AMS 391 • Options for Decision Makers: U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1932
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
The course deals with U.S. Foreign Policy as a dynamic process. It poses two basic questions.
What circumstances and decisions combined to determine the current position of the United States in the world?
What are the major policy choices immediately ahead?
We will address both issues in the light of 73 years of foreign policy implementation. The first question will be addressed by analyzing how the U.S. emerged from primary preoccupation with an internal agenda into superpower status by examining responses to two major variables: (a) competing internal pressures and (b) changing external situations. Decision makers and other policy participants under consideration include the executive branch; the congress; the courts; pressure groups; political parties; the media; the private sector; individual citizens, etc. The second question (where we find ourselves halfway through the first decade of the 21st century) will focus on homeland security, diplomacy, and the use of hard and soft power in an age of globalized terrorism. The U.S. role in international organizations and in treaty relationships will be addressed and questions raised as to U.S. responsibilities in regional trouble spots. Major trends and projections will be under consideration throughout the term, with particular attention scheduled for the final class sessions.
One-third of the final grade will be determined by the analytical paper and the review article; one-third by the mid-term exam and the final exercise; the remaining third by class participation, class exercises, special assignments, etc.