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AMERG009: Politics of US Foreign Policy
This course is not available in the 2012-13 academic year
This course examines the politics of the American foreign policymaking process. It asks how decisions are made, who and what influences foreign policy and seeks to understand why the US government acts as it does. Its emphasis, accordingly, is almost exclusively on the domestic politics of foreign policy.
We begin with a consideration of the dominant and competing themes and enduring patterns in the history of American foreign policymaking. We then consider in-depth the structural evolution of foreign policymaking into the modern president-centred system. The executive bureaucracy, and its internal tensions, will form a significant focus. The role played by non-executive and non-governmental actors in U.S. foreign policy – from Congress to ethnic lobbies, from business to public opinion – will be explored. Towards the close of the course we will test the explanatory power of the key models/theories of decision making. The course uses case studies drawn primarily from the post-cold war era (from Bush Sr to Obama) but students may choose to specialize in earlier periods for the essays.
The course is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars and assessed by means of a 4,000 word essay.
- Hill, Christopher, The Changing Politics of Foreign Policy (New York: Palgrave, 2004)
- Hogan, Michael J. and Thomas G. Paterson, Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations 2nd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004)
- Jentleson, Bruce, American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st century, 2nd ed. (New York: Norton, 2003)
- Mead, Lawrence, Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Can Change the World (New York: Routledge, 2002)
- Mearsheimer, John and Stephen Walt, “The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy,” Middle East Policy 13 (Fall, 2006), 29-87
- Moore, Will H. And David Lanone, “Domestic Politics and US Foreign Policy: A Study of Cold War Conflic behaviour,” Journal of Politics 65 (May 2003), 376-97
- Rosati, Jerel and James Scott, The Politics of US Foreign Policy, 5th ed (Belmont CA: Wadsworth, 2010)
Page last modified on 16 aug 12 19:59