Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

POSC 360: U.S. Foreign Policy

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  Course Description

Examination of the historical context of U.S. foreign policy, the institutions and processes of foreign policy-making and contemporary foreign policy issues and challenges.

Prerequisite: POSC 292

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



  Textbooks

Required

  • Carter, R. (2013). Contemporary Cases in U.S. Foreign Policy (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press.
    • [ISBN-978-1-4522-4154-8]
  • Hook, S. (2014). U.S. Foreign Policy: the Paradox of World Power (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press.
    • [ISBN-978-1-4522-4150-0]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

The goals for this course are that students understand how foreign policy is made in the United States and be able to interpret and assess contemporary foreign policy issues. The course will begin with an historical overview of the ideas and events that have shaped American foreign policy, particularly in the 20th Century. We will then consider the institutions and processes of foreign policy-making, including the role of the President, Congress, the diplomatic and economic bureaucracies, as well as the military and intelligence bureaucracies. We will also assess the role of the media, nongovernmental actors, and public opinion on the making of foreign policy. After our examination of these foreign policy participants, we will turn to the tools of foreign policy and consider the uses of diplomatic, economic, and military instruments of policy. Throughout the course we will examine some contemporary foreign policy issues.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Objectives

  • To explore major historical tension in American foreign policy, such as isolationism vs. interventionism and realism vs. idealism.
  • To understand the institutions and process of foreign policy-making.
  • To investigate the role of non-governmental actors and public opinion on the making of foreign policy.
  • To interpret and evaluate contemporary foreign policy issues.

  Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Describe major foreign policies and doctrines of the United States, including the Monroe Doctrine, the Roosevelt Corollary, Truman Doctrine, Containment, Nixon Doctrine, Carter Doctrine, Reagan Doctrine and Bush Doctrine.
  • Explain the tension between isolationism and idealism, as well as between realism and idealism in U.S. foreign policy.
  • Explain major concepts and events from the Cold War, including the policy of nuclear deterrence, the Cold War consensus, the Cuban missile crisis, Domino theory, the Vietnam War, détente and Iran-Contra.
  • Evaluate the foreign policies of post-Cold War presidents and explain significant events, such as the Persian Gulf War; interventions in Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo; and the Iraq War of 2003.
  • Explain and evaluate competing theoretical models of foreign-policy making.
  • Describe and explain the role of the executive, Congress and the Courts in the making of foreign policy.
  • Describe and explain the role of non-governmental actors, such as the media, interest groups and public opinion in the making of foreign policy.
  • Describe and explain the activities of agencies, including the State Department, National Security Council, intelligence agencies and the Defense Department in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy.
  • Compare and contrast tools of foreign policy-making, including diplomacy, economic incentives and sanctions, deterrence and compellence.

  Grading

Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 810-900 90-100%
B 720-809 80-89%
C 630-719 70-79%
D 540-629 60-69%
F 0-539 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Current Events (8) 40 4%
Discussion Questions (16) 160 18%
Homework (6) 150 17%
Midterm and Final (2) 400 44%
Term Paper (1) 150 17%
Total 900 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introduction 0 Monday/Sunday
Discussion 1 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Current Events 1 5 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 2 10 Sunday
Homework 1 25

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Current Events 2 5 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 4 10 Sunday
Homework 2 25
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Current Events 3 5 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 6 10 Sunday
Homework 3 25

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Current Events 4 5 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 8 10 Sunday
Homework 4 25
Midterm Exam 200

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Current Events 5 5 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 10 10 Sunday
Homework 5 25

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Current Events 6 5 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 12 10 Sunday
Homework 6 25

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Current Events 7 5 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 14 10 Sunday
Term Paper 150

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 10 Wednesday/Saturday
Current Events 8 5 Friday/Saturday
Discussion 16 10 Saturday
Final Exam 200
Total Points: 900

  Assignment Overview

Discussion Topics

Each week you will be asked to respond to two discussion topics. Answers should include a complete response to each part of the question, examples from the assigned readings, as well as references to outside materials, and your personal experiences, when appropriate. Most responses will require at least 2-3 full paragraphs to adequately respond to the question.

Note that you must make your initial post in the discussion before you can read what your classmates have posted, as your initial posts should be your original thinking.

In addition to submitting your original post in each discussion topic, you are expected to respond to two other students per discussion by midnight Sunday each week.  These response should be substantive in nature and should be more than “Good post” or “I agree.” The responses may be in one topic or multiple topics. Failure to respond to others will result in a loss of 2 points for each missing response. I strongly encourage you to read your classmates’ responses. We can learn a lot from each other!

Current Event Postings

Each week we will tackle a current topic or event in U.S. foreign policy. You will be asked to visit foreign policy-related Websites or news sources and post a summary and reaction to information that you find. Good general sources for international news include the international pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor. Good specialized sources for foreign policy news and analysis include the journals Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs and think tanks such as the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations, or one of the foreign policy resources listed on pages 24-25 of Hook. Each week I will give you a specific topic or region of the world to focus on.

Homework

Homework assignments will require you to research outside sources and summarize your findings/analysis in a 2-3 page essay. Detailed instructions are available in the Content area of the course. All essays must be submitted via the Dropbox. Recycled work will receive a zero.

Exams

You will take two exams: a Midterm and a Final. Both exams must be completed under the supervision of an approved proctor. Each exam is a combination of multiple-choice, short answer, and essay questions, and you will have a maximum of two hours to complete each. No books, notes or other outside material may be used on the exam. The Midterm exam will open on Monday and close by midnight Sunday of Week 4. The Final exam will open on Monday and close by midnight Saturday of Week 8.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Readings
  • Hook: Chapters 1-2
  • Posted Readings in the content area
Introduction
Introduce yourself in the Discussions area. Please give us more than your name. Include your profession, hobbies, interest in international relations, and any other information that can help us get to know you. Please post your response in the appropriate topic by midnight Wednesday.
Discussion 1
Using Hook Ch. 1 and the posted reading on National Style as a guide, explain what you think are the most significant elements of American 'National Style". What is the basis for our feelings of 'exceptionalism'? How has America's "national style", such as our notions of American "exceptionalism" influenced our foreign policy over the years? Give examples. To what degree should our values guide our foreign policy? Steven Hook in Chapter 1 (pg 18) contrasts "exemplarists" (those who "believe the United States should primarily lead by example") from "vindicators" (those who believe "that U.S. leaders should engage in a global crusade against injustice, aggression and war itself"). Which position do you agree with more? Be sure to read Hook Ch1 and the online chapter on National Style before responding to this question. Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Wednesday.
Current Events 1

Each week I would like students to summarize and react to an article about contemporary U.S. foreign policy. You may use major news sources, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, etc. or one of the Foreign Policy resources listed on pages 27-28 of Hook. Each week I will give you a specific topic or region of the world to focus on.

For this week I want you to investigate foreign policy as it relates to the war on drugs. Read Carter Ch. 3 and then find a current article on our relations with another country on this issue. Relevant articles would include those on our relations with Colombia, Mexico, Afghanistan, Peru, etc. as it relates to the war on drugs.

Discussion 2
U.S. Foreign Policy for most of the period from our Founding until World War II is frequently characterized as isolationist. To what extent is this true? Why is the term "isolationism" misleading for this period? Do you think the spirit of isolationism was permanently banished with World War II? Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Sunday.
Homework 1
To complete this assignment, please read and follow the instructions found in the Content area. Submit your completed work to the corresponding Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.
Readings
  • Hook: Chapters 3-4
  • Carter: Chapter 3
  • Posted readings in the content area
Discussion 3
Read the assigned case in Carter before responding to this question. Give examples from the readings in your answer. Why did the Bush administration choose to invade Iraq in 2003? What leaders were particularly influential in shaping the decision to invade Iraq, and what domestic opposition did they face? Why is it so difficult for Congress to oppose presidential plans for war? How would you assess the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war and its future prospects? What lessons can we take away from the experience in Iraq? Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Wednesday.
Current Events 2
Find recent articles related to U.S. relations in the Middle East. Do NOT do relations with Iran; we will address that in a later week. Post your summary and reaction by midnight on Friday.
Discussion 4

Most presidents have a doctrine that emerges during their Presidency. Has a Trump Doctrine emerged? How would you describe President Trump's views on foreign policy? How is his approach distinct from President Obama’s? How is it similar? Conclude by comparing and contrasting your own opinion with at least two of the scholars who discuss Trump and Obama's foreign policy in this week's readings in the Content area. Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Sunday.

Homework 2
To complete this assignment, please read and follow the instructions found in the Content area. Submit your completed work to the corresponding Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Readings
  • Hook: Chapter 5
  • Carter: Chapters 1 & 6
  • Posted readings in the content area
Discussion 5

This week’s cases give us an opportunity to think about Congress’ role in foreign policy making. Why did Congress, in general, become more activist from the 1970s onward? How did the War on Terror and the Iraq War affect congressional activism? How great a role should Congress have in foreign-policy making, especially when it comes to the use of force? When should the President ask for congressional approval? Consider the examples discussed in Carter, Chapter 1. Does Congress need to issue a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to authorize our actions against ISIS? Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Wednesday.

Current Events 3
Find recent articles about U.S. relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Please post your summary and source by midnight Friday.
Discussion 6
Using examples from the U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement, discuss how policy makers must balance domestic pressures and international pressures when negotiating international agreements. To what extent was there tension between the 'national interest' and 'special interests'?  Was the tradeoff made by the United States in this case—nonproliferation standards for bilateral diplomacy—worth it for the US? Why or why not?
Homework 3
To complete this assignment, please read and follow the instructions found in the Content area. Submit your completed work to the corresponding Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.
Readings
  • Hook: Chapters 6-7
  • Carter: Online Chapter
  • Posted readings in the content area
Discussion 7
Read the chapter posted in the Content area before responding. Why did the Dubai Ports World issue become a major controversy in February 2006? How do we explain the outcome of the controversy? This case gives us a chance to explore the role of public opinion. Read the quote by Robert Samuelson listed in the Discussions area. Why did the Dubai Ports World issue become a major controversy in February 2006? How do we explain the outcome of the controversy? Do you think the public was correct or incorrect to oppose the DP World takeover? Why? How much should leaders take public opinion into account when making foreign policy decisions? Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Wednesday.
Current Events 4
Find recent articles about U.S. relations with Europe as a whole or a particular European country. Please post your summary and source by midnight Friday.
Discussion 8
What advantages do bureaucratic actors have over Congress and the President in the foreign policy process? What are some constraints they face in achieving their missions? Illustrate your answer with examples from at least 2 departments or agencies. Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Sunday.
Homework 4
To complete this assignment, please read and follow the instructions found in the Content area. Submit your completed work to the corresponding Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.
Midterm Exam
 Please complete the computerized exam by midnight Sunday. This is a proctored exam.
Readings
  • Hook: Chapters 8-9
  • Carter: Chapter 2
  • Posted readings in the content area
Discussion 9
Consider the role of the media in U.S. foreign policy. How important is the media's role? Do you see the media as more of a critic or cheerleader when it comes to foreign policy? Does the media prompt foreign policy action (CNN effect) or is the media more a transmitter of official perspectives? Explain. Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Wednesday.
Current Events 5
Find recent articles about U.S. relations with Cuba or countries from Latin America. Please post your summary and source by midnight Friday.
Discussion 10
Read Carter Ch. 2 and then respond to the questions. What are some benefits of targeted killings as a tool of foreign policy? What are some drawbacks? Are targeted killings permitted under the U.S. Constitution? Under international law? What are some long-term impacts on U.S. national identity of a continued program of targeted killing? Will this impact the United States’ self-perception as a defender of democracy and freedom? Share findings from your own research and conclude with your evaluation of the policy of targeted killings.
Homework 5
To complete this assignment, please read and follow the instructions found in the Content area. Submit your completed work to the corresponding Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.
Readings
  • Hook: Chapter 10
  • Carter: Chapters 4-5
  • Posted readings in the content area
Discussion 11

Read Carter Ch. 4 before responding to this question. How does each actor, the United States and Iran view the other? Are these perceptions accurate? How have they been shaped by historical context and how do these perceptions affect the ability of both countries to improve relations with each other? Review the materials on the Iran Nuclear Deal. How would you evaluate its effectiveness? In terms of regional stability, does it matter if Iran gets nuclear weapons?

Current Events 6

This week find recent articles related to U.S. relations with North Korea. What do you think is the best response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs?

Discussion 12

Review the materials concerning nuclear doctrines in your text and in the Content area. Under what conditions, if any, should the United States be prepared to use nuclear weapons? Should the United States continue to develop and test new nuclear weapons? Why or why not?

Homework 6
To complete this assignment, please read and follow the instructions found in the Content area. Submit your completed work to the corresponding Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Readings
  • Hook: Chapter 11
  • Carter: Chapters 10-11
  • Posted readings in the content area
Discussion 13
Read Carter Ch. 10 before responding to this question. What are the major economic tensions between the United States and China? How did the trade, financial, and macroeconomic imbalances between the United States and China contribute to the financial crisis? How will changes in the U.S.-China economic relationships affect the power position of each nation? Does the Chinese government have any real options in using its holdings of U.S. dollar assets for political advantage?  Should we see China more as a partner to be engaged with or an adversary to be confronted more strongly?
Current Events 7
Find recent articles about U.S. relations with China. Please post your summary and source by midnight Friday.
Discussion 14
Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool. How successful have sanctions been? Research a specific case of sanctions imposed by the US or UN and assess the results. The website http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/theindex.htm has some good resources that may help you with this question. Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Sunday.
Term Paper
Submit your completed Term Paper to the corresponding Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.
Readings
  • Hook: Chapter 12
  • Carter: Chapters 7, 8, 15
  • Posted readings in the content area
Discussion 15
To what extent should promotion of human rights, including the export of democracy be a foreign policy priority for the United States? Discuss U.S. policy toward the ‘Arab Spring’, including our response to Libya and Syria. What options would you support for dealing with Syria? Why? Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Wednesday.
Current Events 8

This week report on U.S. relations with Russia. What approach do you think the United States should take towards relations with Russia?

Discussion 16
Why do many countries believe the International Criminal Court is needed? Why did we take a position different from our allies concerning the Court? Should the United States join the International Criminal Court? Please post your original answer(s) by midnight Saturday.
Final Exam
Complete the Final Exam by midnight Saturday. This is a proctored exam.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

Discussions: Credit will not be given for any discussion posts submitted after the deadline.

Homework Assignments: Credit will not be given for any assignments submitted after the deadline without prior approval from the instructor.

Exams: Students must seek prior approval to take a late exam from the instructor. Such an approval will only be given in extenuating circumstances and with proper documentation. Students are expected to take their exams before the deadline as I will not reopen exams without prior approval of an extenuating circumstance.

All work must be original. I will not accept recycled work submitted for a previous course.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.