Spring 2007 Course Description

Politics and Process

Section Title: The History Of U.S. Global Policy
Instructor(s): Francis Gavin
Course: P A 383C - Politics and Process
(previously Policy Development)
Unique Number: 63400
Day & Time: Mondays, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.111
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: The United States is and will likely remain the most important actor on the international stage for some time. Understanding how America engages the rest of the world ? and how US foreign policy is developed and executed -- is of fundamental importance. One of the most effective ways to examine U.S. foreign policy development is through historical analysis. Moreover, since policymakers use their understanding of the past when developing current foreign policies (whether they realize it or not), developing sophisticated historical skills is critical for anyone involved in policy development.

Week to week, we will explore the following questions: How does the U.S. foreign policymaking process work? What forces and interests shape the policymaking and implementation process? Who and what are the most important actors and institutions making American foreign policy, and how do they interact? What role does ideology, economics, bureaucratic politics and public opinion play? How does the influence of these forces change over time? How can we evaluate whether particular policies were successes or failures? How did policymakers use the past to understand the present? Furthermore, American foreign policy takes place within an international context. How is the American foreign policymaking process different from that of other countries? How does the US foreign policy apparatus interact with the foreign policy institutions of other states, or with international and non-governmental actors?

This course will investigate these issues by exploring how American foreign, foreign economic, and national security policy has been made and implemented in the past, with an eye towards understanding the present and the future.

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