Fall 2003

Northern Illinois University

Christopher Jones

Office: ZU 315 (Enter ZU 316 after 4:30 PM)

Phone: 753-7039

E-mail: cmjones@niu.edu

Class Meetings: T, TH 11:00 AM-12:15 PM

Classroom: DU 476

Office Hours: T, TH 3:30-4:45 PM or by appointment


This survey course in U.S. foreign policy-making has four basic objectives. The first goal is to provide a solid introduction to the actors, interests, and politics that shape the formulation, implementation, and oversight of American foreign policy. After an overview of the domestic and global contexts of foreign policy-making, including the impact of September 11, 2001, several class meetings will focus on specific players within the U.S. foreign policy process: the president, National Security Council, State Department, Defense Department, foreign economic bureaucracy, intelligence community, Congress, interest groups, news media, and the public. In each instance, we will explore the actorís role, interests, and capacity to influence the direction of contemporary foreign policy.

The second objective of the course is to understand how these actors interact to make U.S. foreign policy across a range of issue areas. During one class period we will examine interagency processes. Several other sessions will be devoted to analyzing case studies of recent foreign policy decisions. These cases will illustrate the political and human dimensions of foreign policy decision-making and in doing so provide an opportunity to explore the real world of American foreign policy. Through these critical thinking exercises, we will also uncover the many different decision-making processes that produce foreign policy outcomes. The case studies will also advance the courseís third aim, which is to gain some appreciation of the substantive issues and challenges confronting present-day policy-makers. Some of the subjects to be discussed include terrorism, trade, nuclear proliferation, ethnic conflict, human rights, and weapons procurement.

Through lectures, discussions and case analyses, the fourth and final goal is to consider who truly makes American foreign policy. Scholars of U.S. foreign relations have long debated the relative influence of various governmental and nongovernmental actors. Some individuals contend the president primarily shapes foreign policy. Other observers argue the chief executive is just one of a number of important players. Which perspective is more accurate? Is there one correct explanation or does the answer change with particular issues or circumstances? We will consider these questions throughout the semester, giving particular attention to the "paradox of presidential power," and attempt to reach some conclusions during the final week.


The class meetings devoted to a specific foreign policy actor will have a lecture component. However, students are welcome and encouraged to interrupt me to ask questions or make comments about the material. Also members of the class should be prepared to answer the many questions that I will regularly pose concerning a particular dayís material, a past class, or the assigned readings (which are to be completed before class). Thoughtful participation will be rewarded.

For class meetings devoted to the analysis of case studies, everyoneís active and thoughtful participation is absolutely essential and expected. During these sessions I will guide the discussion and highlight key points and concepts, but the vast majority of our time will be spent discussing and dissecting American foreign policy as a group. Much of the class participation grade (discussed below) will be dependent on studentsí performance during these sessions.

To ensure the quality of these class periods, everyone is expected to do three things. First, a copy of the assigned case study should be brought to class. Second, the assigned case study should be read carefully before class. The "Before You Begin" questions that accompany each case study should be used as a reading guide. Third, some time should be spent prior to class considering any additional questions or instructions that I may have provided at our previous meeting.


Two required textbooks are available for purchase at the university bookstore. I have made a conscious effort to keep the material as affordable and update-to-date as possible. Therefore, the books are recently published paperback editions. To be successful in this course, I strongly encourage students to have personal copies of each of the following books:

  1. Jerel A. Rosati, The Politics of United States Foreign Policy, 3rd edition (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2004).
  2. Ralph G. Carter, ed., Contemporary Cases in U.S. Foreign Policy: From Trade to Terrorism (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2002).

For those students faced with limited budgets, I have placed one copy of each book on two-hour reserve in the library. Please return these materials in a timely fashion so that everyone is guaranteed reasonable access.


The first requirement is written examinations. The midterm exam is scheduled for Thursday, October 9 and will be worth 25 percent of the course grade. The final exam will be administered on Tuesday, December 9 during the universityís examination period and be worth 30 percent of the final course grade. Both examinations must be completed to pass the course. Each test will be composed of a variety of written response short answer questions. Prior to each exam, I will outline the specific exam format, discuss my grading standards, and distribute a study guide.

The second course requirement is participation. Components of this grade include (a) regular and thoughtful participation in class lectures and discussions, (b) regular attendance (no more than three absences), and (c) regular and thoughtful engagement in case study exercises. Failure to fulfill any one these expectations satisfactorily or any additional assignment will significantly reduce the participation grade, which is worth 20 percent of the final course grade.

In general, relevant in-class participation (a and c) will be evaluated according to the following scale (with plus and minus grades being possible):

A = regular and thoughtful participation

B = occasional and thoughtful participation

C = regular attendance, but little or no participation

D = less than regular attendance

F = little or no attendance

Attendance is generally taken each class session. At the end of the semester, the total number of class meetings is divided into the number of times a student was present. The resulting percentage is then converted to a letter grade. Missing class no more than two or three times will result in an "A" for this portion of the participation grade. Please note that a half letter grade deduction will be taken from the overall course participation grade (not just the attendance grade) for each class missed after the fifth absence.

The third course requirement are short quizzes on most or all case study days. These relatively easy quizzes are designed to test one's basic understanding of the assigned case study's content to ensure that the class has completed the reading and is fully prepared to discuss and analyze it. The expectation is that every member of the class will have at least a minimally passing quiz average (60 percent) by the end of the semester. There will be a half letter deduction in the final course grade for anyone who does not. No make up quizzes will be administered.

The fourth course requirement is an eight-page research paper that examines the role and relative influence of an actor within the contemporary U.S. foreign policy process. Unlike the exams, one is not required to complete the paper to pass the course, but failure to submit it will result in a grade of zero percent. To complete this assignment, which is due Tuesday November 25 at 12:30 p.m. and is worth 25 percent of the final course grade, students should follow the detailed directions provided within this syllabus (see below) and on the first day of class.

The midterm examination, final examination, and quizzes will be scored on a 0 to 100 percent scale and assigned a corresponding letter grade (with plus and minus designations included when appropriate). For the research papers and participation, letter grades will be awarded. In computing the final course grade, these two components will count as follows: A = 95, A- = 91, B+ = 88, B = 85, B- =81, C+ = 78, C = 75, C- = 71, D+ = 68, D = 65, D- = 61, and F = 0.


Midterm Examination = 25 percent

Final Examination = 30 percent

Participation = 20 percent

Research Paper = 25 percent



1. Makeup Exams: Makeup exams will only be given in extraordinary circumstances. If such circumstances arise, please contact the instructor as soon as possible and before the scheduled exam. To keep the process fair for everyone in the course, students may be asked to support requests for makeup exams with documentation. A missed examination without prior notification and a documented excuse will result in a zero and a course grade of "F" as opposed to an incomplete.

2. Students with Disabilities: Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.

3. Late Assignments: An assignment submitted after the due date will be penalized by a deduction of ten points or one letter grade per day. Since students will have had several weeks to complete their work, this standard will be waived only in extraordinary circumstances.

4. Submitting Written Work: Assignments should be handed-in to me personally or given to a department secretary to be time-stamped. Assignments placed under my office door or sent with a friend tend to disappear at times. If a student selects one of these modes of delivery, he or she does so at their own risk.

5. Extra Credit: Extra credit assignments will not be given on an individual basis to raise final course grades. Like makeup exams, such projects raise serious questions of equity. In the rare event such a project is made available, every member of the class will be given the opportunity to complete it.

6. Handouts: Handouts are a privilege for those students who attend class on a regular basis. No student is entitled to supplemental materials simply because they are registered for the course.

7. Classroom Etiquette: Students are to arrive at class on time. Two tardy arrivals are equivalent to one class absence. Cell phones, pagers, or any electronic devices that make noise must be turned off during class unless the instructor has been notified beforehand of a special circumstance (e.g., sick family member, pregnant wife, special childcare situation, etc.). No one should talk while someone else is talking; this includes comments meant for a classmate rather than the entire group. What may seem like a whisper or a harmless remark to one person can be a distraction to someone else, particularly in a small room. Overall, classroom dialogue and behavior should always be courteous, respectful of others, and consistent with the expectations set forth by the university.

8. Incomplete Requests: Such petitions will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances. The instructor reserves the right to ask for documentation to verify the problem preventing completion of the course by the normal deadlines. If the student does not present documentation from a university office or official, the matter will be left to the instructorís discretion.

9. Academic Dishonesty: Regarding plagiarism, the NIU Undergraduate Catalog states: "students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging them. Students guilty of, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university." The above statement encompasses the purchase or use of papers that were written by others. Please note that I retain copies of papers written in previous years. In short, students are advised to do their own work and learn the rules for proper quoting, paraphrasing, and footnoting.

10. Class Participation: I recognize class discussion comes more easily for some people than for others. By temperament or habit, some individuals are "talkers" while others are "listeners." Learning to be both is an important subsidiary goal of this course. Comments that are not relevant to the ongoing discussion and off the point will not be rewarded. Remarks that are disruptive to the discussion, insensitive to others, or attempt to dominate the discussion will not be tolerated. I strongly prefer students to participate on a voluntary basis. If you are particularly apprehensive about talking in class, or feel closed out of the discussion for another reason, please speak with me. There are some things I can suggest that may be helpful. Remember: communication skills and self-confidence are extremely important assets in the professional world. Thus it is better to develop these things in the collegial environment of this class rather than under mor! ! e difficult circumstances later in life.

11. Unannounced Quizzes: The instructor reserves the right to conduct pop quizzes (in addition to the case study quizzes), if it becomes grossly apparent through class discussions that students are not completing the assigned readings on a regular basis. If such quizzes are administered, they will be averaged and used to raise or lower a studentís final course grade by a half a letter grade. Whether a particular studentís grade is adjusted positively or negatively will be dependent on a class average. It will not be done capriciously.

12. Undergraduate Writing Awards: The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Departmentís spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages Ė one with the studentís name and one without the studentís name. Only papers written in the previous calendar can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following yearís competition even if the student has graduated.

13. Department of Political Science Web Site: Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu



October 9 - Midterm Examination

November 25 - Research paper is due at 12:30 p.m.

December 9 - Final Examination


* Reading assignments are to be completed by the appropriate date before arriving at class.

Week 1

August 26 Course Introduction

Subject matter

Discussion of requirements, expectations, and policies

Explanation of assignments

Rosati, pp. 2-6 (stop after first paragraph)


August 28 The International Context of U.S. Foreign Policy-Making in the Post-9/11 Era

Rosati, Chapter 3

 Week 2

September 2 The Domestic Context of U.S. Foreign Policy-Making in the Post-9/11 Era

Rosati, "Collapse of the Cold War, September 11, & Politics in the Twenty-first

Century," pp.10-13. See next page for two additional items.

Rosati, "Administration of George Bush, Jr." & "Bush Doctrine", pp. 38-41

Rosati, "Implications of the Sept. 11 Attacks & War on Terrorism," pp. 416-421

September 4 The President: Foreign Policy Roles, Opportunities, & Constraints

Rosati, Chapter 4

Week 3

September 9 The President and War Powers: The Peak of Executive Foreign Policy Influence?

Rosati, pp. 313 (bottom)-318

If you wish to review the entire War Powers Act, go to http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/warpower.htm or http://www.usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/laws/majorlaw/warpower.htm

September 11 Case: The Clinton Administrationís Strikes on Usama Bin Laden

Carter, Chapter 8

Week 4

September 16 Presidential Advisers and the National Security Council

Rosati, Chapter 5

September 18 Case: The War in Kosovo

Carter, Chapter 3

Week 5

September 23 The Foreign Policy Bureaucracy

Begin Rosati, Chapter 6

The reading assignment focuses on the State Department, which we will begin discussing today and continue next Tuesday.

September 25 The State Department

Finish Rosati, Chapter 6

Week 6

September 30 The Foreign Economic Bureaucracy

Rosati, Chapter 9 and pp. 343-352 (on state and local governments)

October 2 Case: Sino-American Trade Relations

Carter, Chapter 12

Week 7

October 7 The Defense Department

Rosati, Chapter 7

October 9 Midterm Examination

Week 8

October 14 Case: The V-22 Osprey

Carter, Chapter 9

October 16 The Intelligence Community

Rosati, pp. 197-217

Week 9

October 21 The Central Intelligence Agency

Rosati, pp. 217-239

October 23 Interagency Processes: Interactions within the U.S. Foreign Policy Process

A reading will be distributed.

Week 10

October 28 The Congress

Rosati, Chapter 11

October 30 Case: The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Carter, Chapter 7

Week 11

November 4 Interest Groups and Nongovernmental Organizations

Rosati, Chapter 16

November 6 Case: East Timor

Carter, Chapter 1

Week 12

November 11 The News Media

Rosati, Chapter 17

November 13 Public Opinion

Rosati, pp. 362-374 (top)

Week 13

November 18 Case: Public Opinion and Bosnia

Carter, Chapter 2

November 20 Film or Video Presentation related to U.S. Foreign Policy-Making

Instructor away at U.S. Military Academy

-Rosati, Chapter 15: Electoral Politics (This topic will not be discussed in class, but questions can certainly be raised on December 2.)

Week 14

November 25 Film or Video Presentation related to U.S. Foreign Policy-Making

Instructor away at the U.S. Military Academy

No reading assignment

Papers are due today.

November 27 No Class - Thanksgiving Break

Week 15

December 2 Course Conclusion: Who Really Makes U.S. Foreign Policy?

Rosati, Chapter 10 and pp.532-536 (stop at the major subheading on this page)

December 4 Complete Course Conclusion (if necessary) and Review for Final Examination

No reading assignment

Week 16

December 9 Final Examination:

10:00-11:50 AM in DU 476



Select an appropriate topic: Choose a specific individual, group, organization, or country that has some impact on the contemporary U.S. foreign policy process. The selection cannot be a specific U.S. president, such as Bill Clinton or George W. Bush. It also cannot be a general subject covered in class, such as the State Department, Congress, or the new media. However, a smaller, more specific topic related to these actors or other class subjects could certainly be explored. Moreover, a paper topic does not have to be limited to the subjects addressed in class. There is a broad range of possibilities. The selected topic must simply be an actor that plays some legitimate role in the contemporary U.S. foreign policy process. "Legitimate" is defined as a legally or politically recognized domestic or international actor that is regularly involved in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. (Please no terrorist organizations, drug ! ! cartels, or other actors of this type.) "Contemporary" is defined as the post-cold war era, or 1993 to the present. The paper can encompass this entire time period or a simply a portion of it.

Topic suggestions: Here are some examples of possible paper topics. Use this list if it is helpful, but certainly do not be limited by it. Please feel free to discuss other ideas with the instructor.

    • Examine a bureaucracy or agency not discussed in detail in class, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Commerce, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Department of Treasury, Department of Energy, Drug Enforcement Agency, etc. For many other ideas, see Rosati pp. 212 and 247.
    • Examine an intelligence agency other than the Central Intelligence Agency. For examples, see Rosati, pp. 200-203.
    • Examine an actor within the CIA, such as the director, inspector general, an office, or one of the four major directorates.
    • Examine an actor within the State Department, such as a the secretary, a specific actor or office, one of the functional or geographic bureaus, ambassadors, embassies or embassy staffs, or a related organization, such as the Agency for International Development.
    • Examine an actor within the Defense Department. Examples include the secretary, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Joint Chiefs of Staffs, Joint Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, a specific commander in chief (CINC) or military command (see Rosati, p. 175), or a branch or organization of the U.S. armed services.
    • Examine a specific vice president or the vice presidency as a whole.
    • Examine the director of homeland security.
    • Examine a specific national security advisor (special assistant for national security affairs), NSC staffer, NSC interagency committee, or NSC staff directorate.
    • Examine a specific national economic advisor (special assistant to the president for economic affairs) or the role of the advisor in general, the National Economic Council (NEC) or the NEC staff.
    • Examine a specific congressional leader or the congressional leadership as a whole.
    • Examine a specific U.S. senator or member of Congress.
    • Examine a specific congressional committee, subcommittee, caucus, or staff.
    • Examine a specific member of the congressional bureaucracy (e.g., General Accounting Office, Congressional Research Service, and Congressional Budget Office).
    • Examine a specific interest group or lobby, which may be organized around on a policy issue, ethnicity, race, religion, profession, or some other factor.
    • Examine a specific trade association or labor union.
    • Examine a specific foreign lobby, foreign government or country.
    • Examine a specific international (intergovernmental) or nongovernmental organization.
    • Examine a specific consulting or lobbying firm.
    • Examine a specific think tank or research organization.
    • Examine a specific academic institution or academia as a whole.
    • Examine a specific U.S. company, industry, economic sector, or constituency.
    • Examine state or local governments as a whole or specific state or local government entity (e.g., State of Illinois).
    • Examine the judiciary as a whole or a specific court (e.g., U.S. Supreme Court).
    • Examine a specific news organization.
    • Examine a specific U.S. political party or political parties a whole.

Goal and substance of the paper: Descriptive, background information or history necessary to understand the actor under study may be included, but this type of information should not dominate the paper. Remember this is a political science paper concerned with the relative influence of an actor within the U.S. foreign policy process. An emphasis should be placed on the actor's formal and, if appropriate, informal roles, functions, or duties. It should also discuss the actor's interests, broadly defined. In addition, the paper should identify and explain the actor's bargaining advantages and disadvantages, or strengths and weaknesses, when interacting with others within the U.S. foreign policy process. Last and most important, the paper must offer an evaluation of the actor's relative influence within the U.S. foreign policy process. Is the actor generally successful or unsuccessful? When and on what issues is the actor in! ! volved in foreign policy making? When does the actor win or lose? Why? It may be helpful to tie your evaluation of relative influence to particular policy issues, points in time, other actors in the foreign policy process, certain events and relationships, or other pertinent factors. Whatever approach is taken be sure to present a reasoned argument based on logic, evidence, and examples rather than assertions of opinion.

Format and presentation: The final paper should be properly presented and assembled. Be sure it conforms to the following guidelines:

    1. Word-processed and double-spaced on white, unlined, 8.5'' x 11'' paper with 12 pt. font
    2. Stapled in upper left-hand corner with no fancy covers or binders
    3. Title page
    4. One-inch margins on all sides
    5. Page numbers
    6. Text begins at the very top of page one
    7. Meet the page minimum

Research and Documentation: The final paper should be carefully and properly documented.

    1. Do not engage in intentional or unintentional plagiarism (see "academic dishonesty" under "course policies and loose ends" above).
    2. Use a reasonable number of complete footnotes or endnotes to indicate sources, supporting evidence, interpretations, contrary analyses or views, as well as to give credit for quotations or paraphrases
    3. Use at least five different sources, as reflected in the endnotes or footnotes, not merely the bibliography. Course textbooks may be used, but these materials do not count toward the number of required sources
    4. Avoid dependency or overuse of particular sources. Diversify sources and citations throughout the entire paper.
    5. Use a widely accepted form of citation, such as MLA, APA, APSR, or the Chicago Manual of Style.
    6. Use quality source material (e.g., books, scholarly journal articles, interviews, memoirs, speeches, government documents, etc.).
    7. Citations from newspapers, newsmagazines, journals of opinion, and the like are acceptable, but they should not be counted toward the required number of sources. (Speak to the instructor if this is truly the only type of material that you can find on your subject.) Newspapers of record should be employed, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, or Christian Science Monitor. Some foreign newspapers may also be acceptable. Good quality sources of information from the World Wide Web are perfectly acceptable and will count toward the source minimum, but this information is it not an excuse for doing library research. Use Internet material in moderation and be sure it is well cited so that anyone could locate the same information.

Quality Writing: The final paper should be well written in formal English.

    1. Begin with a clear and coherent thesis statement or research question.
    2. Include a roadmap paragraph that explains how the paper will be presented.
    3. Use subheading and subsections to organize the paper.
    4. Use a persuasive, analytical, third person voice. Avoid the use of me, my, I, we, our, you, and your.
    5. Avoid the use of contractions in formal papers, such as it's, don't, can't and weren't. Instead use it is, do not, cannot, and were not.
    6. Avoid spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and awkward sentences. Be sure verbs agree with their subjects and pronouns agree with their antecedents. Grammatical errors include split infinitives, cliches, improper or missing capitalization, improper use of apostrophes, confusing plural and possessive forms of words, double negatives, fluctuations in verb tense, and missing or improper punctuation.
    7. Use its and it's, affect and effect, and U.S. and United States properly. On the last point, write out United States when it is a noun and U.S. when it is an adjective.
    8. Carefully proofread the final paper before submitting it.

Writing Assistance: For writing assistance, please consult with the Universityís Writing Center in one of the following ways.

    1. Drop by the Stevenson Towers South, Lower Level Tower B. Writing Center hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; and Monday through Wednesday evenings 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    2. Make an individual appointment by calling (815) 753-6636.
    3. Go to http://www.engl.niu.edu/writing_center/ and e-mail a draft for general feedback.

Research and Substantive Assistance: Students are welcome to consult with the instructor as often as they wish about their paper's topic, source material, or substance. Please feel free to talk to me after class, visit office hours, ask brief questions over e-mail, or submit outlines and research design statements for feedback.

Submitting the Paper: Be sure to submit two copies of the final paper at the proper on the posted due date. Keep a photocopy and computer disk copy of the paper. Students are responsible for supplying an additional copy should the instructor request it.

Paper Grades: The main criteria to be used in evaluating the paper will be the caliber of research, understanding of subject, quality of analysis, quality of writing and overall presentation, degree of independent thinking, and the use of evidence and reasoning to reach meaningful conclusions. It goes without saying that the paper must meet the stated goal of the assignment and the guidelines (discussed above).