POLS 320. U.S. Foreign Policy

The United States emerged from the past millennium as the world’s only “superpower.” During the semester we will explore questions such as:  How did the U.S. gain this undisputed advantage in the international arena?  Does U.S. hegemony threaten world stability or is U.S. guidance the key to peace and prosperity in this millennium?  How are other countries and groups reacting to U.S. power?  Were the September 11 attacks the manifestation of a “clash of civilizations” or a reaction to U.S. imperialism?  As we move chronologically through the major foreign policy events of the past fifty years we will consider traditional political science explanations for U.S. decisions, considering evidence for realist, liberal (or idealist), and critical viewpoints.  By the end of the course students should have gained an appreciation of the difficulties involved in maintaining influence on a global scale and the, often conflicting, impact of U.S. foreign policy decisions on democracy at home and abroad.
Offered: On Occasion
Credits: 3