U.S. Foreign Policy


Politics and Government 330

Michael Clancy
United States Foreign Policy
Office: Hillyer 123b
Spring 2013
M/W: 1:30-2:45
Phone: 768-4284
Office Hours: M/W 9:30-10:30  and by appt.



How do we explain the actions of the United States government in contemporary international affairs? This is the central question to be addressed in this 300-level course. Within the post Cold-War and post 9/11 environment the United States has been faced with re-evaluating its global interests and level of engagement. How much will a newly re-elected President and newly seated Congress reshape how the United States behaves in the world? Which interests are worth protecting and which values are worth promoting abroad? Moreover, who or what determines the answer to this question?

In evaluating these questions, the class will pay close attention to the actors engaged in the policy making process, the larger environment in which they act,  as well as the dominant ideologies they often hold. The scope will be fairly broad, ranging from traditional security issues to contemporary challenges such as terrorism, economic relations and migration. We will make liberal use of historical and contemporary cases in order to explore both the substance and logic of U.S. foreign policy.

Learning Objectives

As a 300-level course in the Politics and Government department, this course assumes students come in with some background knowledge of both American Politics and International Relations. By the time students complete this course they should:

  • Gain a historical perspective on how the United States has interacted with the rest of the world
  • Possess knowledge of actors and the foreign policy process
  • Develop a theoretical understanding of why the United States acts as it does in the world
  • Gain expertise in substantive areas, such as secutiry, economics, human rights, and the environment
  • In addition to these substantive goals, this course will emphasize collaborative learning, both in classroom discussions and in student research and writing
  • Finally, the course demands time on tasks in terms of daily work and written assignments

The syllabus for POL 330is electronic and will likely change over the semester. Keep in touch at:

Alternatively, all elements of the syllabus are available at the University of Hartford's Blackboard site.

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