American Foreign Policy


Winter Quarter 2003
M,W, F 9:30-10:20
Gowen 201
Professor Stephen Majeski
Gowen Hall 106
206 543-2780
Office Hours M 11-12, Th 1-2 or by appointment
Course Webpage - http://faculty.washington.edu/majeski/321.w2003
Teaching Assistants: Erik Lundsgaarde (elgaarde@u.washington.edu) and Christi Siver (chsiver@u.washington.edu)
 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 a democratic society such as the United States; one which plays a unique role in the international system. 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 (and do perceive) 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 two midterm and one final exam. Each midterm exam will account for 20% of the final course grade and the final exam will account for 30% of the final course grade. The remaining 30% of the final course grade will be based upon individual student contributions to discussions held during the Tuesday -Thursday quiz sections (10%) and assignments organized by the Teaching Assistants (20%). Teaching assistants will discuss their assignments with you early in the quarter. 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:
The following books have been ordered and are available at the University bookstore.
Stephen Ambrose, Rise to Globalism
L. Chang and P. Kornbluh, The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
Course Assignment and Outline
Course Introduction 1/6
I. The Historical Context of American Foreign Policy; "A Fast Tour of the Cold War Era"
A. (1945-1950) Constructing America's World: The Blueprint of Post World War II U.S. Foreign Policy is Produced -- 1/8, 1/10, 1/13, 1/15
S. Ambrose, Rise to Globalism, pp.52-113.
This following two readings can be found on electronic reserve
D. Sylvan and S. Majeski "Was Luce Right: Simulating the Growth of U.S. Client States" pp. 1-8 and
Excerpts from NSC-68
Current example of client state interactions
B. (1950-1988) The Cold War -- Up, then Down, and then Back Up
The Korean War and The "Masters of the Universe" 1/17
S. Ambrose, Rise to Globalism, pp.114-170.
The Hegemon Stumbles and Things Fall Apart (1/20 - holiday), 1/22
S. Ambrose, Rise to Globalism, pp. 171-253, 281-302.
Return of the Hegemon? 1/24
S. Ambrose, Rise to Globalism, pp. 303-351
First Mid-Term Exam 1/27 Study Questions
II. Understanding How Foreign Policy Decisions are Made - Case 1
"Good" Policymaking - The Cuban Missile Crisis 1/29, 1/31/, 2/3, 2/7
L. Chang, and P. Kornbluh The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962, pp. 1-7, 77-154, 197-232.
III. Understanding How Foreign Policy Decisions are Made - Case 2
"Poor" Policymaking? Vietnam 2/10, 2/12, 2/14, (2/17 President's day), 2/19 Video "LBJ Goes to War"
Second Mid-Term Exam 2/21 Study Questions
G. Kahin, Intervention: How American Became Involved in Vietnam pp. 306-401.This reading can be found on electronic reserve
IV. The End of the Cold War, The Gulf War, and Post Cold War Foreign Policy 2/24, 2/26, 2/28, 3/3
S. Ambrose, Rise to Globalism, pp. 352-428.
Plus the following readings readings which can be found on electronic reserve
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.
The Clinton Administration and its Struggles with Osama Bin Laden -- three articles - two from the Washington Post and one from the The New York Times
V. Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policy -- 3/5, 3/7, 3/10, 3/12
The following readings readings can be found on electronic reserve
S. Mallaby, "The Relcutant Imperialist," Foreign Affairs, March 2002.
S. Walt, "Beyond bin Laden," International Security, Winter 2001-2002.
Profile: Changes in the Bush Administration's Views on US Foreign Policy -- National Public Radio -- All Things Considered Transcripts Parts 1 and 2
Full Text of President Bush's National Security Strategy
VI. Conclusion 3/14
FINAL EXAM - Wednesday March 19th 8:30-10:20 AM Final Study Questions