International Relations in Professional Military Education

 

 

Contents

  • Who Are We Teaching - Future Second Lieutenants or Strategic Leaders? Education for Strategic Thinking and Action

    Scott A. Silverstone & Renee Ramsey - United States Military Academy at West Point

    This article argues that educating future Army officers, at the pre-commissioning level, to enable strategic thinking and action is directly connected to the U.S. Army’s expectations for leaders at all levels of command and is necessary to support the Army’s leader development concept across an officer’s career. The article will explain how the U.S. Military Academy approaches this educational responsibility and how the study of international relations contributes to this goal.

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  • The paper focuses on the challenge of getting practice-oriented cadets interested in learning IR theories which they perceive as abstract and remote from their foreseeable (medium-term) professional practice. It considers teaching IR from the perspective of the theory-practice divide. At the Netherlands Defense Academy we have designed two international security studies courses specifically to bridge the gap. At the heart of the first is a case study of a contemporary conflict. The second course zooms out to consider the strategic environment and defense policy. Both are structured around student-driven tutorial sessions, which puts cadets in charge of applying theory to their own future practice.

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  • By focusing on the way cadets learn international relations this article unfolds how professional military education at the Norwegian Military Academy has changed during the past decades. In an effort to enhance junior army officers’ competence as strategic actors in rapidly evolving security contexts the Academy has increasingly emphasised learning over teaching and interdisciplinary over single disciplinary subjects.

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  • Does Canada Educate Strategic Subalterns?

    David Last, Ali Dizboni, & H. Christian Breede - Royal Military College of Canada

    The classes and professors at Canada’s RMC closely resemble those of a liberal arts university. Strategic thinking and practice are by-products of a broad education, not doctrine or direction from outside the university.

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  • Teaching IR at Sandhurst: Blended Learning through an Integrated Approach

    An Jacobs - Department of Defence and International Affairs, Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, UK

    Unlike most European and North American Military Academies, The Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst in the UK offers a one-year commissioning course for officer cadets where blended learning is key. The article provides a concise insight into how IR-related academic subjects are taught at Sandhurst and emphasises the uniqueness of integrating academic subjects and military training. It assesses the apparent trend towards an enhanced appreciation and emphasis on the academic aspect of officer education and concludes with key current challenges and opportunities.

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International Relations in Professional Military Education

International Relations in Professional Military Education

IJ Special Edition