Fall 2005 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: America and the World--Past, Present, and Future
Instructor(s): Francis Gavin
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 64028
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.109
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Notes: Same as HIS 392-38943 and LAW 379M-26875

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: This course has two parts. First we will explore how America?s involvement in global affairs during the 20th and 21st century has recast international relations and fundamentally altered U.S. institutions, traditions and political character.

We will examine what factors molded and conditioned the U.S. rise to globalism, while highlighting the different (and often contradictory) traditions of American foreign policy, including exclusivism, isolationism, Wilsonianism, containment, and d?tente. We will investigate these and other questions by examining the policies of the United States in both war and peace over the past 100 years. Just as there are many different sources for American foreign policy, there are many different intellectual frameworks for making sense of the diplomatic history of the United States since 1914. The readings are selected to give you a taste of the vastly different ways historians and foreign policy analysts have explained U.S. foreign relations in the 20th century.

The second part of the class will explore what issues will drive international politics during the 21st century, as we debate what role should the United States play in this increasingly complex world. It is over well over a decade since the bipolar, superpower conflict known as the Cold War ended, and four years since the September 11th attacks on the U.S. Yet, it is still unclear what global issues will dominate 21st international relations. Nor is it obvious what role the United States should play in this post-cold war world. We will explore these issues and examine the emergence of new concerns in international politics, such as demographic instability, weapons of mass destruction, resource scarcity, weak and collapsed states, catastrophic terrorism, and environmental security, to name a few. We will discuss whether or not these issues will become more important than the geopolitical, military and international economic concerns that dominated international politics during the 20th century.

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