Examines Congress as a legislative and political institution, rooted in the Constitution but adapting to new problems and pressures. Studies how members perform their legislative and representational roles and respond to political pressures. Devotes special attention to the legislative processes influencing foreign and defense policy, including the key committees, the budget process, foreign economic policy and use of force issues. Taught seminar style, with numerous role-playing exercises. Limited to 14 students.<a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>
Analyzes the bureaucratic political process by which the United States decides and implements its foreign and security policies. Drawing on decision theory and case studies, examines the key institutions involved in the National Security Council process, including the White House, the State and Defense departments and the intelligence community. Also considers the impact of Congress, the media and NGOs. Taught seminar-style, with several role-playing exercises.<a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>
This course will examine the different ways scholarly history is practiced, with a focus on the history of foreign policy and international relations. It will also consider whether a familiarity with historical analysis and methods can improve our understanding of world politics, strategy, and statecraft. Students will be evaluated on the basis of classroom participation and a seminar paper based either upon original research, using primary sources, or a historiographical paper engaging an important and contested issue in the history of international relations (such as the July Crisis, the origins of the Cold War, Vietnam, etc).<a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>
The course is designed to deconstruct key foreign policy concepts, expose procedural and structural influences upon policy formulation, and equip students to shape foreign policy through effective argument and tactics. We will examine how interests and values are understood and manifest in the political and bureaucratic process of crafting US foreign policy. The class begins by exploring the concepts of national interest and individual rights and considering their relationship to U.S. history and political ideology. It analyzes changes in the character and balance of interests and human rights in rhetoric, policy, and organizational structure, probing the links between American decision making and international and nongovernmental influences and institutions. Political and bureaucratic factors shaping U.S. policy formulation are explored through consideration of topics such the use of foreign assistance and sanctions, torture and U.S. prosecution of the "war on terror", military non/intervention in Rwanda, Sudan Iraq, Libya, and Syria and U.S. engagement with European partners and the United Nations. The class highlights tensions between individual rights and national sovereignty, exceptionalism and internationalism, and politics and ideals. Toward the end of the class, we will use the National Intelligence Council’s global trends analysis as context for considering how future developments may shape the content of U.S. foreign policy.<a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>
This course will offer a historical perspective on how U.S. national security policy has been made since the National Security Act of 1947. It will include a look at key eras in the history of the NSC, its changing role, and the special role the president plays in the national security-decision making process. A special focus will be on lessons of the past and their impact on the emerging next generation issues the NSC will face as it becomes ever more important to the foreign policy and national security policy processes of the U.S. government.<a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>
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As the use of military force to resolve disputes between nations becomes less plausible in most regions of the world, the struggle for influence intensifies. Among the results has been the rise to global fame of the concept of ‘Soft Power’, in theory a means to turn a country’s attributes and achievements into a lever for gaining advantage in international competitions of all sorts. Google lists 176m references to the term (11/1/13), China has invested in it heavily and consciously. Even nations such as Russia and Iran are using soft power language and tools. During the Syrian crisis, the term was everywhere. But the course will suggest that the land which gave birth to the term – the US – is still the one which enjoys the greatest advantages in this contest, since the most significant form of soft power leverage over time is the one which most successfully proposes models of modernity. No matter how much weaker the appeal of America’s military, its banks, its politics compared to their heyday, America’s products, icons, technologies, universities, media industries, personalities etc can still produce forms of presence and innovation which the rest of the world must reckon with.The course offers an historical perspective on this dynamic. Specifically it focuses on the great variety of models of modernity the US has produced over time and still can, and how the world has come to terms with them (including militant rejection). The course in its early stages is European in focus. Soon it opens out to other regions of the globe, especially Asia. So often the imperative of innovation that the US brings has encountered waves of anxiety about relations between the state and its citizens, between national communities and the market, between generations, genders, ethnic groups and religions. Efforts to understand ‘soft power’ and the outcomes of the world’s encounter with the American version : these are the central issues of the course.
Analyzes the actual implementation of containment in the Third World during the Cold War. Focuses on a number of events in Africa and Latin America that flared into international crises. Examines the motivations of U.S. policy, the role of covert operations and the importance of the domestic debates in the United States that they engendered. Assesses the costs and benefits of U.S. policy for Americans, Africans and Latins. Stresses the need to understand these crises from multiple perspectives–-not simply those of the relevant governments and international organizations, but also of nonstate actors such as communist parties, guerrilla fighters and independence movements including the African National Congress of Nelson Mandela. This course is based on the professor's research in the United States, Latin America (including the closed Cuban archives) and Africa. (This is a cross-listed course offered by the American Foreign Policy Program that also can fulfill a requirement of the Latin American Studies Program.)<a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>
Surveys American economic policy, domestic and foreign, and the ideas, events and geopolitical and military concerns that have shaped it through successive administrations since World War II. Discusses the legacy of the interwar and wartime years. Subsequently tracks U.S. policy and foreign reactions to it from the Truman to the second Bush administration. Blends history, economics and international relations in an effort to explain the interplay in practice of economic ideas and events. (This is a cross-listed course offered by the American Foreign Policy Program that also can fulfill a requirement for the Global Theory and History and European Studies programs). <a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>
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This course analyzes US foreign policy from independence through World War II. What is striking about these first 180 years of US diplomacy is how relevant many of its debates and crises are to US policy today. Central to the Founding Fathers was the question of the uniqueness, or exceptionalism, of the American experiment. The tension between Jeffersonian idealism and Hamiltonian realism remains the fundamental divide in US foreign policy debates. The intersection between the idea of Manifest Destiny and the institution of slavery opens a window on the powerful influence of racism on the formulation of US policy. The study of US relations with Native Americans and Latin Americans reveals patterns that persist in US relations with weaker states. In the late nineteenth century, the US clash with European imperialism, the conquest of the Philippines, and the opening toward China and Japan lay the foundations for the US global role in the 20th and 21st centuries. Wilsonian idealism continues to inform the present debate, and myths about American “isolationism” between the wars still distort our understanding of the past.<a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>
What is America's purpose in international affairs? What are the major challenges in U.S. foreign policy? What is the future of American power in a changing global system? This course examines these and other critical issues in U.S. foreign policy and global strategy. We will study the opportunities and dilemmas the United States confronts in dealing with terrorism and the Islamic State, great-power competition vis-a-vis Russia and China, the threat of nuclear proliferation and "rogue states," and other issues from international economics to transnational threats. We will consider whether America can maintain its international primacy, and what alternative strategies it might pursue in the future.<a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>
The purpose of the course is to provoke debate on the current choices facing US foreign policy.The course does not offer in-depth training in debating or public speaking, but does allow studentsto acquire practical skills and experience in those areas; in other words, to “learn by doing.” Thecourse consists of formal, public, four-person debates based on some of the topics listed below,and others suggested by the class. Students submit their preferences and are grouped together atthe beginning of the semester. Each debate lasts one class session, plus a period of generaldiscussion. Usually, nine debates are held per semester. Detailed guidelines on debates will behanded out at the first session. Size Limit: Class will be limited to 18 students. Preference will be given to AFP concentrators. Auditors wishing to attend debates are welcome.
This course is part 1 of 2 of the new Kissinger Center curriculum in history, strategy, and statecraft. It provides students with an introduction to issues of strategy, statecraft, and decision-making, framed against the history of U.S. foreign policy. The course begins with a discussion of classic works on strategy and the role of history in policy-making; the bulk of the course then covers key strategic choices and periods in U.S. foreign policy from 1776 to the present, focusing on the post-1945 period. The course addresses subjects from the grand strategy of Washington's Farewell Address, to U.S. strategy in the early nuclear age, to decision-making surrounding the Iraq War and the U.S. response to 9/11. The course can serve as preparation for the core exam in American Foreign Policy.<a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>
Approved for STRAT by Prof. Cohen, Nov. 2011not STRAT anymore as of Fall 2016
The end of the Cold War that dominated the second half of the twentieth century tore apart longstanding patterns of global politics. Some former objects of the great powers became players on the global stage, sometimes important, sometimes bit actors, but always aspiring for a role in shaping events. Many great powers of the 19th and early 20th centuries became less consequential. Long suppressed grievances arose among those on the rise and those in decline. The rise of China, the Arab Awakening and its tumultuous aftermath, the financial crises in Europe, Japan and the United States reinforce these tendencies. This course will explore some of these momentous changes through selected international crises, related events and looming future threats, and how America may deal with them. Attention will focus on cold war and post-cold war Europe, on Iran and the Middle East, on East Asia and globalization, and their historical contexts. We will explore and discuss the implications of these changes for United States interests and for American foreign policy. Each class will consist of a lecture covering the subject of the week to be followed by class discussion and Socratic questioning designed to deepen students' understanding of the trade-offs inherent in the issues and skill in analyzing them. Although this is a two-credit course, it will count as one of the five required courses for AFP concentrators and one of the three required courses for AFP minors.<a href="http://bit.ly/1bebp5s" target="_blank">Click here to see evaluations, syllabi, and faculty bios</a>