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Spring 2012 - 61830 - PA383G - Policy Making in a Global Age

Instructor(s): Gavin, Francis J.
Unique Number: 61830
Day & Time: M 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.316/350
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Policy Making in a Global Age addresses the history, politics and organization of how the U.S. government makes and implements global policy decisions. The course will address both theory and practice.

Section Description

What forces and factors drive international relations? What are the dangers and opportunities in world politics? Who/what are the most important institutions and actors in the global landscape? What methodologies and theories are most useful for analyzing the international system? Last but not least, how have the answers to these questions changed over time? How has the international system evolved into its current, 21st century form, and what might the future look like? These are just a few of the core questions that will animate this course.

The Nature of the International System will introduce students to a rigorous analysis of international affairs, teaching them how to identify the factors that motivate foreign policies and private decisions, and to examine the instruments used in the conduct of international relations from a perspective of both theory and practice. As a historian, I will focus on how these issues emerged and evolved over time, in order to provide a richer background and context to our discussions of current and future international relations. We will also learn about and compare different theoretical and methodological approaches to international relations. In doing so, the course will also introduce and explore a number of crucial concepts and issues, including war and peace; international economics; demography, scarcity and sustainability; authority, sovereignty and legitmacy; international law and human rights; global governance and international institutions; and identity, ideas and culture

Required Books:

  • Hal Brands, From Berlin To Baghdad: America's Search for Purpose in the Post-Cold War World
  • Niall Ferguson, War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West
  • Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000
  • Mel Leffler, For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War
  • William McNeil, The Pursuit of Power

Requirements: There will be a mid-term and a final and two short (5-7 pages) writing assignments. In addition, the quality and quantity of your classroom participation will make up a substantial portion of your final grade. You will also be required to attend two (2) Strauss Center events this semester and hand in a 2-page summary. Events will be announced here