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Course Description 
This course focuses on American foreign policy.  Foreign policy can be defined as the means by which a nation-state relates to other nation-states.  In other words, foreign policy constitutes the ways in which a country promotes its interests in the world.  A country is able to do this by a variety of methods:  forming alliances, establishing trade relationships, negotiating treaties, shoring up domestic support for international policies, bargaining with international organizations, crafting military doctrines, and waging war.

It is important to study U.S. foreign policy for at least two reasons.  First, we have a vested interest in it since we all live here.  Second, since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has become the most powerful country in the world.  This gives the United States a wider array of policy options, and policy concerns, than any other country in the world.

In this course we attempt to answer the following questions:  What is foreign policy? How does it differ from domestic policy? Why should we study American foreign policy? Should American foreign policy be based on the spreading of American democracy and capitalistic ideals? If not, what should be the driving motivation in America’s relations with other nations?

Some additional  topics for our consideration are:  The "war" on terrorism, U.S. military strategy and issues in the post-cold war world, Controversies, such as rendition, Guantanamo prison, enemy combatant in American foreign policy in relation to international law and organizations, Foreign policy and the media, and the Bush Doctrine.

Required Reading:

American Foreign Policy, Bruce Jentleson, 4nd edition, W.W.Norton, 2010.  This book has a student website
also check out:
Three exams will be given. All tests are essay tests. An exam will be given after completion of each major section of the readings. 

Grades are based on three in-class essay exams (together 60% of the grade), and four written exercises (30%), and class participation (10%). The participation component comes from in-class discussions and participation in the listserv discussions. 

Office Hours and email addresses:

Office Location: Room 206, McNamara Hall 
Hours: Monday 11:00 to 12:00 
Wednesday 11:00 to 12:00 
Friday 11:00 to 12:00 
Other times by appointment 

You can also reach me by using email either at Lewis or at home. 
At Lewis send to: 
At home send to:


  If you have any questions contact me: Joe Gaziano