PSCI 120
America and the World After September 11 Spring 2010
Division II
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The terrorist attacks of September 11 and the war in Afghanistan raised fundamental questions about the past and future course of American foreign policy. While virtually no one defended the terrorist attacks, many academics argued that the root causes of September 11th were to be found in the flaws of the American approach to the world. In this view, America is an arrogant, unilateralist country that ignores the views and perspectives of the rest of the world community, relies far too much on its overwhelming military power, and often acts against its ideals and values by supporting repressive and unpopular regimes. This course has three primary objectives. First, we will assess important critiques of contemporary American foreign policy from both the left and right of the political spectrum. Second, we will examine the historical and intellectual background of both supporters and critics of American foreign policy in the post Vietnam War era. Third, in the aftermath of September 11 we will attempt to answer the most important question of all for any analysis of American foreign policy: What is to be done? While current issues of American foreign policy will be addressed in this class, potential students should note that its primary focus is not on the technical/military elements of combating terrorism.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 40
Expected: 40
Class#: 3150
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: assignments will include weekly response papers, two 5- to 7-page papers, and a comprehensive in-class final exam; students will also be required to obtain (free) online subscriptions to the "New York Times" and other current periodicals
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students and sophomores
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: PSCI International Relations Courses

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