POLS 435 US Foreign Policy
Overview of Course
Students will learn about the foundational issues that influence contemporary U.S. foreign policy. They will learn about the major actors that shape foreign policy—both in the United States and globally—and issues of relevance for today and the future. A deep grounding in the historical development of U.S. foreign policy will enable students to better appreciate relevant schools of thought. By examining key historical and contemporary events, students will develop a deeper appreciation of foreign affairs from the U.S. perspective, particularly by exploring dynamics vis-à-vis Japan, China, Vietnam, and India. Students will learn how to become rigorous analysts of foreign policy and will be immersed in tools to help guide their understanding of potential future challenges and opportunities. They will learn crucial policymaking skills, including delivering concise briefings and writing memos. They will draft national security strategies from different country’s perspectives to underscore the different lenses through which to view U.S. foreign policy. In approaching this topic, students will not only explore the domestic impact of U.S. foreign policy, but also the global one. Particular attention will be paid to decision-making, including understanding how key decisions are made, who makes them, and the reasons for doing so. Above all, students will learn how to be serious thinkers of world affairs from a U.S. perspective.