Braithwaite435 - 1 Political Science 435 US Foreign Policy...

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1 Political Science 435 US Foreign Policy Alex Braithwaite Office: C366A Clark Office Hours: TW 2-3p (& by appt.) Fall 2007 MW: 4.15p-5.30p Classroom: Clark C146 Phone: 970.491.6424 [email protected] COURSE OVERVIEW This course will analyze American foreign policy since WWII from a variety of theoretical approaches, including theories about world politics, American politics, bureaucratic politics, and decision-making. We begin by looking at the recent history of America’s foreign policy – with a focus upon the cold war. We next examine a variety of influences upon the formation of foreign policies; both from within the government and from external sources. Finally, we will consider a variety of contemporary foreign policy dilemmas facing the USA before finishing off with a discussion of the potential future course of American foreign policy in the twenty first Century. This class will encourage you to think more critically and analytically about historical and current affairs in American Foreign Policy. Central to this goal is recognition of the idea that as political scientists we are interested in identifying and responding to positive questions (which address how and why events occurred) rather than normative questions (which address what should be done). This is to say that we will, throughout, prioritize the maintenance of objectivity in our assessment of particular foreign policy decisions. COURSE REQUIRMENTS, GRADING, AND PROTOCOL Participation and Attendance= 20% My judgment of your active participation in class is the most important element of your assessment. Active participation includes, but is by no means limited to, attendance, asking questions of clarification, offering insights relating to readings or discussions, prompting new directions in class discussions, and attending office hours. It is expected that all students will be present for all class periods. Recognizing that a semester can grow tiring, you are each permitted two unexcused absences from class. Each unexcused absence beyond these two “freebies” will incur a penalty of 1% (to a maximum of 10%) from your final grade.
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