Making U.S. Foreign Policy
The course analyzes how the American political system produces foreign policy decisions. In seeking to discover the domestic influences on American foreign policy, we shall examine how the original framers of the constitution intended for the policy process to proceed. We then will use case studies of American foreign policy decision-making to explore how policy actually gets formed, examining the role of various political institutions, including the president, Congress, the news media, public opinion, the bureaucracies of state and defense and the National Security Council. Our case studies will include turning points in Cold-War American foreign policy such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War as well as more current issues and events, including Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. How does a democracy make foreign policy? How does a democracy make decisions in an environment of partisan conflict and lack of consensus on the proper course of policy? This counts toward an upper-level American politics course for the major. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.