GOV 312L • Issues and Policies in American Government
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Fulfills second half of legislative requirement for 6 hours of American government. The purpose of this class is to introduce students to the process of US foreign-policy making using the case study of policy towards the Middle East, and to present a basis for understanding current Middle East policy. The course also aims to provide tools for critically approaching US Middle East policy, so that students/citizens may make informed opinions on foreign policy issues. The Middle East has historically been of great strategic and moral importance to the United States, and it has taken on even greater importance after the September 11, 2001 attacks and the recent war on Iraq. This course will cover the American approach to Islam and Islamic nations, US strategic interest in Middle Eastern oil, and American commitment to Israel's security. Balancing US strategic interests and commitments in the region, domestic pressures, and principled stands consistent with American values formulates a major theme of the course. The first part of the course investigates US foreign policy making, using illustrative examples from current Middle Eastern policy. The second part of the course constitutes an overview of American historical involvement in the Middle East. This second part highlights issues discussed in the first part and constitutes an in-depth case study of how US foreign policy is made. Finally, current events such as the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, the war in Iraq and the "war on terror" are investigated in greater depth.