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American Foreign Policy


Credits: 4 ECTS

Second semester

Elective Courses




How does the United States interact with the rest of the world and affect it? What are the factors that shape and determine the foreign policy choices of the US? How is US foreign policy interpreted by non-US actors? This course takes an interdisciplinary approach, primarily drawing on political science, history and sociology, to allow students to critically examine these questions through multiple lenses. Throughout, students will be asked to evaluate the causes and motivations of specific events in the history of US foreign policy, to compare multiple interpretations of these incidents, and to explain why the US makes certain foreign policy decisions and not others. Course readings and assignments will expose students to an important cross-section of research on US foreign policy, while also providing first-hand engagement with historical and contemporary foreign policy materials and issues. The course will focus on how US foreign policy is affected by considerations of ideology, party politics, public opinion, race, gender, religion, geopolitics, economics, domestic law and international law.


Each session will combine a lecture, a student presentation, and class discussion/group activity. 

Student deliverables:

1 x 10-minute presentation in class (see Appendix 2)

1 x 750-word critical text analysis [word count does not include footnotes] (see Appendix 3)

1 x 2000-word essay [word count does not include footnotes] (see Appendix 4) 

Assessment: Grades will be determined roughly on the following basis:

20%: class contribution (participation and presentation)

25%: critical text analysis 

55%: final paper

Late submission policy: For your written deliverables, the following penalties will apply:

  • Within 24 hours of submission deadline: .25/10 reduction of your grade
  • After 24 hours of submission deadline: .4/10 per day reduction of your grade

Competences, learning outcomes and teaching activities (PDF)


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