Loading...

POLSC311: United States Foreign Policy

Unit 5: U.S. Foreign Policy in Broad Perspective   In this final unit, you will take a step back and consider how the theoretical, historical, and topical information from previous units can inform more general questions about formulating a grand strategy for U.S. foreign policy that can inform decisions on specific issues. Articulating a grand strategy requires that you first consider the goals and values of U.S. foreign policy as well as the potential issues, challenges, and decisions such a strategy is meant to inform and influence. Doing so also requires that you think seriously about what the future might hold for U.S. foreign policymakers. The purpose of this unit is to help draw together the disparate elements of the previous units: the overall themes, goals, and values relevant to foreign policymakers in the United States.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 7 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3: 2.75 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - synthesize the history of U.S. foreign policy, the theories of international relations and foreign policymaking, and contemporary issues in U.S. foreign policy to articulate a grand strategy for the United States; and - predict what issues are likely to be important for future foreign policy decision makers. 

5.1 The United States: A Superpower in Decline?   - Reading: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “Is American Superpower in Decline?” Link: iTunes U: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Daniel Sargent’s “Is American Superpower in Decline?” (iTunes)

 Instructions: Scroll down and click the play button beside the
lecture “Lecture 25: Is American Superpower in Decline?”  

 This lecture addresses questions about the role of the United
States in the international system into the twenty-first century,
particularly with regard to questions about whether U.S. policy is
in decline.  

 Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Lecture: Academic Earth: Columbia University: Rashad Khalidi’s “Alternative Visions of American Primacy” Link: Academic Earth: Columbia University: Rashad Khalidi’s “Alternative Visions of American Primacy” (YouTube)

    Instructions: This lecture discusses different ways of understanding American power in the international system.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.2 Prospects for the Future   - Lecture: iTunes U: Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs’ “The Future of Power” Link: iTunes U: Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs’ “The Future of Power” (iTunes)

 Instructions: This lecture provides a general discussion of the way
power is exercised in the international system moving forward.
Scroll down and click on the “The Future of Power?” lecture and
select “View in iTunes.”  

 Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “Predicting the Future and Prescribing for the Future” Link: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Stephen Van Evera’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “Predicting the Future and Prescribing for the Future” (PDF)

    Instructions: This reading is a complement to previous lectures that seek to forecast how U.S. foreign policymakers ought to address future challenges. Click on the PDF link for Sessions 24-25 labeled “Predicting the Future and Prescribing for the Future.” Read the entire set of lecture notes.

    Reading this material should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.3 U.S. Grand Strategy   - Reading: iTunes U: Cornell University’s Political Science: Stephen Krasner’s “Can America Find a Grand Strategy?” Link: iTunes U: Cornell University’s Political Science: Stephen Krasner’s “Can America Find a Grand Strategy?” (iTunes)

 Instructions: This lecture considers American grand strategy moving
forward. Scroll down to the “Stephen Krasner’s: Can America Find a
Grand Strategy?” lecture and click on “View in iTunes.”  

 Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Steve Meyer’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “U.S. Interests and Grand Strategies” Link: MIT OpenCourseWare: Professor Steve Meyer’s American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future: “U.S. Interests and Grand Strategies” (PDF)

    Instructions: Click on the PDF link for Sessions 6-8 labeled “U.S. Interests and Grand Strategies.” Read the entire set of lectures notes.

    Reading these notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Tufts University OpenCourseWare: Professor Jeffrey W. Taliaferro’s Force and Strategy: “U.S. Grand Strategy in a Unipolar World” Link: Tufts University OpenCourseWare: Professor Jeffrey W. Taliaferro’s Force and Strategy: “U.S. Grand Strategy in a Unipolar World” (HTML or PDF)

    Instructions: These lecture notes examine U.S. diplomatic strategy in a world where it remains the leading superpower (although many have argued that China either will replace or already has replaced the United States in this role). Either click on the first slide and continue the presentation by clicking “next” or download a PDF version of the slides by clicking the link at the top of the page.

    Studying these slides should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.