United States Foreign Policy [CRN 27408]

Discipline: Political Science
Instructor: Karlin
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 12:10
End: 13:30
Field Work: Day 1 | March 31, 2017 | Ghana
Prerequisites: One (1) international relations course Download Syllabus

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 strategies 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, 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.

Field Work

Country: Ghana
Day: 1
Date: March 31, 2017

The rise of Africa is shaping the international system in a number of ways with different implications for those in and outside of the region.  In particular, both China and the United States have substantial interest in Ghana and its future. To better understand these dynamics, students will meet with diplomats at the U.S. embassy in Accra to discuss their views on the challenges and opportunities that the United States faces vis-à-vis Africa, particularly the dilemmas surrounding competition with China.  Students will also meet with diplomats at the Chinese embassy, who can discuss the Chinese perspective about their country’s involvement in Africa and policy toward the United States. And, students will round out the day in a roundtable discussion with Ghanian students at Legon University, also known as the University of Ghana, to hear their thoughts on Ghanian political thinking. This dialogue will allow students to hear different perspectives and see how U.S.-Chinese competition influences other countries far beyond their respective regions
Learning Objectives:
1. U.S. views on Africa
2. China’s views on Africa
3. U.S.-China competition as manifested in Africa