Political Science W3961x
Professor Richard K. Betts
Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
(except when conflicting meetings require
Room 1328, International Affairs Building
rescheduling) or by appointment.
The course explores the substance and process of U.S. national security policy, focusing on questions
about values, the role of military power, overt and covert intervention, terrorism, weapons of mass
destruction, legislative-executive relations, organizational behavior and bureaucratic politics, leadership
and psychological influences on decision and implementation, and intelligence.
For background, general knowledge of the history of U.S. foreign policy in the past
century, and specific knowledge of current events on the level of careful daily reading of the
, is assumed.
If admitted to the class you must: (1) attend class sessions
(students are allowed one absence, after which any absence for reasons short of a matter of life and death
will be penalized); (2) faithfully complete
class sessions in which they are
discussed (preparation will be probed and unprepared students will be penalized); (3) participate sensibly
in those discussions (students who seldom contribute, or who blather ceaselessly, will be penalized); (4)
write two five-page papers (absolute limit of 1,500 words each) on topics from a choice of options
assigned by the instructor (see pp. 5-6 below), due
at the beginning of the class
(NLT 4:09) on the due
late five-page papers will not be accepted
, since they are meant to prepare you for discussions
that day -- if you do not finish in time, you must do one of the later options); (5) submit a research
proposal on Tuesday, October 14, for a twenty-page (absolute limit of 6,000 words) paper on a topic of
your own choice, adhering strictly to the format dictated on the last page of this syllabus; (6) write the
proposed paper and submit it by noon, Tuesday, December 9.
Papers on topics not approved by the
instructor will not be accepted.
All papers for the course must be double-spaced, in at least 12-point type
with one-inch margins.
For the long paper, the instructor is happy to take the time to provide comments,
except for students who do not care whether they get them.
If you want written comments you must
provide a self-addressed 9x12 return envelope or write specifically on the first page of the paper that you
swear to pick it up on January 21.
All must write
mailing address, phone number, and E-Mail address
the first page of the paper
Approximately one fourth of the course grade will be based on the five-page
papers, one half on the twenty-page paper, and one fourth on performance in class and research paper