PSCI 365 Spring 2015 U.S. Grand Strategy

Cross Listed as LEAD365
This course examines how U.S. leaders have conceived of their nation's place in the world and sought to use power to achieve national objectives. We will consider military affairs, economics, and diplomacy, but the class is mostly concerned with ideas. How have leaders from James Madison to George W. Bush thought about U.S. vulnerabilities, resources, and goals, and how have those ideas influenced foreign policy decisions? How did key leaders balance competing objectives and navigate difficult international circumstances? Which leaders were successful in managing U.S. statecraft, and which were not? Which leaders developed coherent grand strategies? What lessons might we derive for our own times from studying this history? The course will sweep across American history but will not attempt to be exhaustive in any way. Rather, it will focus on certain moments that highlight changing grand strategic thought. We will carefully consider, for example, the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, continental expansion in the Manifest Destiny period, the Civil War, overseas expansion in the late nineteenth century, the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, the Second World War, the Cold War, and the "War on Terror." Possible texts include Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, The Federalist Papers; Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History; George Kennan, American Diplomacy; Richard Immerman, Empire for Liberty; Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy; James McPherson, Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief; and a collection of primary sources.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and active participation in class; two short essays and one longer research paper (approximately 15 pages)
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Prerequisites: PSCI 120 or PSCI 202 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: PSCI majors and Leadership Studies concentrators
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: PSCI International Relations Courses
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 3954
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER ENRL CONSENT
PSCI 365 - 01 (S) SEM U.S. Grand Strategy Division 2: Social Studies Douglas J. MacDonald
W 1:10 PM-3:50 PM 3954 Open
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