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INT6150 U.S. Foreign Policy at Home and Abroad (10p)

This course investigates US foreign policy inside and out: It examines both the domestic determinants of U.S. foreign policy as well as foreign perspectives on and international determinants of the U.S. role in the world.

About this course:

Has the United States been a force for “good” in the world, or not? Do Americans and foreigners agree on how to evaluate the “American century”? This course investigates U.S. foreign policy inside and out. It examines both the domestic determinants of U.S.foreign policy as well as foreign perspectives on and international determinants of the U.S. role in the world.

We will discuss some of the core tenets of foreign policy making, and underlying ideological questions. What role has race played in U.S. foreign policy? Was – or is –the “liberal world order” the United States created after World War II really “liberal” and did it have any connection to “liberalism” in the United States? What do Americans mean when they argue that the United States is “exceptional” in world history? Do foreigners agree? Will the United States cede power to a rising China going forward?

The candidate shall be able to: 

Knowledge

  • understand the general history of U.S. foreign relations from the founding to today
  • assess the role that important ideational factors, such as race and conceptions of the nation have played throughout this history
  • assess the role that important material factors such as geography have played throughout this history
  • understand and analyze core concepts of the class as defined by the syllabus
  • analyze the role the United States has played in international politics since World War I

Skills

  • critically evaluate current research on U.S. foreign policy, both within political science and history
  • compare and contrast various causal explanations for U.S. foreign policy, both ideational and material
  • understand the impact of and interplay between domestic determinants versus international factors on U.S. foreign policy
  • discuss and present key topics orally
  • argue for and against explanations of key topics in written form

Competence

  • identify and discuss academic issues related to research on U.S. foreign policy
  • have a general understanding of American political history
  • have a general understanding of the history of U.S. foreign relations
  • define and evaluate the main theoretical concepts introduced in class, such as “American exceptionalism,” “nationalism,” “liberalism,” “unilateral,” “multilateral,” and others

Requirements

  • Developing your own research essay in three stages:
    • Present the topic of your research essay, your thesis question and the preliminary literature you have consulted (500-750 words). Pass/fail
    • Essay outline. Pass/fail
    • Present your main argument and counterargument (750-1000 words). Pass/fail.

Exam

  • Research essay; memo: 3500 words (100 % of the grade)