United States Foreign Policy


Winter Quarter 2006
Tu,Th 1:30-3:20
SAV 326
Professor Stephen Majeski
Gowen Hall 106
office hours: To be Annonunced and by appointment
Course Webpage - http://faculty.washington.edu/majeski/pols398.06/Index.html
Epost for class - http://catalyst.washington.edu/webtools/epost/register.cgi?owner=jensenjo&id=
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. Foreign policy decisions are the product of an history of prior policies, a complex and evolving bureaucracy, a dynamic international political and economic environment, and a set of policy tools and procedures available to policmakers. In order to criticize, evaluate, and understand those decisions and processes, it is essential to examine all these components. We will do so by examining a perspective that understands US foreign policy at least since 1898 as an empire made up of a network of client states where most activities involve acquiring and maintaining US clients.
Course requirements: Each student will write three analytical papers. The first and third papers each will be worth 20% of the final course grade. The second paper will be worth 35% of the final course grade. Participation in seminar discussion will account for the final 25% of the course grade. I strongly urge that you read the New York Times or some "comparable: sources on a daily basis. You can view most 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 (except those with links to the Web) are available in a reading packet at Professional Copy and Print at 42nd and the "Ave"
Course Assignment and Outline
1/3 Course Introduction
I. The American Empire
1/5 D. Sylvan and S. Majeski, US Foreign Policy in Perspective, Chapter 2, "An Empire of Clients"
II. A Survey of US Foreign Policy in the 20th Century -- Big Policies and Events
1/10, 1/12, 1/17, 1/19, 1/24 S. Ambrose, Rise to Globalism, Chapters 4-12, 14-17
Text of NSC-68, http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nsc-hst/nsc-68.htm
First paper due Monday 1/30 by 5 PM
III. How the US Empire Was Put Together
1/26 D. Sylvan and S. Majeski US Foreign Policy in Perspective, Chapter 3, "Acquiring Client States"
IV. Maintaining An Empire of Clients and Dealing with Enemies
1/31, 2/2 D. Sylvan and S. Majeski US Foreign Policy in Perspective, Chapter 4, "The Routine Maintenance of Client States"
2/7, 2/9, 2/14, 2/16 D. Sylvan and S. Majeski US Foreign Policy in Perspective, Chapter 5, "Client Maintenance by Interventions"
2/16, 2/23 D. Sylvan and S. Majeski US Foreign Policy in Perspective, Chapter 6, "Hostile Interventions"
Second Paper due Wednesday 3/1 by 5 PM
V. Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policy and the Sustainability of the Empire
2/28 A. Bacevich, American Empire pp. 32-78, 141-166, 225-244.
C. Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire pp. 15-37, and 151-185.
Full Text of President Bush's National Security Strategy, http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.pdf
3/2 B. Woodward, Bush At War, Chs 3-7, 10.
3/7 B. Woodward, Plan of Attack, Chs 1-14.
Text of National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq/iraq_national_strategy_20051130.pdf
3/9 D. Sylvan and S. Majeski, "Empire and Multilateralism: Maintaining Client States During Imperial Decline pp. 1-8, Empire and Multilateralism: Maintaining Client States During Imperial Decline
Third Paper due Wednesday 3/15 by 5 PM