries back to the State Department, due as listed in the box below. Grading criteria for the second written assignment is: Summary (10%), Format (10%), Writing Quality (20%), Content/Facts (30%), Understandability/Flow (10%), Strength of Comment/Analysis (20%). The Second/Final Written Assignment is a second reporting cable also 3-5 page single space, approximately 1500-2000 words, due by as listed in box below.  Grading criteria: Summary (10%), Format (10%), Writing Quality (20%), Content/Facts (20%), Understandability/Flow (10%), Strength of Comment/Analysis (30%).


Due Date

Percent of Grade

Class participation/preparation measured by Online Discussion Topics in Canvas

Every Sunday during the course (Mar 27-Apr 24), 11:59 p.m. Central Time

Complete responses for 3 of 5 possible discussion questions presented during the semesterProvide your response in the Canvas Discussion Section


Two quizzes

Sunday April 10 and Saturday April 30

30% (15% & 15%)

Two written assignments

Sunday April 17 and Saturday April 30

40% (20% and 20%)


Preparation and class participation as measured by online discussion questions will count for 30% of the course grade.  Contributions to class discussions throughout the week—measured in terms of quality, not simply quantity, and especially thoughtful consideration of the assigned readings—are critical.  The first quiz is worth 15% and the second quiz is worth 15% of the course grade for a total of 30%.  The first written assignment is worth 20% and the second written assignment is worth 20% of the course grade. 

Critical thinking and following instructions:

One of the most important lessons that you can learn from this course is to think about the issues that are being presented.  Critical thinking and questioning of how things work in the diplomatic world are crucial to success, not only in this course, but in the real world of practical diplomacy.  In addition, it is very important that you follow class instructions!  Failure to follow instructions could result in lower grades.


This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F.

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.

Technical Support Information

If you experience technical problems, contact Information Technology by visiting their website at: or contacting them by telephone at: (405) 325-HELP (4357).


Materials posted on the OU CANVAS system:

Access CANVAS at; enter your OU NetID (4+4) and password, and select course to access the material.


Procedures for Completion of Course Evaluation: 

Upon completion of the course students should go to the Advanced Programs Online Learning Information webpage and click on the applicable semester link under “Online Course Evaluation” which will direct them to the evaluation.  The evaluation will take approximately five minutes to complete.  Completion of the online evaluation is an important tool allowing Advanced Programs to gain information and student feedback for improvement of courses.

Your responses will be kept confidential.  They will be reviewed by the department and only supplied to the professor once grades for the course have been submitted.


Materials posted on the OU CANVAS system:

Access CANVAS at; enter your OU NetID (4+4) and password, and select course to access material. Please contact your local the IT Help desk at 405-325-HELP if you require assistance.  IT is available 24/7

Statement about the MHR Program Planner and Human Relations Website

Students should become familiar with the MHR Program Planner that was sent to each student upon admission into the program.  The planner has a description of the HR program objectives and requirements, suggestions for graduate study, financial assistance, and graduation information. Of particular interest is the information on the comprehensive exams and the internship.  For further information please visit the Department of Human Relations Website at:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities.  Any student in this course who has a disability that may prevent him or her from fully demonstrating his or her abilities should contact me personally as soon as possible so we can discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation and facilitate your educational opportunities.  Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services prior to receiving accommodations in this course.  The Office of Disability Services is located in Goddard Health Center, Suite 166, phone 405-325-3852 or TDD only 405-325-4173. For more information please see the Disability Resource Center website


Civility/Inclusivity Statement:

We understand our members represent a rich variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The Human Relations Department is committed to providing an atmosphere for learning that respects diversity. While working together to build this community we ask all members to:

  • share their unique experiences, values and beliefs
  • be open to the views of others
  • honor the uniqueness of their colleagues
  • appreciate the opportunity we have to learn from each other in this community
  • value each other’s opinions and communicate in a respectful manner
  • keep confidential discussions the community has of a personal (or professional) nature
  • use this opportunity together to discuss ways in which we can create an inclusive environment in this course and across the University of Oklahoma community.

Religious Holidays

It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without a penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays, without penalty.


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Robert B. Andrew, Adjunct Instructor


  • 2002 Master of Arts in National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School
  • 1989 Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, California State University, Chico

Current Position

  • Adjunct Instructor, University of Oklahoma (since October 2019)

Practical/Professional Experience:  Foreign Service Officer with U.S. Department of State 2002-2019

  • Foreign Policy Advisor for U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South in Miami, FL (2017-2019)
  • Diplomat in Residence and Adjunct Professor at the University of Oklahoma (2014-2017)
  • Political Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden (2011-2014)
  • Desk Officer for Sweden at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. (2010-2011)
  • Political Affairs/Counter-Narcotics Officer at the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica (2007-2010)
  • Political-Military Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia (2005-2007)
  • Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico (2003-2005)

Military Service:  U.S. Army Field Artillery Officer 1989-2002

  • Operations Officer, Foreign Area Officer Training Program in Monterey, CA (2000-2002)
  • Foreign Area Officer in training (1998-2000)
  • Service Battery Commander, 2-82 Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX (1997-1998)
  • Task Force Fire Support Officer 2-7 Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX (1996-1997)
  • 1st Cavalry Division Artillery Assistant Fires Officer, Fort Hood, TX (1994-1996)
  • Platoon Leader, B Battery, 5-17 Field Artillery, Fort Sill, OK (1992-1994)
  • Fire Direction Officer, Howitzer Battery, 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (1-2 ACR), Bindlach, Germany (1991-1992)
  • Fire Support Officer, B Troop, 1-2 ACR, Bindlach, Germany and Southeast Asian countries of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield/Storm (1989-1991)

Frequently Taught Courses

  • IAS 3003/5940 The Practice of Diplomacy
  • IAS 3003             S.-Russia Relations
  • IAS 3043/5803 Global Security

Major Areas of Teaching and Research Interest

  • Practice of Diplomacy
  • American Foreign Policy
  • S.-Russia Relations
  • NATO-Russia Relations
  • Latin American Political-Military Issues
  • Arctic & Nordic Security Issues

Honors and Awards

  • President, Norman Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America 2020-2022
  • Vice President, Norman Rotary Club 2021-2022
  • 2019 Rotarian of the Year, Doral, FL
  • United States Marine Corps Commendation for Meritorious Civilian Service, 2019
  • State Department Superior Honor Award for launching multi-million dollar Counter-Narcotics Program in Costa Rica, 2009
  • State Department Meritorious Honor Award for streamlining end-use checks of exported potentially dual-use equipment to Russia to prevent the diversion of U.S. military technology, 2007
  • S. Army Meritorious Service Medal 2002
  • S. Army Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device “V” for Valor 1991
  • Liberation Medal (Kuwait) 1991
  • Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) 1991
  • Parachutist Badge, U.S. Army Airborne School, 1987