U.S. Foreign Policy
Spring 2008 Requirements and Readings
This course is designed to examine U.S. foreign policy using a number of analytic models and theories of decision making including the rational actor approach, bureaucratic politics approach, autonomous state theories, domestic politics theories, imperialist state models, cognitive modeling, social-psychological models, and group and individual dynamic models. These approaches are applied to case studies, mostly in Latin America, Asia and Africa in different administrations since World War II. The cases are drawn from crisis situations as well as routine decision making. Through these case studies the student not only will become familiar with the critical events in U.S. foreign policy that have influenced the way in which decision making has developed in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, but also the student will develop analytic frameworks that can be applied to other nations' foreign policy making. The course begins with an overview of the history of U.S. foreign policy focusing on the various doctrines which have defined U.S. policy. We then explore the various formal models of decision making, followed by a focus on particular case studies and issues.
Grades will be assigned on the basis of the following criteria:
1) On January 29 you will each submit a statement of your goals for the course. This statement should be as specific and detailed as possible. Plan your method for meeting the responsibilities of this course, set weekly goals and time schedules, or whatever will help you to think about why you are taking this particular course and how it fits your over-all learning goals. Then, on the last day of class you will turn in a self-evaluation in which you will analyze how well you met your goals, how your goals changed, and what unforeseen goals emerged. You will then assign yourself an over-all grade based on your performance in this course. Your self-evaluation will constitute ten percent of the final grade.
2) A twelve page (maximum) research paper comparing U.S. policy toward two countries. The focus of the paper should be a particular aspect of U.S. policy such as trade policy, military intervention, economic sanctions, development aid, and so forth. You must consult with me early and often on your choice of topics for the research paper and keep me up to date on your progress. You should be working on the paper from now until it is due on March 13. This paper will constitute thirty percent of your grade.
3) A twelve page (maximum) research paper dealing with any U.S. foreign policy decision since World War II other than a decision directly involving Western Euopean nations and the decision studied should not involve either of the countries compared in the first paper. In the paper you must apply at least two different analytic models to the problem you discuss. You must consult with me early and often on your choice of topics for the research paper and keep me up to date on your progress. You should be working on the paper from now until it is due on April 24 and will constitute thirty percent of your final grade.
4) In lieu of a final exam, you will each write a critical review integrating the material from assigned readings into an overall assessment of of U.S. foreign policy. The critical review will constitute twenty percent of your final grade and is due during the scheduled final exam on May 13 (Seniors: the final paper is due May 8).
6) Each week at the start of the Thursday class there will be a brief five question quiz covering reading for the week. All the quizzes will be averaged and will constitute 10 percent of your final grade.
GRADING WEIGHTSSelf evaluation: 10 percent
First research paper: 30 percent
Second research paper: 30 percent
Critical review: 20 percent
Quizes 10 percent
The following books have NOT been ordered for sale at the Huntley Book Store (although the books might have mysteriously arrived). The new management at the bookstore has made it far too difficult for faculty to order books and since the books can be easily and more cheaply ordered over the internet I will no longer be using Huntley as a source of texts. The following books are required for the course:
Allison, G., Essence of Decision 2nd edition
Useful Internet LinksBay of Pigs Chronology
CIA and the Vietnam Policy Makers: Three Episodes 1962-68
The Cuban Missle Crisis
Foreign Affairs Online
Foreign Relations of the United States (State Department site with documentary history)
Human and Constitutional Rights Resource Page at Columbia University
Portals on the World (LOC links)
Project on Defense Alternatives
Researching Treaties and International Agreements
World Fact Book (CIA)
Test your knowlede of World Geography
You may also find my personal bibliography useful. It is very much a work in progress but you will find a number or references for specific countries useful in researching your papers.