UCL Institute of the Americas


AMER0087: Non-State Actors in U.S. Foreign Policy, 1880-1945

***NOT RUNNING IN 2023-2024***


Tutor: Dr Aaron Hiltner


Level: 7

Credits: 15

Term: 2

In the late 19th century, the U.S. moved to seize and create what would become a sprawling overseas empire. This empire required significant policing, administration, and negotiation. Non-state actors became key figures in this expansion and management of U.S. imperial and economic control, as they went abroad to shape and direct foreign policy. Other non-state actors, however, challenged and protested this violent projection of power, condemning and challenging the human, ecological, and cultural destruction used against U.S. colonies. In an era before the national security state and a professional diplomatic corps, these amateurs exercised real power to guide and contest the direction of U.S. foreign relations. We will examine non-state actors including sugar planters, cowboys, missionaries, boy scouts, geologists, artists, and entertainers. We will study Americans in places including Hawaii, the Philippines, Argentina, Haiti, South Africa, Antarctica, and France.


100% Coursework (4000 words)