PSCI 365
U.S. Grand Strategy Spring 2015
Division II
Cross-listed PSCI 365 / LEAD 365
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

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.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 3954
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and active participation in class; two short essays and one longer research paper (approximately 15 pages)
Prerequisites: PSCI 120 or PSCI 202 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: PSCI majors and Leadership Studies concentrators
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PSCI 365 Division II LEAD 365 Division II
Attributes: PSCI International Relations Courses

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