PSCI 120 Fall 2012 America and the World

Cross Listed as LEAD120, INST101
The basic question animating this course is quite simple. What's the deal with American foreign policy? This question is posed not from any normative viewpoint, but rather from a historical one: viewed from the past, contemporary American foreign policy seems bizarre.
A country founded on (with a couple of exceptions) three centuries of political isolation outside of the Western hemisphere now bestrides the globe like a colossus. During the age of empire at the turn of the century, when Europeans controlled vast swathes of Africa and Asia, America conquered the Philippine Islands. By accident, more or less. During the first part of the great global struggle known as the Cold War, American statesmen looked longingly at the exits from Europe. Historically, Americans don't do foreign policy. But the world has changed, and perhaps America has as well. President Roosevelt's prophecy during the Second World War has come true: "there is literally no question, political or military, in which the United States is not interested."
The object of this course is to introduce you to international relations and American foreign policy through a study of the problems and dynamics of America's new situation. Several general themes emerge over the semester. What are the major forces driving American foreign policy; that is, what causes change and continuity in the American approach? How have American statesmen thought about these issues? What are the dynamics of particular foreign policy problems? And, most importantly, what policies should the United States pursue? To get a handle on these issues we will study American foreign policy traditions, American strategy during and after the Cold War, terrorism, the contemporary Middle East, and other topics of current interest.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: papers, participation, and exam
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first-years and sophomores
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
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Enrollment Limit: none
Expected Enrollment: 30
Class Number: 1636
PSCI120-01(F) LEC America and the World Division 2: Social Studies Brendan R. Green
MWF 08:30 AM-09:45 AM Griffin 2 1636
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