POL 332 American Foreign Policy (Fall 2019)

Welcome to the course! This is a survey of United States foreign policy from the birth of the nation to the present day. We will also need a conceptual framework that will provide tools of analysis so that we may better understand the American policy and its possible sources, evaluate it, and compare it to other possible policies. Accordingly, we will begin with a couple of readings by John Ikenberry and Ole Holsti on foreign policy theory and then turn to Walter McDougall's history of American foreign policy and related readings.

Is the Middle East Worth It Anymore?

For the Final:

As announced in class, the ninety-minute final will consist of two essay questions. The material to be covered is chapters 5-8 of the McDougall text, two essays by Ikenberry, one by Kagan and one by Leffler, and to a lesser extent the op-ed pieces from the Wall Street Journal on the Middle East and Hong Kong. You should be able to distinguish the four "New Testament" traditions from the four "Old Testament" traditions that we discussed in the first half of the course.

For the Class of December 4th:

Please read the articles that I handed out by Leffler and Kagan. Be prepared to present a short summary of your review for the class. In the summary (and the review) be sure to clearly present the following:

Please consult with me over the next week or two about the review. Review this general memo for basic rules and guidelines.

The review should be about 5 to 7 pages long, and a hard copy should be in my hands by 2:00pm on Friday, December 6th (or 2:45pm if you are in my POL 335 course)

For the Class of Wednesday, November 13th:

It is time to get serious about the article review. For Wednesday, please give me (typewritten) (1) the cites of the article that will be the focus of your review and (2) the cite(s) of the additional materials that you plan to use for comparison-contrast arguments or other purposes. This assignment will constitute 20% of the grade for the review. The reading assignment is McDougall, chapter 8 on Global Meliorism.

For the Class of November 6th:

We will discuss chapter 7 of McDougall on "Containment" and the Ikenberry article on Liberal Internationalism that we did not cover last class.

For the Class of October 30th:

Three things to read: two handouts by John Ikenberry on Liberal Internationalism and Yaroslav Trofimov's piece on United States involvement in the Middle East. As we did with the Hong Kong and Syria articles, we will discuss Trofimov's article in light of the traditions of American foreign policy. Please come prepared to discuss all three articles.

For the Class of October 23d:

Please read chapter 6 of the McDougall text on Wilsonianism or Liberal Internationalism. We will continue this discussion next week also.

For the Class of October 16th:

Please read chapter 5 of McDougall on Progressive Imperialism as announced last week.

What I am adding (the reading assignment that I did not announce last week) is a couple of newspaper articles (Wall Street Journal) on two current foreign policy issues: the Hong Kong protests and the Syrian troop withdrawal. Please read them and we will discuss them after we discuss the McDougall material. Now that we have some background in American foreign policy traditions, I hope to discuss current foreign policy issues every week or two for the rest of the semester.

For the Class of October 9th:

Mid-Term on Wednesday. Two essay questions on the readings assigned thus far in the course—McDougall, Ikenberry, Holsti, and the primary materials from American history.

For the Class of October 2d:

Please read (1) chapter four of McDougall, "Expansionism or Manifest Destiny" and (2) President James K. Polk's Inaugural Address. Brian will present the short paper.

For the Class of September 25th:

Please read (1) chapter three of McDougall on the Monroe Doctrine and (2) the speeches of John Quincy Adams (excerpt) and James Monroe that I handed out in class. Gavin will report on the James Monroe speech. The class discussion and the two reports on Wednesday the 18th were exactly what I am looking for. Keep it up!

For the Class of September 18th:

Please read chapter two of McDougall and the handouts that I gave you: Washington's Farewell Address, Winthrop's "City on a Hill" sermon, and Adams's Model Treaty. Justin will present on Washington and Yasmine will present on Winthrop. Email me if you want some direction on the reports.

For the Class of September 11th:

Please read the Introduction and Chapter One of Walter McDougall's Promised Land Crusader State.

Digital Nationalism by Akash Kapur. Compare to Demchak and Dombrowski, "Rise of a Cybered Westphalian Age 2.)" in Schaub, Understanding Cyber Security (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2018)

For the Class of September 4th:

Please read John Ikenberry's "Introduction," (to his collection of readings entitled American Foreign Policy: Theoretical Essays), which is a review of material that we discuss in the first class, and Ole Holsti's "Models of International Relations and Foreign Policy." Extra copies are in the rack on wall beside my office door.

For this assignment, on one page—only!—please outline in the form described in class and infra Holsti's article. This is a written assignment; please type it, make two copies, and hand one in at the beginning of class, as I explained in class.

Here is the outline format to follow: HOLSTI OUTLINE

North Korea's Hackers

Foreign Policy Resources


John Winthrop's "City on a Hill" Speech American Yawp Reader

John Adams's and the Continental Congress's Model Treaty of 1776 Massachusetts Historical Society, The Adams Papers

George Washington's Sentiments on a Peace Establishment (1783)

George Washington's Farewell Address (1796) (Avalon)

John Quincy Adams's Fourth of July Address (1821) University of Virginia Miller Center

James Monroe's December 2, 1823, Speech—the Monroe Doctrine Speech University of Virginia Miller Center

James K. Polk's Inaugural Address (1845) (Avalon)

Frederick Jackson Turner's "Frontier Thesis" (1893) National Humanities Center

Woodrow Wilson, Speech to the League to Enforce Peace (1916) (American Presidency Project)

Woodrow Wilson's "Peace without Victory" Speech (1917) (BYU Library)

Woodrow Wilson's Message to Congress asking for a Declaration of War (1917) (BYU Library)

Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points (1918) (Avalon)

Treaty of Versailles (1919) (Library of Congress)

Covenant of the League of Nations with amendments up to 1924 (Avalon)

F.D.R.'s Arsenal of Democracy Speech (1940) (Mount Holyoke)

The Atlantic Charter of 1941 (Avalon)

Harry Truman's "Truman Doctrine" Speech (1947) (Avalon)

George Kennan's "Long Telegram" (1946)

George Kennan's "Mr X Article" (1947)

Nitze's NSC 68 Memorandum (1950)

Jimmy Carter's Notre Dame Commencement Address (1977)

Ronald Reagan, Speech to British Parliament (1982) (Emerson Kent)

Joseph S. Nye, Jr., "Soft Power," 80 Foreign Policy (Autumn, 1990), 153-171.

Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" (1993)

Anthony Lake, "From Containment to Enlargement" (1993)

National Security Strategy, 2002 (State)

George W. Bush, Second Inaugural Address (2005); Same

Joseph Nye, On "Soft Power", (Ikenberry review)


Theories of International Alliances

Below is a list of relevant articles on foreign policy issues, and below them is the list of assignments from prior semesters. We will use the articles this semester, but the prior semester materials are yours to review, if you wish.

For the Final:

As I indicated in class, the final will be simply two essay questions with ample time for good answers.

One of the questions will ask you to apply the material on the traditions of American foreign policy to the contemporary world, as described in several of the assigned readings in the last few weeks. The other question will focus primarily on Codevilla's book, from which most of the readings assignments since the mid-term are taken. Be able to identify Codevilla's main argument.

The questions will be general and broad. You must show your familiarity with and understanding of the substance of the readings by using appropriate details from the assigned readings.

The reading assignments that are relevant for the final exam are as follows:

Review-papers due in my office—hard copies only!—by 3:00pm Monday. Absolute deadline. No exceptions for any reason.

For the Class of May 2d, the last class:

Hard copies of the review are due by 3:00pm on Monday, May 7, in my office. No emailed copies will be accepted. A grade will be deducted for each late day. Please come in and talk with me about the paper at least once before handing it in.

As I indicated in class, the main point of the five-page review is a critique or commentary (can be a comparison-contrast with other material) on the author's main point (thesis) and on how the author supported and defended that point (the argument). This is descriptive and should take no more than two pages total. The rest of the review is your critique, your discussion and evaluation, of the author's thesis and argument. I suggest that you use the other materials from the course to make comparisons and contrasts.

Basic requirements:

For the Class of April 18th:

Please read the handout I gave you on the "Market State" from Philip Bobbitt's book, The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History.

Consult with me soon about the book you must review by May 7th.

Books for review:

For the Class of April 11th:

For Wednesday, please read (1) chapter 19 & 20 of the Codevilla book and (2) Joseph Nye's "Soft Power".

If you have trouble accessing Nye's article, or the link does not work (it is working fine for me, now), you can access the article on the Reinsch Library website. Follow these steps:

  1. On the Marymount Portal Page, click on "Quick Links," then on "Library"
  2. On the "Library" page, under "Quick Links" (the left-most column of the three columns that are on the page), click on "MU E-Journal Finder"
  3. On the page entitled "Marymount University Library," under "Online Journals, Books and more," choose "Journals Only" and in the Search box type Foreign Policy
  4. The first item on the list of five is the journal Foreign Policy; on the third line of this entry is "12/01/1970 to 11/30/2014 in JSTOR Arts & Sciences VII." Click on JSTOR Arts & Sciences VII
  5. Scroll down the list of dates to "1990s"; click on "1990s," then scroll down and click on #80, which is the Autumn issue of 1990
  6. Scroll down to the article "Soft Power," pp. 153-171, click on it, and VOILA!
  7. Read the article

Don't forget to see me to select a book or articles to review. Soon!

For the Class of April 4th:

The reading assignment is chapters 1-9 in the Codevilla book. For each chapter, identify (1) Codevilla's main opoint in the chapter (one sentence only!) and (2) how he goes about proving or illustrating his point (one sentence only!). Ellen will report on one of the chapters. Nate and Kathiana also owe me reports, so if either of you want to pick one of the assigned chapters in Codevilla and report on it (after I approve your selection—I want only one student reporting on each of the chapters), email me and claim one. The reports will also clearly and succinctly state Codevilla's main point and how he goes about proving or illustrating it, but should also include a brief comparison-contrast with the other material that we have read in the course.

As I mentioned in class, some books for review:

I'll add others to the list. Please come and talk with me about what you wish to review.

For the Class of March 28th:

As I told you on the 7th, the assignment for the 21st was the completing of the McDougall book. That will be the first order of business on Wednesday, but we must also push ahead. Please read the Preface and Introduction of the Codevilla book, also. Bring two or three questions about the readings for class discussion.

The last two chapters of McDougall bring that narrative up to the end of the twentieth century. McDougall begins to discuss presidents and people who are still alive and who you may have heard of. His follow-up book, The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy continues to discuss contemporary policy and personnel, as well as taking us on another trip through American history. (I assigned a handout from Tragedy during one of the early classes in the semester.) Codevilla also focuses primarily on contemporary issues, policies, and personnel. This sets the tone for the rest of the semester as we focus on contemporary issues and policies. I want to include one class on the legal-constitutional aspects of American foreign policy, as well.

If the bookstore is out of the Codevilla texts, the book is and has been available through Amazon for the last several months, so there are no excuses for not having access to a copy (it is cheap, too!). I will have a bunch of short handouts for you, as well, on Wednesday. See you then.

For the Class of March 7th:

For the mid-term:

The exam will be an essay exam with several questions based on the assigned readings. As I indicated in class, the main focus of the exam will be on the concepts or traditions that McDougall describes in Promised Land, Crusader State: Exceptionalism, Unilateralism, Expansion, the American state system, progressive imperialism, liberal internationalism, and containment (and the alternative labels that McDougall and others use for these traditions.

You should also review the material in the Ikenberry introduction and the Holsti essay on the realism approach to international relations and to the levels of analysis that Waltz, Singer, Jervis, and Gilpin use, according to the short treatment of them in the Ikenberry and Holsti readings. In stead of the ambiguous "Level One," "Level Two," and "Level Three" labels, we will use the more descriptive labels of "individual or decision-maker analysis," "state or national analysis," and "international system or state system analysis." Realists Singer, Jervis, and Gilpin make amendments to Waltz's three levels, but they are all taking a similar approach. Review the three or four pages in Ikenberry's essay and Holsti's essay on these writers and the realistic approach.

For the Class of February 28th:

First thing I remembered AFTER class was the first thing I wrote on my agenda BEFORE the class: discuss the levels of analysis for various foreign policies described in chapters 5 & 6. I apologize for not covering these. We will definitely do so next week.

The reading assignments for next week are chapter 7 in the McDougall text and the individual reports assigned in class:

(If I have mistaken any of these specific assignments, let me know.)

The first four pertain to chapter 6; the last, to chapter 7. The first four are quite short; the last is substantially longer. Each report/paper should do the following:

  1. It should be between 250 and 300 words, typed, double-spaced. You will read it to the class.
  2. It should succinctly explain the circumstances or setting of the speech/document and its purpose. There is no need to repeat anthing else that McDougall says about it in the text.
  3. Most importantly, it should discuss the parts of the document that relate to the traditions of foreign policy that we have been studying: its conformity or conformities to, and its departure(s) from, those traditions.
  4. The report on Kennan's article may be a bit longer than the other four and should relate to the new tradition of "containment" that McDougall discusses in chapter 7.

Please email me with any questions you might have about preparing your reports.

Mid-Term on Wednesday, March 7th. The focus will clearly be on your understanding of (1) the levels of analysis that Ikenberry and Holsti discuss in the opening essays of the course and (2) more importantly, the seven traditions or concepts that we will have covered before the exam and the historical circumstances that McDougall associates them with.

For the Class of February 21st:

Good discussion last time. Please read chapters 5 & 6 of McDougall for class. Try to form a clear understanding of the two concepts or traditions that McDougall is discussing and a clear understanding of their differences from one another. How does each of these traditions depart from the four Old Testament traditions that McDougall discussed before?

You should also identify one specific policy (not tradition) that McDougall describes in one of the two chapters and explain to the class whether the policy emerged primarily from Level 1 (decision-makers), Level II (national or domestic forces), or Level III (the international state system). It seems to me that no foreign (nor domestic) policy can be understood using just one of the levels of analysis, but it is possible to make a reasonable case that one of the levels of analysis is more productive of understanding than the other levels in a particular historical situation. That should be your goal.

For the Class of February 14th:

Please read chapters 3 and 4 of the Promised Land text. As you read about the specific examples of American foreign policy that McDougall describes along the way, try to apply the three levels of analysis to each example: was the American policy primarily a result of (1) America's place in the conbtemporary state system (Level 3), or (2) was the policy a result of domestic forces such as political or economic forces (Level 2), or (3) was the policy primarily the work of an identifiable individual or set of individual decision-makers (Level 1)?

For the Class of January 31st:

We begin the history of American foreign policy with Walter McDougall's Promised Land, Crusader State. Please read the Preface, Introduction, and chapter one of the book. I may or may not ask for outlines, depending on how the class discussion of Holsti's article goes. It's a good idea to take notes or make an outline of the chapters, anyway.

For February 7th, chapter two of McDougall's text, some excerpts (handouts) from his Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy, and Washington's Farewell Address will be assigned, and we will have my old colleague Chuck Smith visit the class to lead the discussion of the Address. Dr. Smith originated this course twenty-five years ago. Plan to be here.