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Napoleon: A Controversial Figure
With the upcoming release of the much talked about historical film directed and produced by Ridley Scott, interest will turn once again to one of the historical figures that continue to fascinate long after their lives are over – Napoleon Buonaparte. A military genius and a man of vision to some, a dictator of terrifying ambition to others, he stood, for a short time, astride the European world, ruling France as Emperor. This course will examine his life, his achievements, his impact, especially on France, and his lasting legacy

The Russian Secret Services: From the Czars to Putin

Counterintelligence, state security, intelligence gathering abroad – all the responsibility of the shadowy organizations that make up a nation’s secret services. Recently, with the annexation of Crimea, the repeated interference in foreign elections, the poisoning of political opponents, the war in Ukraine, the Russian secret services have proven, time and again, that they have the power to support Vladimir Putin and help him achieve his many goals, but will they continue?

From atomic espionage to cyber warfare, disinformation, and manipulation, from the czars’ secret police, the Okhrana, to the FSB, we’ll take a fascinating look at the Russian services, their history, their agents, and their considerable ability to cause trouble

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Korea: a civilization, two countries

When it comes to the Korean peninsula and its history, not to mention its role in global geopolitics today, popular misconceptions appear to rule the day.  What is generally perceived is a country divided in two since 1945.  In the north of the 38th parallel, a totalitarian state, poor, closed to foreign influence, aggressive and obsessed with acquiring and enhancing a nuclear arsenal; in the south, a democratic, economically dynamic country, well respected on the global stage.  As it turns out, Korea is much more than its division.  Historically, the peninsula has always been a trade and cultural crossroad; open to multiple influences, at times even more powerful than its neighbours, Japan and China.  At the end of the 19th century, Korea lost its independence and remained a Japanese colony until 1945.  The Cold War led to the birth of two separate entities.  But the Korean War, which confirmed the division between the north and the south, was also a war between Koreans, a terrible civil war.

Is the reunification of the peninsula possible?  The differences between the two countries is such that it is unlikely.... How will North Korea seek to take advantage of our increasingly fragmented world?  In the end, in a fast changing world, could the 38th parallel be the ultimate frontier of the Cold War?

Espionage: the Second Oldest Profession

The dawn of cyber warfare, often associated with the threat of terrorism and foreign interference in national elections, has challenged global intelligence communities. But espionage is nothing new. Espionage rose to prominence under Queen Elizabeth I and played a central role in the US War of Independence, the Napoleonic Wars as well as WWI and WWII. Espionage’s “Golden Age” curtain was drawn in 1991 with the end of the Cold War … but did another one open?

Welcome to the world of covert operations!

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