Gordon Paul Smith Professor Emeritus
One of the most critical challenges to development and indeed humanity is armed violence, especially in fragile states. This violence leads to death and injury, violations of human rights, lack of justice and the rule of law, lost productivity, lowering of already inadequate health budgets, and psychological costs. In short, development cannot proceed alongside such violence. I believe that this violence can and must be prevented, reduced and eventually eliminated. I have devoted most of my professional life to this end.
What excites me:
Teaching at a professional school such as MIIS allows me as a faculty member to help students prepare for a career in security and development work. It means that I get to make a difference, not just my graduates. It also means that I will have these students as colleagues when they graduate. I continue to be involved in mutual projects with them. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than this.
Courses offered in the past four years.
- Current term ●
- Upcoming term(s) ○
There is overwhelming evidence that insecurity, conflict and violence have a significant impact on development, as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs). In SDG16 the international community for the first time has recognized the impact of violence, calling on States to “Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere….End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children…..Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all….By 2030, significantly reduce illicit arms flows…..Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime. These social conditions will be explored in this course as well as those topics that the instructor has been professionally involved with at the local, national and global level….gang violence reduction, gun control, the arms trade, landmines, child soldiers, and demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants.
Course requirements include a midterm and final exam. Students may select an individual project in lieu of the final exam, in which you select a social condition (e.g., youth violence), determine the causes for this condition, and evaluate the programs that have been developed and implemented to improve this social condition.
Fall 2017 - MIIS
This course is being offered at a critical juncture in history. The Trump administration has embarked on nothing less than changing the world order that has governed humanity since the end of WWII. Do global actors cooperate for the common good or is it like the Trump administration recently put it: “ The world is not a “global community” but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors, and businesses engage and compete for advantage….Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it.” In this course you will have the opportunity to get very engaged in this debate.
To professionally engage this course gives you the tools, concepts and approaches needed to do so beyond the tweet, op-ed level. How are global issues such as climate change managed at the global level? Do States ever give up any sovereignty for the larger global good? Development sectors/issue areas addressed include public health, rule of law, access to justice, refugees, violence and conflict, corruption, poverty, climate change, gender equality, global finance, human rights, and others (there are 17 SDGs https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs).
Key questions addressed in the course are: Who are the actors at the global level? What are the norms that influence national behavior? Which governments do/do not comply with these norms and why? Which development sectors are more “globally governed” than others? How do development issues get on the global agenda? The course also addresses the role of international governmental organizations (IGOs)- their structure, influence, level of autonomy, etc.(e.g., World Bank, UN Development Program, etc.)
Course requirements include a midterm exam and a final project which explores a global social condition using the concepts introduced in the course (e.g. global actors, norms, policymaking).
Fall 2017 - MIIS
Development: Global Actors, Norms and Policies
The recent US Presidential campaigns brought to light a basic question. In this age of globalization, how dependent is the United States (and any country) on global institutions and collaboration to solve problems that affect their citizens? Can a country really go it alone? Are there truly global problems that can’t be solved by a single country?
This course explores the various sectors/issue areas of international development (broadly defined) found in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/topics).Development takes place at the local level but is significantly shaped and managed at the global level. Development sectors/issue areas addressed include public health, rule of law, access to justice, refugees, violence and conflict, corruption, poverty, climate change, gender equality, global finance, human rights, and others (there are 17 SDGs and 167 specific targets being addressed by the full range of actors, from local NGOs to international government organizations such as the UN Development Program –UNDP).).
Key questions addressed in the course are: What is a global problem? Who are the actors at the global level? What are the norms that influence national behavior? Which governments do/do not comply with these norms and why? Which development sectors are more “globally governed” than others? How do development issues get on the global agenda? The course also addresses the role of international governmental organizations (IGOs)- their structure, influence, level of autonomy, etc.(e.g., World Bank, UN Development Program, etc.) The main course requirement is a group assessment of a development sector/problem of the group’s choosing, using the concepts introduced in the course. Guest speakers will appear from the various development sectors/issue areas. Each student is required to give several oral presentations throughout the course.
For first or second semester students, this course serves as an introduction to the substance of development work and can help narrow your career focus. For third and fourth semester students, the course is an opportunity to research in depth a development issue related to your selected career path.
Spring 2017 - MIIS
In September 2015 the United Nations formally announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will be the international development framework that will replace the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The seventeen proposed goals and associated targets are planned to run until 2030. Among them, Goal 16 (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg16) focuses on peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice, rights-based development and accountable institutions. Examples of targets include significantly reducing all forms of violence; ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children; promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels, and ensuring equal access to justice for all; by 2030 significantly reducing illicit financial and arms flows, strengthening recovery and return of stolen assets, and combating all forms of organized crime; and substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all its forms. These are the social conditions we will address in this seminar. There is a take-home midterm to be completed in 3 days. There is also a 5000 word research paper in which you select a social condition (e.g., human trafficking), determine the causes for this condition, and evaluate the programs that have been developed and implemented to improve this social condition.
Spring 2017 - MIIS
This course is entirely practical field work. The prerequisite for this course is previous coursework at MIIS on program design, monitoring and evaluation-(DME) (at least one credit). Admission to the program is by instructor permission. It is a 4 credit course. This course is for those students who have determined that their proposed career trajectory requires the skills required to design, monitor and evaluate a program. The final deliverable is “resumé-able.”
It begins with a brief refresher on the basic elements of program design, monitoring and evaluation (DME), to include the logic model, theory of change, developing indicators for activities, outputs and outcomes, and integrating the concepts of social justice, complexity and systems thinking into DME.
The course participants will be formed into small teams to conduct an actual evaluation of a program designed to change a social condition. Previous evaluations have been conducted on a violence prevention program in Chicago and a food security program for Afghan Refugees run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Sacramento. Every project will likely involve mutli-day fieldwork at the site of the evaluation. This is not an online exercise. The final deliverable is a report to the client organization with the primary goal of determining if their program “worked,” that is, change occurred as a result of the program. In some cases the program will be an “experiment” and the purpose of the evaluation is to assist the organization in their planning to scale up the program. Should the program fail to achieve the desired outcomes, it will be the task of the MIIS team to inform the organization of process and implementation failures that need to be improved.
May satisfy the DPP requirement for a SEMINAR; or, an Evaluation Course; or, Practicum (for second year students); or, elective. May not satisfy more than one of these basket requirements.
Spring 2017 - MIIS
Areas of Interest
Armed violence reduction, research methods for development practitioners, global governance, international organizations, proliferation and effects of conventional weapons and small arms, program evaluation and project management
PhD, International Relations, University of Pennsylvania; MA, International Relations and Public Administration, Temple University; BS, United States Military Academy
“The Small Arms Problem as Arms Control: A Policy-Driven Research Agenda” in The State of Arms: Consolidation, Innovation and Relevance in Small Arms Research: Essays in Honour of Pablo Dreyfus, Eds: Kai Michael Kenkel and Peter Bachelor. London: Routledge, Summer 2013.
“Exposing the Arms Trade. A Book Review of The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade,” by Andrew Feinstein. In Arms Control Today, June 2012.
“1991 Arms Trade Control Efforts and Their Echoes" in Arms Control Today, July-August 2011.
The UNDP Role in the Comprehensive Approach to Security in Fragile States: An Assessment, Edward J. Laurance Version 5.1 10 June 2010.
"Managing the Tools of War and Violence: Global Governance or State-centric Realpolitik?" In Michael Brzoska and Axel Krohn (eds.) Overcoming Armed Violence in a Complex World: Essays in Honor of Herbert Wulf. Budrich UniPress Ltd. November 2009.
With Hendrik Wagenmakers and Herbert Wulf. "Managing the Global Problems Created by the Conventional Arms Trade: An Assessment of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms," Global Governance, Vol. 2, Spring 2005.
With Rachel Stohl. Making Global Public Policy: The Case of Small Arms and Light Weapons. Occasional Paper No. 7. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, December 2002.
The United Nations Conventional Arms Register (UNCAR): Present Challenges, New Directions.
"Light Weapons and Human Development: The Need for Transparency and Early Warning." In Jeffrey Boutwell and Michael T. Klare, Light Weapons and Civil Conflict: Controlling the Tools of Violence (Boulder: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1999), pp. 185-196.
"Monitoring the Flow, Availability and Misuse of Light Weapons," in Arms Watching: Integrating Small Arms and Light Weapons Into the Early Warning of Violent Conflict. Edward J. Laurance (Ed.) (London: International Alert, May 1999).
Arms Watching: Integrating Small Arms and Light Weapons into the Early Warning of Violent Conflict (Ed.) (London: International Alert, May 1999).
Light Weapons and Intra-State Conflict: Early Warning Factors and Preventive Action. (Washington: Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, July 1998).
"Small Arms, Light Weapons, and Conflict Prevention: The New Post-Cold War Logic of Disarmament" in Barnett R. Rubin Cases and Strategies for Preventive Action (The Century Foundation Press, 1998), pp. 135-168.
"Moratoria on Small Arms and Light Weapons: Conceptualization and Application to Central America" in Sverre Lodgaard and Carsten F. Ronnfeldt, A Moratorium on Light Weapons in West Africa (Oslo: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, 1998), pp. 69-83.
"A Conceptual Framework for Arms Trade Transparency in South-East Asia." In Bates Gill and J.N. Mak (eds.), Arms Transparency and Security in South-East Asia. SIPRI Research Report No. 13. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 10-24.
With Sarah E. Meek. The Role of Conventional Arms Buildups in the Outbreak of Conflict: Developing Early Warning and Preventive Measures. Report submitted to the United States Institute for Peace in fulfillment of grant SG-94-113. July 1996.
With Sarah E. Meek. The New Field of Micro-Disarmament: Addressing the Proliferation and Buildup of Small Arms and Light Weapons. Brief 7. (Bonn: Bonn International Center for Conversion, September 1996).
"The Role of Arms Control in Coping With Conflict after the Cold War." in Roger Kanet and Edward Kolodziej (Eds.), Coping With Conflict after the Cold War. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 331-362.
"Addressing the Negative Consequences of Light Weapons Trafficking: Opportunities for Transparency and Restraint." in Jeffrey Boutwell, Michael Klare and Laura Reed, Editors, Lethal Commerce: The Global Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. (Cambridge: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1995), pp. 140-57.
"The UN Register of Conventional Arms: Rationales and Prospects for Compliance and Effectiveness," The Washington Quarterly , (Spring 1993).
"Reducing the Negative Consequences of Arms Transfers Through Unilateral Arms Control." in Bennett Ramberg (Ed.) Arms Control without Negotiation: From the Cold War to the New World Order. (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1993), pp. 175-198
With Siemon Wezeman and Herbert Wulf. Arms Watch: SIPRI Report on the First Year of the UN Register of Conventional Arms. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, November 1993).
The International Arms Trade. (New York: Lexington Books, 1992).
"The Political Implications of Illegal Arms Exports From the United States." Political Science Quarterly, 107, 3 (Fall 1992), 501-533.
"Events Data and Policy Analysis: Improving the Potential for Applying Academic Research to Foreign and Defense Policy Problems." Policy Sciences , 23,1(1990).
"The New Gunrunning." Orbis (Spring 1989), 225-237.