Module Information

Module Identifier
IQ32220
Module Title
Us Foreign Policy Analysis : Actors, Processes, and Issues
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
External Examiners
  • Professor Matthew Stibbe (Professor - Sheffield Hallam University)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 4 x 2 Hour Seminars
Lecture 10 x 1 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar participation/presentation  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word case study  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,000 word assignment in lieu of seminar performance  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay, if essay element failed  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay, if essay element failed  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. critically understand and engage with IR theories and theories of decision-making in the study of foreign policy
2. display a systematic understanding of concepts of power and influence as they pertain to foreign policy making and implementation
3. understand the role of cultural, economic, geographical, historical, and political dimensions of foreign policy making
4. understand major thematic debates in the study of foreign policy making, foreign policy makers, and foreign policy implementation
5. identify and assess the major debates underway in the discipline and apply various theoretical approaches to US foreign policy.
6. locate the main actors responsible for the formulation of US foreign policy as well as assess their relative influence in both the domestic and global arenas.
7. identify the major challenges and opportunities faced by US foreign policy-makers in the contemporary era.
8. form an empirically detailed and analytically critical appreciation of historical and contemporary practices of US foreign policy.

Brief description

This module has two main objectives. Firstly, the module examines foreign policy analysis from a conceptual angle with a focus on theories, concepts, and models in foreign policy analysis. The module seeks to understand the manner in which foreign policy is formulated and executed through a critical engagement with theories of decision-making in foreign policy analysis, an analysis of interests and values informing foreign policy-making, the study of practical issues and problems in foreign policy decision-making (domestic and international pressures), and a critical examination of the role of individuals in the implementation of foreign policy. Secondly, the module seeks to apply the conceptual content to US foreign policy in the contemporary era. The module introduces the main theoretical and conceptual debates concerning US foreign policy; focuses on the institutions and processes of US foreign policy-making; analyses the individual, governmental, societal and external sources of US foreign policy; and thus seeks to explain the role of the US within the international system today and its relationship with other states and non-state actors. The module tackles a range of issues and challenges facing the US, such as international terrorism, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 'pivot' of US foreign policy from the Middle East to East Asia, effects of globalisation, environmental issues, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and the nature of US relations with other major powers.

Aims

1. Offer a comprehensive and critical engagement with IR theories and theories of decision-making in the study of foreign policy.
2. Analyse the impact of the concepts of power and influence in foreign policy making.
3. Analyse the role of cultural, economic, geographical, historical, and political dimensions of foreign policy making
4. Identify major thematic debates in the study of foreign policy making, foreign policy makers, and foreign policy implementation
5. Apply points 1 to 4 to US foreign policy.
6. Identify main actors of US foreign policy as well as assess their relative influence in both the domestic and global arenas.
7.Identify the major challenges and opportunities faced by US foreign policy-makers in the contemporary era.
8. Offer an empirically detailed and analytically critical appreciation of historical and contemporary practices of US foreign policy.

Content

Part 1. Foreign Policy Analysis: Theories and Concepts
Lecture 1 Understanding Foreign Policy
Lecture 2 IR Theory and Foreign Policy
Lecture 3 Levels and Models of Foreign Policy Analysis and Decision-making
Part 2. United States Foreign Policy
US Foreign Policy: Origins, Theory, Actors, and Processes
Lecture 4 Historical and Ideological Foundations of US Foreign Policy: Traditions Interests, Ideals, Values, and Beliefs
Seminar 1 Theory and concepts ? Introduction and Application to US Foreign Policy
Lecture 5 Defining the National Interest in the 21st Century: From Bush to Obama
Lecture 6 Actors and Processes: Foreign Policy Process ? The Executive and the US Congress (Diplomacy, Defense, and Intelligence)
Lecture 7 Domestic Sources: Think Tanks, NGOs, Interest Groups, the Media and the Public
Lecture 8 External Sources: The International System and the Global Economy
Seminar 2 US Foreign Policy - Processes
US Foreign Policy in an Age of Globalism: Key issues and Challenges
Lecture 9 Case 1: Intervention and The Use of Force ? Iraq and Afghanistan
Lecture 10 Case 2: Identities and US Foreign Policy ? The Role of Culture ? Soft Power ? Americanisation and anti-Americanism
Lecture 11 Case 3: Fighting Global Terrorism ? Declaring the War on Terror
Lecture 12 Case 4: Managing the Arab Spring
Seminar 3 Cases 1 to 4
Lecture 13 Case 5 US Response to the Russian Intervention in Crimea
Lecture 14 Case 6: Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and US Strategic Power
Lecture 15 Case 7: The 'Pivot': US and Asia-Pacific
Lecture 16 Case 8: Facing China in the Global South.
Seminar 4 Cases 5 to 8

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. This module will particularly test aural and oral communication skills as it involves assessed seminar performance. Students will also be required to submit their essays in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to prepare for assessed seminar participation and to meet coursework deadlines will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the Blackboard VLE.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of two essays and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module - Evaluate competing perspectives - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary political problems
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. Blackboard facilities such as the blog will also be used and students will be encouraged to contribute their comments to the entries.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6