POLITICAL SCIENCE 321
American Foreign Policy
- Summer Quarter 2000
- M-F 9:40-11:50
- Professor Stephen Majeski
Gowen Hall 39
office hours: To be Annonunced and by appointment
Course Webpage - http://faculty.washington.edu/majeski/321.sum.2000
- 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 30% 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/
- Required reading materials:
- All reading materials are available on electronic reserve
at the following link electronic
- The bulk of the readings come from the following texts;
- Stephen Ambrose, Rise to Globalism
- George McT. Kahin, Intervention: How America Became Involved
L. Chang and P. Kornbluh, The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
P. Kornbluh and M, Byrne, The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified
- Additional readings come from recent journal articles and
news stories from The New York Times
- Course Assignment and Outline
- Course Introduction 6/19
- I. Constructing America's World: The Blueprint
of Post World War II U.S. Foreign Policy 6/20-6/23
- S. Ambrose, Rise to Globalism, Chapters 4-7.
- II. Understanding How Foreign Policy Decisions are Made
- Case 1 "Good" Policymaking - The Cuban Missile
- L. Chang, and P. Kornbluh The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962,
pp. xv-xix, 1-7, 77-84
- Case 2 "Classic" Policymaking - Vietnam
6/29, 6/30, 7/3, 7/4 (holiday)
- G. Kahin, Intervention: How American Became Involved in
Vietnam pp. 306-401.
- Mid-Term Exam 7/6 Study
- Case 3 "Poor" Policymaking? The Iran Contra
Affair 7/5, 7/7, 7/10
- P. Kornbluh and M, Byrne, The Iran-Contra Scandal: The
Declassified History, pp. xv-xxii, 1-10, 59-65, 122-134,
186-192, 213-219, 243-253, 304-311.
- III. The End of the Cold War, and Post Cold War Foreign
Policy 7/11, 712
- M. Mandelbaum, "Foreign Policy as Social Work,"
Foreign Affairs, 1996, pp. 16-32.
- J. Ikenberry, "The Myth of Post-Cold War Chaos,"
Foreign Affairs, 1996, 79-91.
- M. Danner, "Marooned in the Cold War," World
Policy Journal, 1997, 1-23.
- IV. Contemporary Policy -- Columbia, China, and Nuclear
Weapons 7/13, (No Class 7/14), 7/17
- Selected recent articles from the New York Times
- V. Conclusion 7/18
- FINAL EXAM - 7/19, Final