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2013/2014  BA-BLM_BA53  United States Foreign Policy

English Title
United States Foreign Policy

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Changes in course schedule may occur
Wednesday 11.40-13.20 week 36-41, 43-46
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 40
Study board
Study Board for BA in International Business Communication
Course coordinator
  • Underviser
    David Struthers - Department of International Business Communication (IBC)
  • Kevin McGovern - Department of International Business Communication (IBC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • International Political Economy
  • International Politics
  • Communication
  • Political Science
  • Language and Intercultural Studies
Last updated on 22-03-2013
Learning objectives
The overall objective of the course is to provide students with a broad historical context within which further study of contemporary United States foreign policy and economics can be placed.
  • A general understanding of the origins of the United States foreign policy.
  • A general understanding of the primary theoretical paradigms shaping foreign policy decisions.
  • An ability to bring into play a deeper knowledge and a broader perspective when studying contemporary American foreign policy.
  • Creative, coherent, and concise writing.
  • Increase critical reading skills
Course prerequisites
A general familiarity with the American history and society. A level of proficiency in English allowing active participation in class discussions and allowing coherent writing.
Home assignment:
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period December/January and February
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure
Individual written 10-page essay on a topic chosen by the student. Topics are subject to approval by the supervisor. Appropriate essay format and quality standards will be discussed in class. Re-examination the same as the ordinary one.
Course content and structure
This course offers an introduction to United States foreign policy from the beginning of the Spanish American War through the present. It will begin with a historical examination of American expansionism in the Caribbean and the Pacific. We then establish a theoretical overview of the leading paradigms in international relations theory such as realism, neo-realism, constructivism, and Marxism. The remainder of the term will focus on the evolution of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War (1945-1991), the post-Cold War period (1991- 2001), post-September 11, 2001, the George W. Bush presidency, and the Obama administration’s recent foreign policy initiatives (2009-12). We will investigate the crucial decisions and debates that have shaped the course of America’s dealings with the world to illuminate the change and the continuity in policies and policymaking.

Possible texts include:
Joyce P. Kaufman, A Concise History of U.S. Foreign Policy. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2nd edition 2010.

Eugene R. Wittkopf and James M. McCormick, eds., The Domestic Sources of American Foreign Policy, 5th edition (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007).

Mintz, A., and K. DeRouen. Understanding Foreign Policy Decision Making. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Teaching methods
The course consists of 10 weekly double lessons.
Lectures and class discussions.
Last updated on 22-03-2013