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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2004

GOV 312L • Issues and Policies in American Government

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37200 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
FAC 21

Course Description

Fulfills second half of legislative requirement for 6 hours of American government. Offered on the letter-grade basis only. May be taken for credit only once.

How do presidents choose their foreign policies? What role do domestic political considerations play in their decisions and how do they reconcile them with geopolitical imperatives? This class probes these and related questions by examining the foreign policy behavior of presidents from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to George W. Bush. The course is designed to to increase your knowledge of presidential decision-making and to help you think systematically and critically about the forces that shape the nation's foreign policy.

Grading Policy

You are required to do all the readings listed on the syllabus, attend all course meetings, take 3 multiple-choice exams, and complete 6 one-page article (or book chapter) reviews.

Grades will be based on three in-class examinations (25% each), for a total of 75% and six, short (one-page) review of required readings (reviews are worth a total of 25% of your grade). There will be no final exam.


The following books will be used in the course: Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley, Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938, 8th edition (Penguin 1997). Peter Trubowitz, Defining the National Interest: Conflict and Change in American Foreign Policy, (Chicago 1998). Books are on reserve at the UGL and available for purchase at the University Co-Op. Additional course readings are available online at


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