American Foreign Policy

Summer Quarter Term A 2005
M-F 9:40-11:50
Lowe 220
Professor Stephen Majeski
Gowen Hall 106
office hours: To be Annonunced and by appointment
Course Webpage - http://faculty.washington.edu/majeski/321.s2005
 Reading Assignments  Lecture Outlines  Related Links
About the course: The purpose of this course is to familiarize the student with the process of American Foreign Policymaking so that she/he can critically evaluate current and future foreign policy decisions. I take this to be an essential aspect of being a "good citizen." In any event there is much to be critical of historical and current U.S. foreign policy. We will not criticize policy based upon what are claimed to be or believed to be "good" or "right" objectives and goals. That is a political and moral decision which each of us must make on our own. Rather, we will analyze and evaluate, attempt to understand, and criticize foreign policy on its own terms. That is, given that policymakers perceived the world in a particular fashion and that they have a set of elaborated objectives, how and why did (do) they construct and implement foreign policy.
Foreign policy decisions are the product of an historical context (both individual and cultural), a complex bureaucratic process, and an intertwined domestic and international political and economic environment. In order to criticize, evaluate, and understand those decisions and processes, it is essential to examine all these components. We will try to do so all in the space of one academic quarter. This requires making ruthless choices. My choices unfold below. I apologize at the start for leaving out an awful lot of worthwhile material.
Course requirements: There will be one midterm and one final exam. The first exam will account for 40% of the final course grade and the final exam will account for 40% of the final course grade. The remaining 20% of the final course grade will be based upon individual student contributions to discussions. I intend to lecture for the first part of each class (roughly an hour or so) and then we will have discussion. The discussion sessions have two purposes. The first is to elaborate and/or clarify materials in the reading and the lectures. The second is to provide a structured forum for discussion of current U.S. foreign policy issues. Valued contributions to discussion require being informed. I strongly urge that you read the New York Times or come "comparable: sources on a daily basis. Discount order forms for the New York Times will be distributed in class. You can also view some of the New York Times for "free" on the web at http://www.nytimes.com/
Plagiarism is defined as the use of creations, ideas or words of publicly available work without formally acknowledging the author or source through appropriate use of quotation marks, references, and the like. Plagiarizing is presenting someone else's work as one's own original work or thought. This constitutes plagiarism whether it is intentional or unintentional. The University of Washington takes plagiarism very seriously. Plagiarism may lead to disciplinary action by the University against the student who submitted the work. Any student who is uncertain whether his or her use of the work of others constitutes plagiarism should consult the course instructor for guidance before formally submitting the course work involved. (Sources: UW Graduate School Style Manual; UW Bothell Catalog; UW Student Conduct Code)
An incomplete is given only when the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work until within two weeks of the end of the quarter and has furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control. (Source: UW General Catalog 1998-2000, p. 34.)
Disability Accommodation
The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. For information or to request disability accommodation contact: Disabled Students Services (Seattle campus) at (206) 543-8924/V, (206) 543-8925/TTY, (206) 616-8379/Fax, or e-mail at uwdss@u.washington.edu; Bothell Student Affairs at (206) 685-5000/V, (206) 685-5303/TTY, (206) 685-5335/Fax, or e-mail at uwbothel@u.washington.edu; Tacoma Student Services at (253) 552-4000/V, (253) 552-4413/TTY, (253) 552-4414/Fax.
Required reading materials:
All reading materials are available in a reading packet at Professional Copy and Print at 42nd and the "Ave"
Course Assignment and Outline
Course Introduction 6/20
I. Constructing America's World: The Blueprint of Post World War II U.S. Foreign Policy 6/21, 6/22, 6/23, 6/24
II. Understanding How Foreign Policy Decisions are Made -
Case 1 "Good" Policymaking - The Cuban Missile Crisis 6/27, 6/28, 6/29
Case 2 "Poor" Policymaking - Vietnam 6/30, 7/1, 7/4 Holiday no class, 7/5
G. Kahin, Intervention: How American Became Involved in Vietnam pp. 306-401.
Mid-Term Exam 7/6 Study Questions
III. The End of the Cold War, and Post Cold War Foreign Policy 7/7, 7/8, 7/11, 7/12
S.Ambrose, Rise to Globalism pp. 352-397.
A. Bacevich, American Empire pp. 32-78.
R. Rubin, In an Uncertain World pp. 3-38.
A.Bacevich, American Empire pp. 141-166.
IV. Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policy -- 7/13, 7/14, 7/15,7/18, 7/19
A. Bacevich, American Empire pp. 225-244.
Full Text of President Bush's National Security Strategy
C. Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire pp. 15-37, and 151-185.
"The Path to War," From Vaniety Fair May 2004 pp. 101-116, 169-182.
D. Sylvan and S. Majeski, "Empire and Multilateralism: Maintaining Client States During Imperial Decline pp. 1-8.
FINAL EXAM - 7/20 Final Study Questions