790-319 - Political Science 319 Issues of American Foreign...

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Political Science 319 Roy Licklider Issues of American Foreign Policy licklide@rci.rutgers.edu Spring 2009 732 932-9249 (Douglass office) CAREERS: Students often want information about jobs related to international affairs. Careers in International Relations is an essay about different kinds of positions in this area and appropriate ways to prepare for them; it is on the political science department web- page at www.polisci.rutgers.edu/careers. A slightly revised web version with many links to other sites has been prepared by faculty at another school; its address is http://www.drake.edu/artsci/ir/ ir_careers.html. OFFICE HOURS (616 Hickman Hall): Tuesday 1-5, Friday 1-4 WHAT IS THIS COURSE ABOUT? This course is concerned with what policy the American government should adopt toward several foreign policy issues in the next decade or so, including proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, nation-building in Iraq, humanitarian intervention, international financial crises, and planning for the eventual decline of the United States as a hegemonic power. It assumes that policy reflects choice by human beings , although their perceptions and options are restricted, sometimes in ways they may not understand themselves. This implies that it is useful to discuss what this government ought to do in order to both judge and influence its decisions. These topics have at least four things in common. (1) They all require analysts to clarify their goals , establish realistic alternatives , try to determine the consequences of these alternatives, and then choose . We call this process policy analysis , and it is at the heart of the course. Indeed, I hope that you will learn the process so that you can apply it to problems and issues which we cannot foresee. (2) None of the alternatives available may be particularly attractive, but that does not relieve us of the obligation to choose, since some will be clearly worse than others. (3) All are set in the future, so we do not know with confidence the possible alternatives or their consequences. (4) None of these issues has been resolved. Your teachers do not agree on the answers to these questions themselves. You should have no illusions that, at the end of this course, you will be able to answer these questions with great confidence (indeed many students are less sure after the course than before it began). However, you should certainly be more knowledgeable about the different arguments and issues involved. The reading, lectures, and discussions will expose you to different viewpoints, and in the required papers you will have to state fairly positions with which you disagree. GRADING POLICY: Paper #1 20% Paper #2 20% Reading quizzes (top 6 grades) 15% Groupwork (top 4 grades) 15% E-mail listserve participation 10%
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Final exam at scheduled time 20% NOTE: Students must complete at least one version of both papers and the final exam in order to pass the course.
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790-319 - Political Science 319 Issues of American Foreign...

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