American Foreign Policy


Block 0:           Introduction

Block 1:           Historical Context

Block 2:           Institutions and Processes

Block 3:           The United States and the World

Block 4:           Key Issues in International Relations

Block 5:           Futures and Scenarios

Block 0


0.A. Introduction

This block of instruction surveys the theories explaining American foreign policy, the origins of the Cold War, and the meaning of grand strategy. It also covers American exceptionalism: explanations for why the U.S. believes it is different than other nations.

0.B. Theories of US foreign policy

0.C. American exceptionalism

Block 1

Historical Context

1.A. The US rise to world power 1776-1945

This block presents the historical evolution of American thinking on foreign policy and its interaction with the international system of states.

1.B. American foreign policy during the Cold War

1.C. America in the 1990s: searching for a purpose

Block 2

Institutions and Processes

2.A. The foreign policy process: executive, legislative, intelligence

Government behavior is sometimes productively explored as the interests of powerful bureaucratic forces. To facilitate this view, this block presents the principal institutions and their processes.

2.B. Military power and US foreign policy

2.C. Regional shifts in US foreign policy

2.D. Media and US foreign policy

2.E. Identities and US foreign policy

Block 3

The United States and the World

3.A. US foreign policy and the Middle East

This block presents a regional breakdown of American foreign policy.

3.B. US foreign policy and the European Union

3.C. US foreign policy and Russia

3.D. US foreign policy and the Asia-Pacific

3.E. US foreign policy and Latin America

3.F. US foreign policy and Africa

Block 4

Key Issues in International Relations

4.A. Global economy

In addition to regional perspectives, there are also functional issues that are more global than regional in nature. Functional issues with global implications include the economy, terrorism, and the environment.

4.B. Global terrorism

4.C. Global environment

Block 5

Futures and Scenarios

5.A. American foreign policy after 9/11

This final block of instruction builds on previous blocks and attempts to plot a way ahead or, at least, to ask hard questions currently facing national decision makers.

5.B. America’s security trap

5.C. The future of US foreign policy

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