Document Type

Graduate Syllabus


Spring 2012



Course Number

DIPL 6182

Course Description

This course exposes students to multiple approaches for analyzing and conducting US foreign policy. It seeks to bridge theoretical divides and to view US foreign policy through multiple lenses that help students understand the past and make informed predictions of and prescriptions for the future. We will pay special attention to the domestic institutional and ideational determinants of US foreign policy - unique or otherwise - and study decision-making dynamics at the personal, psychological level. The course will feature three interactive, role-playing exercises in which students will apply their knowledge to problems and scenarios in US foreign policy-making. Students will be challenged to consider big, policy-relevant questions: What should be America's grand strategy? Should the US seek to remain a hegemon? What are America's chief threats and interests? Under what conditions should the US employ military force? Are certain paradigms (such as the rogue state paradigm) useful or counter-productive? The ideal outcome is for a student to become not only a scholar of US foreign policy, but a capable budding practitioner, as well.