Course Description

Course Name

Foreign Policy of the United States

Session: VGSS3120

Hours & Credits

20 Scotcat Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Overview

The aim of this course is to provide participants with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history, making of, and issues in US foreign policy, with a specific focus on the post-Cold War era. The course will also promote familiarity with the key theoretical explanations and engage students in contemporary academic and political debates regarding the global role of the United States. Covering political, economic and security issue-areas, we will explore how the US has dealt with the shifting distribution of international power. The course will also promote familiarity with the key theoretical and analytical explanations from International Relations (realism, liberalism, etc.) and Foreign Policy Analysis (decision-making analysis, institutionalist perspectives) to engage students in contemporary academic and political debates regarding the US? global role.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate their conceptually sophisticated knowledge of US foreign policy, in terms of its creation, key characteristics and current developments, and global impact in the post-Cold War era.
  • Show knowledge and understanding of the work of world-leading scholars on US foreign policy ? including IR theoretical scholarship ? facilitating critical analysis of current political and academic debates on US foreign policyApply their transferrable academic and non-academic skills, specifically in terms of providing concise explanations of their arguments, utilising broad research skills and subject specific research techniques, as well as apply a range of methodologies to complex political problems.
  • Harness their critical capacity to assess both political and documentary evidence, and to make arguments in a coherent, structured and persuasive way, communicating their knowledge of US foreign policy orally and in writing, as well as engaging in debate with peers.
  • Conduct research for academic literature and primary sources via online databases and select appropriate materials to support their engagement in seminars, as well as their written work in the form of the assessed essay and examination.
Assessment
1. One essay of between 2,000-2,500 words (40% of final grade)
2. One two-hour exam where students have to answer two questions (50% of final grade)
3. Oral class participation in seminar discussions and debates; where applicable (e.g. power point presentations), written material will also be submitted (10% of final grade). Adjustments and/or alternative modes of assessment will be available for students with disabilities that hinder public speaking.

*Course content subject to change