POLS 382: American Foreign Policy-Making
Du Sable 246
Instructor: Kevin Marsh
Office Hours: MWF , or by appointment
Office Location: DU 476 (the POLS TA lounge)
This course explores the sources of American foreign policy. We will consider the five sources of American foreign policy: international, societal, governmental, individual, and role and how they impact American foreign policy. This course will seek to answer the question of who makes American foreign policy, and what are the most important influences and sources of American foreign policy. This is a course that focuses on the processes of American foreign policy making and the various actors, influences, issues, and features present in American foreign policy making. The goal of this course is to acquaint the student with knowledge of how American foreign policy is made.
This course will incorporate current events and will address the new Obama administration and ramifications for the future of American foreign policy making. Students will read various case studies that incorporate current and historical events in an effort to further illustrate the sources of American foreign policy.
It is strongly recommended that students have taken POLS 285 and POLS 100 prior to taking this course.
This course will be a lot more interesting and valuable for both students and instructor if there is thoughtful and repeated participation and discussion by the students.
An important element of class participation is being prepared for class. This means completing the readings before class. There are readings due for every class session. The reading load for this course is designed to be challenging, but the readings have been selected in order to provide the student with a comprehensive knowledge of American foreign policy making.
Additional readings will be available on Blackboard.
Class Participation: 5%
Midterm Exam: 25%
Research Paper: 30%
Quiz Average: 15%
Final Exam 25%
The Mid-Term Exam will cover the first half of the course, and the final exam will cover mainly the second half of the course, with some comprehensive elements. Both the mid-term and final exams will be a mixture of key term definitions and significances, and essay questions.
The five quizzes will cover the readings and material from lectures. These quizzes will be multiple choice format, and I will drop the lowest quiz grade at the end of the semester. The quizzes will be averaged together at the end of the semester to compute the student's quiz average.
The research paper is a 10-12 page paper that will be on a topic of the student's choosing. The research paper must examine an event or case study of American foreign policy and examine and analyze it from one of the five sources of American foreign policy making. Students will be expected to create a central argument and support it with evidence from outside sources. Acceptable outside sources include reputable media outlets, your textbook, the case study readings, academic journals and articles, and books. WIKIPEDIA is not an acceptable source, nor are non-academic websites.
The paper should include a clearly stated central argument,
identification and definition of the source that the student is using, and
supporting evidence to illustrate how the chosen source of
For example, how do role sources of American foreign policymaking
account for the 1980 hostage rescue attempt in
THE PAPER IS DUE
Make-up Exams: A make-up exam or quiz will only be given in extraordinary circumstances. You must inform me as soon as possible before the scheduled exam. Requests without prior notification and documented evidence will not be accepted and will result in a zero grade for the exam or quiz.
Classroom Etiquette: This is very important to me. You are adults and will be expected to act accordingly in my classroom. Any usage of cellular phones (talking, texting, playing games, etc.) is not allowed and will result in first a verbal warning, and then the instructor reserves the right to remove disruptive students from the classroom for repeated offenses. Usage of any other electronic devices with the exception of laptops to take notes is not allowed either. You are not going to succeed in this course if you are texting during my class. Simply turn your phone to vibrate and IPods off in my class and there will be no problems at all in this regard.
Another important element of classroom etiquette is respect for your fellow students and the instructor. Respect for students means that all opinions, questions, and discussions by your fellow students are respected. Politics is an art of discourse and is dependent upon people feeling comfortable to express their opinions on issues. Respect for the instructor means don't come late to class, don't leave early (unless you notify me ahead of time), don't sleep in my class, and don't disrupt class by excessive talking with your neighbors.
Basically, act like an adult, and you will be treated like one in my class.
Students who continually violate the standards of classroom etiquette will have their classroom participation grades penalized accordingly.
Extra Credit: Under no circumstances will extra credit be granted on an individual basis. However, the instructor reserves the right to incorporate extra credit questions on the case study quizzes or exams.
Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism: You really, really, really don't want to do this in this course. Academic dishonesty and plagiarism include cheating on tests, failing to cite in the final essay, or copying and plagiarizing for their papers. 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. In short, students are advised to do their own work and learn the rules for proper quoting, paraphrasing, and footnoting.
Essentially, if you cheat or plagiarize, you will receive a zero for that assignment or exam and will be referred to the University for additional sanctioning. Don't do it, it's simply not worth it!
Late Assignments: Late assignments will be penalized by one letter grade per day, or ten points per day. This standard will be waived only in extraordinary circumstances.
Submission of Written Work: Assignments should be handed in personally to me at the beginning of class on the day that they are due. Students who e-mail their assignments must receive prior permission and e-mail the assignment by on the due date.
Incompletes: Incompletes will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances.
Auditing: Students who request an audit must attend all classes and participate in class to satisfy the requirements of an audit.
Statement Concerning 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 University's Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR). 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.
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 Department’s 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 – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s 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 year’s competition even if the student has graduated.
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, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities.
Part I. Course Introduction: History and Patterns of American Foreign Policy
January 12th: Course Introduction
January 14th: Introduction to the Sources of American Foreign Policy
Read: Textbook pgs 1-27
January 16th: Patterns of American Foreign Policy: 1776-1989
Read Textbook pgs 29-56
January 21st: Patterns of American Foreign Policy: 1989-2009
Read Textbook pgs 56-73
Part II. External Sources of American Foreign Policy
January 23rd: The International Political System in Transition
Read Textbook pgs 145-158
January 26th: The International Political System in Transition
Read Textbook pgs 175-195
Read Textbook pgs 215-235
Part III. Societal Sources of American Foreign Policy
January 30th: Political Culture and Public Opinion in Foreign Policy
Read Textbook pgs 239-251
February 2nd: Political Culture and Public Opinion in Foreign Policy
Read Textbook pgs 251-280
February 4th: Interest Groups and American Foreign Policy
Read Textbook pgs 283-290, 298-305
February 6th: Interest Groups and American Foreign Policy: The Military-Industrial Complex
Read Textbook pgs 291-298
February 9th: The Mass Media and American Foreign Policy
Read Textbook pgs 304-317
February 11th: The Mass Media and American Foreign Policy: The “CNN Effect”
Read: “The CNN Effect: Can the
Read: “Focus on the CNN Effect Misses the Point: The Real Media Impact on Conflict Management is Invisible and Indirect” by Peter Viggo Jakobsen
Part IV. Governmental Sources of American Foreign Policy
February 13th: Presidential Preeminence in Foreign Policy Making: Presidential Powers
Read Textbook pgs 325-332
February 16th: ISA CONFERENCE: NO CLASS
February 18th: Presidential Preeminence in Foreign Policymaking: The Cabinet
Read Textbook pgs 333-340
February 20th: Presidential Preeminence in Foreign Policymaking: The National Security Council, Structure, Organization, and Purpose
Read: Go to www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/ and read through the features on the site
February 23rd: Presidential Preeminence in Foreign Policymaking: Case Studies of the National Security Council
Read Textbook pgs 340-356
February 25th: President Preeminence in Foreign Policymaking: The Barack Obama Administration and American Foreign Policymaking
Read: “Renewing American Leadership” by Barack Obama
Read: “Charting a
February 27th: Midterm Review
March 2nd: Midterm Exam
March 4th: Leadership Style and Executive Arrangements
Read: “Presidents, Advisers and Foreign Policy: The Effect of Leadership Style on Executive Arrangements” by Margaret Hermann and Thomas Preston
March 6th: Presidential Preeminence in Foreign Policy Making: Department of Homeland Security and Counterterrorism in a Post 9/11 World
Read Textbook pgs 361-363
Read: Go to www.dhs.gov and look through the features on the website
March 16th: The State Department: Role and Resources
Read Textbook pgs 368-377
March 18th: The State Department: Influence and Perspectives
Read: “Rogue State Department” by Newt Gingrich
Read: “Domestic Obstacles to International Affairs: The State Department Under Fire at Home” by Steven Hook
March 20th: The Department of Defense: The Office of Secretary of Defense
Read Textbook: pgs 378-383
March 23rd: The Department of Defense: The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Armed Forces
Read Textbook: pgs 383-388
Go to www.defense.mil and examine the features of the website
March 25th: The Department of Defense: The Challenge of Military Transformation
Read: “A Balanced Strategy by Robert Gates”. Available on www.foreignaffairs.org.
March 27th: The Intelligence Community: History and Composition
Read Textbook pgs 388-405
March 30th: The Intelligence Community: Reform and the Director of National Intelligence
Read: “Intelligence Reform Progress Report” by DNI Negroponte
Go to www.dni.gov and examine the features of the website
April 1st: Economics and U.S. Foreign Policy Making: The White House, Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and Labor
Read Textbook pgs 356-360, 406-409
April 3rd: Congress and Foreign Policymaking: Powers
Read Textbook pgs 413-436
April 6th: Congress, Foreign Policy, and the Executive Branch
Read Textbook pgs 436-450
April 8th: Congress and Foreign Policymaking: The War Powers Act
Read: The War Powers Act
Part V. Role Sources of American Foreign Policy
April 10th: Rationality and Bureaucracy in Foreign Policymaking
Read Textbook pgs 455-473
April 13th: Organizational Decision Making
Read Textbook pgs 473-485
April 15th: Case Study in Decision Making: Cuban Missile Crisis
Read: “Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis” by Graham Allison
Part VI. Individuals as Sources of American Foreign Policy
April 17th: Individuals and Foreign Policy Performance
Read Textbook pgs 491-505
April 20th: The Impact of Individuals' Personality and Cognitive Characteristics
Read Textbook pgs 505-517
Part VII. The Future of American Foreign Policymaking
April 22nd: Comparing Obama and Bush
Read: 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States of America
Re-Read: “Renewing American Leadership” by Barack Obama
PAPERS ARE DUE
April 24th: Challenges to American Primacy I: Optimistic View
Read: “America's Role After Bush” by Bruce Jentleson
April 26th: Challenges to American Primacy II: Negative View
Read: “Unipolar Illusions' by David Calleo
April 29th: Final Exam Review
May 6th: Final Exam 10-11:50am, DU 246