Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Elizabeth L. Kier
POL S 321
Seattle Campus

American Foreign Policy

Constitutional framework; major factors in formulation and execution of policy; policies as modified by recent developments; the principal policymakers - president, Congress, political parties, pressure groups, and public opinion.

Class description

This course examines U.S. foreign policy. We begin by exploring two dominant approaches to international relations, Realism and Liberalism, and compare how each would explain the sources of U.S. foreign policy. We then use these approaches to examine pivotal events, actors, and developments in U.S. foreign and defense policy since World War II. The first section looks at two crucial questions about the Cold War: why it ended and its consequences for U.S. state-building (and U.S. foreign policy). The second section will first examine two prominent issues in the immediate post Cold War period: NATO expansion and humanitarian intervention. We then explore the role of nuclear weapons in the 21st century: their effect on foreign policy and the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation. Finally, we address some current issues in U.S. foreign policy, such as the rise of China and American increased reliance on privatized military force.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture and class discussion

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Two exams and class participation


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Elizabeth L. Kier
Date: 05/12/2011