INTL 5560: U. S. Foreign Policy
Students examine the issues, agents, and models surrounding the American foreign policy decision-making process and the issues facing the United States in contemporary international relations. Students begin with the concepts of national interest and American national style.
Next, they examine the policymakers, institutions, and processes involved in the making of American foreign policy. These concepts provide an understanding of foreign policy decision-making in the United States, which students will then apply to a historical survey of American foreign policy from World War II to the present. Course requirements include eight sets of study questions, seven student-to-student discussion requirements, one policy paper, and one peer-review writing assignment.
Listed below are the long-term objectives you should be striving towards as a participant AND contributor in this course.
- To gain a conceptual understanding of how foreign policy is formulated in the U.S.
- To gain a historical understanding of the conduct of U.S. foreign policy since WW II.
- To critically evaluate current international issues facing the U.S. using the conceptual and historical material presented in the course.
- To improve analytical and communication skills in course discussions.
- To improve scholarly writing.
- To develop research competencies using Webster's Internet resources.
- Have a bachelor's degree and be willing to work independently at the graduate level.
- Have sound analytical reasoning skills.
- Have graduate level written communications skills.
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Please be aware when purchasing your textbooks that the International versions of the text may differ from the Domestic (North American) version required for your course.Click here for more information about textbooks for online courses..
The course will be conducted entirely online. Students are expected to participate in all course activities as assigned by the instructor. Course activities may include extensive reading, papers, presentations, discussions, quizzes, and/or group projects.
Student "active" participation in online discussions is mandatory. It is expected that students' comments should integrate their own experience with the topic. Discussion dialogue should always be substantive, thoughtful, respectful, and meaningful with the instructor and other students. Discussion questions could be based on any course material such as weekly assignments and readings.
Students will view the feature film "Thirteen Days," starring Kevin Costner, which is a historical film about the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Weekly Study Questions:
Each week students will turn in written responses to a brief list of study questions focused on the assigned readings from the texts. These responses are not supposed to be a paper, but rather brief highlights of the readings. In many cases, there will not be a correct "answer," but rather a viewpoint or interpretation.
Students will write on different foreign policy issues facing the U.S. today assigned by the instructor. The students' assignment is to analyze an international issue area confronting the U.S. today. To do this, the student must identify U.S. national interests at stake and threats to those interests, identify and analyze alternative courses of action the U.S. could pursue, then, recommend a U.S. policy for the area, and a strategy to implement the policy. The student must provide background information, various options available to the U.S., and your recommendation for which option is best in their "Policy Paper." It is recommended that the students use a simple problem-solving outline, such as: identify problem, gather information, develop possible solutions, analyze and compare possible solutions, and finally, recommend the best option.
Peer Review Paper:
The student will review another student's Policy Paper provided by the instructor. The professor will email each student the paper to review. The main points and the recommendation should be summarized and then strengths and weaknesses identified. These should be tough, objective appraisals of the student's work. Students will be provided the review written on their paper by other students.
The instructor reserves the right to drop any student enrolled in the course who fails to participate in class appropriately, e.g., nonparticipation in discussions and/or failure to submit assignments.
You are required to submit the weekly Study Questions, the Policy Paper, and the Peer Review Paper in a timely manner via Blackboard Assignments area by attaching a file. Blackboard will stamp your submission date/time automatically. You are required to submit Discussion requirements in a timely manner in the Blackboard Discussion area. Discussion assignments are posted directly within the discussion area of Blackboard (no file attachments for Discussions).
I encourage students to plan ahead to avoid having to rush or turn assignments in late. If students know they will be out of town, have a family or medical emergency, or have other contingencies that interrupt their schedules, they should contact me as soon (or, for planned events, as far in advance) as possible. We can then agree on when a late assignment will be submitted. If students fail to contact me, late assignments will be penalized two percent per day after the normal submission date. I will not accept late assignments turned in later than one week after the submission date without coordination with me.
Plagiarism or Cheating:
Webster University strives to be a center of academic excellence and to preserve academic honor and integrity. The University is committed to high standards of ethics and academic honesty. Dishonesty is unacceptable and is subject to disciplinary action. Students will be held responsible for violations. Students are expected to do their own work. Collaboration on assignments is not allowed. The University reserves the right to use electronic databases, such as Turnitin.com. Refer to the University's policies for a definition of academic dishonesty and potential disciplinary actions associated with it.
This syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.