Summer 2010

SOCS 611
American Foreign Policy at the Crossroads: The Challenge of the Post-9/11 Era

Foyle,Douglas C.

08/09/2010 - 08/13/2010
Monday-Friday 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Public Affairs Center 107

Special Schedule: One-week immersion, August 9-13 (Monday-Friday) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

As the United States faces an ever-widening array of international problems in the post-9/11 world, the challenge for the nation is to construct an effective foreign policy to support American interests while dealing with the threat of terrorism and managing situations a diverse as Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. To evaluate a framework for the future, the course begins with an exploration of the traditions and processes of American foreign policy. We consider the successes and failures of American foreign policy in the post-World War II period with particular attention to the experience in Vietnam. We then focus our attention on the foreign policy process itself and the major actors shaping its formulation. In the third and final course section, we consider and evaluate the major strategic choices available to policy makers as confront the myriad challenges before them.

Sources for the course include: John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment (2005), Zbigniew Brzezinski, Second Chance (2007), Robert Gordon Kaufman, In Defense of the Bush Doctrine, and selections from journals such as Foreign Affairs and International Security, and other sources. Readings are expected to be completed before the course.

Students will be graded on two short essays (due July 14 and August 4), a take-home final (due August 20), and participation.

Immersion courses are worth three units of credit and are academically as rigorous as a regular term course, only the class meetings are compressed into a very short time. Students interested in immersion courses should be aware that the syllabus usually requires that students prepare for up to a month prior to the first class meeting and complete assignments in the weeks following the course. Please click here for more information about immersion courses.

This course is not open to auditors.

This course is offered during August Immersion II; the deadline to withdraw and receive a tuition refund is Wednesday, June 30 at 5:00 pm.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
SOCS 611

Douglas Foyle (A.B. Stanford; M.A. and Ph.D. Duke University) is the Douglas J. and Midge Bowen Bennet Associate Professor of Government with specialties in U.S. Foreign Policy, international security, and the influence of public opinion and elections on foreign policy. In addition to articles and book chapters on the 2003 Iraq War, world public opinion on the Bush Doctrine, and the diversionary use of force, his book Counting the Public In: Presidents, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy (Columbia University Press, 1999) considers the role that public opinion has on American foreign policy decision making. Among other projects including a case study of the 2006 Dubai Ports World crisis, he is currently working on a book examining the influence of elections in foreign policy decision making. He is a recipient of Wesleyan's Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2009). Click here for more information about Douglas Foyle.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment, revised expanded edition (2005),

Robert Gordon Kaufman, In Defense of the Bush Doctrine (2008),

Zbigniew Brzezinski, Second Chance (2007)

The rest of the reading will be through pdf's on Moodle.


Register for Courses

Contact to submit comments or suggestions. 
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459