Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Spring 2020



Course Number

DIPL 3115 / 7115

Course Description

This seminar-like course is focused on the Washington policy process in several dimensions: key actors, institutions and principles that influence the formation of US foreign policy and, more broadly, the interactions of U.S. foreign, domestic policy and the political process. With Washington as its laboratory, the course will explore the growing number of players engaged in policymaking; the ever-expanding range of challenges policymakers face in a rapidly changing world. Attention to the environment - order to a constrained and conflictive national budget; the overlap of international and national agencies in the nation’s capital; and the interplay of government and non-governmental actors. Factor of polarization -

The course to the extent possible will be conducted in seminar form based on discussions, reflections, debates, written and oral presentations and the interactions between the seminar leader and the students.

Where possible and pertinent, lectures, readings and seminar discussion will be supplemented with in-class discussion with policy practitioners and when possible with visits to centers of decision-making and influence that will include government offices, the Congress, think tanks, NGOs and foreign embassies.

One caveat: No syllabus that sufficiently is dynamic and seeks to capture the tempo of change can be fixed in stone, especially in a period of rapid developments on the domestic and international scenes. The seminar leader reserves the right to alter readings and assignments and discussion topics in response to emerging policy challenges.