Carnegie Mellon University

Institute for Politics and Strategy Minors

Emily Half, Deputy Director; ehalf@andrew.cmu.edu, Posner Hall 391, 412-268-7082

The International Relations and Politics (IRP) minor analyzes the role of politics at the national, regional, international, and transnational levels; examines political and institutional arrangements within and among these levels; and investigates the grand strategy of nation-states.

political leaders, scholars, and policy makers often define grand strategy as the combination of diplomatic, economic, military, and political factors used by leaders to defend their respective nation-states. The IRP minor investigates the way in which leaders and citizens construct grand strategy and national security policy more generally; the impact of domestic and international forces on states’ security and economic policies; and the significance of alliances, coalitions, and international institutions for world politics. The study of grand strategy and political institutions is the flagship initiative of the minor.

In the tradition of Carnegie Mellon University, political science is studied and taught in an interdisciplinary manner. Utilizing the interdisciplinary strengths of the social sciences at CMU, IRP students study political phenomena through the perspectives of decision science, economics, and political history. Students pursing the minor will be asked to develop an understanding of game theory, economic and statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, rational choice theory, and theories of behavioral decision making as they study alliances, coalitions, institutions, and political strategy. Recognizing the influence of language and culture on politics and international relations, students are encouraged to study a modern language other than English.

The minor in Cybersecurity and International Conflict analyzes the role of cyber warfare and cybersecurity in international politics — past, present, and future. Cyber attacks by nation-states and their proxies have the potential to reshape how wars are fought in the twenty first century. As such, the complexity and policy challenge of cyber-engagements is immense and altogether without precedent. The minor addresses the role of deterrence, dissuasion, and attribution in cyber conflict, while also studying the nuances of key components of modern warfare — from the security dilemma to escalation management.

Rooted in the discipline of political science, the minor in Politics and Public Policy investigates US public policy issues and other matters of domestic politics while providing students hands-on and practical learning experiences. Students pursuing the Politics and Public Policy minor must participate in the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program for one semester during their undergraduate experience.