Program Highlights

Program Dates

June 29 – July 27, 2024

Faculty Director

Erinn Whitaker, Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense

Program Highlights

Over four weeks, students will trace four major aspects of US and German intelligence regimes: collection techniques, analysis, covert action, and relationship with society. During each of these themes, students will visit local landmarks and hear from regional experts to enrich their comparative analysis. For example, students will tour Hohenschonhausen Museum and Memorial, the operational hub of the East German Secret Police, where witnesses reflect on political persecution. Students can compare this against a tour of Berlin’s Bundestag, which showcases its emphasis on transparency when working with American partners to counter terrorist attacks in Berlin.

This research will culminate in a final briefing project that leverages students’ critical exploration of the city. Working in small teams, students will take video footage of their local trips and incorporate it into a final presentation that assesses a historical and current aspect of Germany’s intelligence posture. This capstone project will encourage students to mine the city, going beyond our scheduled trips to better understand how Berlin’s unique history contributes to modern Germany’s national security posture.

In addition to building knowledge on intelligence regimes, this course seeks to strengthen students’ critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills. Students will interface with senior German and US policymakers, local academics and students, and everyday citizens, strengthening their ability to network and engage key stakeholders. They will need to work together to meet deadlines to successfully complete the video project, thinking creatively about what the city offers for their final analysis of an intelligence regime. These skills are applicable to any major and designed to help students interested in careers ranging from national security and diplomacy to business, journalism, education, and the non-profit space. Speaking German is not a prerequisite for the course.