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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: US Foreign Policy (PLIT10084)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will allow students (especially those who have taken the popular US Government course) to do advanced and more specialised work on some of the most contentious and debated questions in the contemporary study of international relations: what are the guiding principles, objectives and effects of American foreign policy? This course will build upon and advance student knowledge of both the nature of US government and modern international relations, by allowing students to become informed participants in lively debates about (inter alia) the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam Wars, continuity or change between US administrations (such as Bush and Obama), and the extent to which US foreign policy is driven by altruism or self-interest.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  60
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 10% class participation (especially assignment to lead 1 seminar discussion); 40% written research project; 50% exam.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Provide practical examples of application of general knowledge of the US and international relations to produce more advanced work.
  2. Gain an understanding of the disputed origins of US foreign policy and competing schools of foreign policy thought.
  3. Produce critical appraisals of competing theoretical perspectives and empirical analyses of US foreign policy.
  4. Examination of foreign policy doctrine, choices, and outcomes in specific regions (Europe, Middle East, Asia.)
  5. Develop analytical and presentation skills through feedback on presentations and assessed work.
Reading List
Leffler, M.P. and Legro, J.W. (eds) (2008) To Lead the World: American Strategy After the Bush Doctrine (Oxford University Press).
Ikenberry, G.J., Knock, T.J., Slaughter, A-M., Smith, T. (2009) The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the 21st Century (Princeton University Press)
Viotti, P.R. (2010) American Foreign Policy (Polity Press)

Students will receive a course guide with extensive readings under each lecture theme. Electronic resources will be used where available.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This course has a quota. Preference will be given to Politics and IR students.
Additional Class Delivery Information Plus 1 hr tutorial per week
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf John Peterson
Tel: (0131 6)51 3023
Course secretaryMr Euan Morse
Tel: 0131 (6)51 1137
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