Elizabeth L. Kier
POL S 321
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.
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
Class assignments and grading
Two exams and class participation