AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY - 2018/9
Module code: POL3065
America's role in the world has always been controversial, but since September 11, 2001 and the Bush administration's response to the terrorist attacks of that day US foreign policy has become a focal point for thinking about contemporary international relations. The first half of this module will introduce students to the different schools of thought on American foreign policy. This will provide students with the vocabulary to then interpret and assess US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. The second half of the module will introduce students to key contemporary issues in American foreign policy. For instance, we will consider issues such as why President George W. Bush considered it necessary to invade Iraq when his father decided not to and we will examine what impact the Iraq War has had on US perceptions of its role in the world.
GILLESPIE C Dr (Politics)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 6
JACs code: L240
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
The module is structured in two parts, considering theories and traditions, before turning to discuss these debates through a broadly chronological analysis of contemporary American foreign policy.
Introduction. American power and American exceptionalism.
Theories of American foreign policy and American foreign policy traditions.
Revisionism. America’s imperial foreign policy and questions of Empire.
The end of the Cold War and the New World Order. The foreign policies of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
The Unipolar Moment. The foreign policy of President William Clinton and the geo-political context of the 1990s.
The impact of September 11th 2001. The foreign policy of George W. Bush before 9-11, the shock that 9-11 induced in American society and the framing of 9-11 as an ‘act of war’.
The War on Terror and beyond.
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||CRITIQUE (1,250 WORDS)||30|
|Coursework||ESSAY (2,500 WORDS)||70|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:
Analytical and critical skills.
The ability to write in depth on a specific area of foreign policy and its conceptual framing.
Thus, the assessment for this module consists of:
a critique of either an overarching theory perspective on US foreign policy, or a treatise on it by a significant states-person or critic.
a longer essay on a specified area or era of foreign policy, with an option for an original question designed by student (only with previous sign off on question from module leader).
Formative assessment and feedback
The critique is designed to equip students with knowledge of the literature and theory required to write analytically and critically on an empirical topic in their essays. Students will also receive advice and feedback on essay preparation (abstracts and plans) if they opt to. The essay is designed to build on this knowledge with further theoretical or empirical development of the subject matter from critique, or in a new area.
- Build on, develop, refine and apply knowledge acquired in modules such POL1013 Introduction to International Relations, at Level 1; as well as POL2036 Security Studies, POL2031 Analysing Foreign Policy and POL2030 Theorising International Relations at Level 2;
- Provide students with a detailed theoretical vocabulary through an exploration and interrogation of the principal debates and traditions of American foreign policy. These skills will marry the awareness of historiography developed from POL1019 Contemporary International History (and also POL2030) with disciplinary theoretical debates in International Relations as applied empirically to the United States.
- Enable students to analyse, understand and critique contemporary American foreign policy, through a refined theoretical vocabulary.
|001||Demonstrate a clear understanding of the central ideological, theoretical and historical concepts involved in the making and conduct of contemporary US foreign policy, including relevant institutions and personalities;||KCPT|
|002||Critically engage with central texts on US foreign policy and be able to distinguish authors, locate their opinions on ideological spectrums and critically assess the validity of their views;||KCT|
|003||Apply theoretical frameworks (e.g. Wilsonian, Jacksonian, Hamiltonian, Jeffersonian) to policy/empirical analysis.||KC|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Independent Study Hours: 128
Lecture Hours: 11
Seminar Hours: 11
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
Encourage student independence in learning and teaching.
Encourage the sharing of literature, theory and knowledge in a collaborative environment.
Encourage analytical and critical thought.
The learning and teaching methods include:
Each week, one-hour lectures will introduce students to the subject matter, which will subsequently be discussed in weekly hour-long seminars. Students will be expected to contribute actively during discussion, having prepared to answer a specific question based on between one and three key readings for the week. Three different questions and readings will be set to create a division of labour for the students and maximise learning. This requires all students to prepare each week for the topic. The set up of seminars and group work will be discussed during the first class.
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Reading list for AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/pol3065
Programmes this module appears in
|English Literature with Politics BA (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics and Economics BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|International Politics BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Law with International Relations LLB (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics with Creative Writing BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics with French BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics with German BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics with Spanish BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Public Affairs MPA||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.