Office: 271305 Phone: 2939-3091 ex

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American Foreign Policy

Graduate Seminar, 271112, 10-12 Thu

Dr. David Lorenzo

Office: 271305

Phone: 2939-3091 ext. 51305



This seminar will prepare students to conduct advanced research in topics in American Foreign Policy (AFP). It will cover the theoretical basics of AFP scholarship and explore some recent topics in AFP through an examination of article-based, generally recent, scholarship.


Students will be responsible for the following:

  • Reading the assignment materials and participating in general discussions

  • Leading discussions on particular articles when assigned

  • Two six page assessments and critiques of articles

  • Submission of a preliminary literature review for their paper

  • A final (15 page MA /20 page PhD) paper


Classes will be conducted as seminars. This means that I will only lecture for a small portion of the class time. The rest of the time will be spent either as a class or in small groups in discussing the reading material that has been assigned.

Each class period I will assign students to lead the discussion on articles that will be assigned for the next class period. Students so assigned should do the reading with special care such that they can present a short summary of the argument of the article and provide a list of discussion questions for the class.

All materials will be available either online or in pdf files on my NCCU website. For those who want or need a history of American foreign policy, there are many histories available, including the documentary histories and textbook prepared by Thomas Paterson (e.g., American Foreign Relations). For a quick and dirty timeline, the Wikipedia entry ( is a convenient place to start, but of course is not suitable as a scholarly source of evidence or data.

Students should read at least three assigned readings for each class period. When more than three readings are listed, students should collectively make sure that all readings have been covered.

Short papers: 25% each

Final paper: 40%

Participation: 10%


Participants will submit the following:

During the classes on the 7th and 12th weeks:

A six page paper analyzing and assessing the arguments of two related articles we have read. These papers should: clearly identify the articles; shortly summarize the argument of each; assess and critique the argument of each in terms of logical consistency, use of evidence and data, and theoretical power: then discuss the relevance and importance of each.

During the class of the 15th week:

A three page review of the literature on the subject of your final paper. This review shall identify relevant articles and books, discuss their relationship with the question posed by the paper, and assess the state of the scholarship at present bearing on the question posed.


On the day scheduled for the final exam submit the final paper. This paper will, building upon the literature review, data, and theoretical position you build, explore a question implicated in the study of American foreign policy. Your paper must clearly:

  • Identify the question you pose

  • Discuss that question in light of the literature review you create

  • Identify the methodology and evidence you will utilize

  • Answer the question

  • Discuss the importance and relevance of your answer

  • Discuss the importance and relevance of your answer both generally and in light of your literature review.

Grading Scale:
A: 100-90: Excellent work—generates several interesting insights and displays a sure grasp of the material

B: 89-80: Good, above average work—sometimes generates interesting insights and displays a solid grasp of the material

C: 79-70: Average work—displays a competent grasp of the material

D: 69-60: Below average work—displays a grasp of the material that is sometimes deficient

F: 59- : Unacceptable work: displays a poor grasp of the material
Other important sources:

The Heritage Foundation ( A conservative think tank

Council on Foreign Relations ( a liberal to centrist think tank

The Center for Strategic and International Studies ( a right of center

think tank

The Brookings Institute ( a liberal think tank

RAND Corporation ( the original think tank

Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs ( a

centrist think tank

The American Enterprise Institute ( a conservative think tank

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace ( a centrist think tank

State Department (

The Defense Department (

House Committee on International Relations


House Armed Services Committee (

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (

House Select Committee on Homeland Security (

Senate Foreign Relations Committee (

Senate Armed Services Committee (

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (

Central Intelligence Agency (

National Security Agency (

Voice of America (

Republican Party (

Democratic Party (

Archive of Docs Related to the Cold War (
Course Schedule and Readings
Part 1: Theoretical Approaches to the Study of American Foreign Policy

Week of September 12: Introduction and Overview

Oli R. Holsti, “Models of International Relations and Foreign Policy, Diplomatic History, (Winter 1989), pp. 15-43

Questions: What are the most important questions to be explored regarding American foreign policy?

What are the most important events/documents in the history of American foreign policy?

Week of September 19: Realism

Kenneth Waltz, “Anarchic Orders and Balances of Power,” Theories of International Politics (McGraw-Hill, 1979).

Michael Mastanduno, “Preserving the Unipolar Moment: Realist Theories and U.S. Grand Strategy after the Cold War,” International Security, Vol. 21, No. 4 (Spring, 1997)

John C. Whitehead, “Principled realism: a foundation for U.S. foreign policy,” US Department of State Bulletin, June, 1988, at;col1

Henry Kissinger, The Pitfalls of Universal Jurisdiction: Risking Judicial Tyranny,” Foreign Affairs, July / August, 2001

J. Mearsheimer, “Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq war: realism versus neo-conservatism,”

Questions: What are the differences between realism as a mode of inquiry and realism as a foreign policy outlook?
Week of September 26: Liberal Internationalism

Woodrow Wilson, League of Nations Speech, 25 September, 1919, at

Woodrow Wilson, “Fourteen Points Speech, 8 January, 1918, at

G. John Ikenberry, “America’s Liberal Grand Strategy: Democracy and National Security in the Post-War Era,” in G. Ikenberry, American Foreign Policy: Theoretical Essays.

Samuel P. Huntington, “American Ideals vs. American Institutions,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 97, No. 1 (Spring 1982).

Week of October 3: Economic and Bureaucratic Understandings

Jeff Frieden, “Sectoral Conflict and U.S. Foreign Economic Policy,” International Organization 42, No. 1 (Winter 1988), pp. 59-90

Robert Hunter Wade, “The Invisible Hand of the American Empire,” Ethics and International Affairs 17, No. 2 (Nov. 2003), pp. 77-88

Immanuel Wallerstein, “The Eagle Has Crash Landed,” Foreign Policy, No. 131 (Jul. - Aug., 2002), pp. 60-68

Daniel W. Drezner, “Ideas, Bureaucratic Politics, and the Crafting of Foreign Policy,” American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Oct., 2000), pp. 733-749

Stephen D. Crasner, “Are Bureaucracies Important? (Or Allison Wonderland),” Foreign Policy 7 (Summer 1972), pp. 159-179

Bert Rockman, “America’s Departments of State: Irregular and Regular Syndromes of Policy Making,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 75, No. 4 (1981), pp. 911-927

Questions: Do bureaucracies matter? Do elected officials matter? What agency do either have in terms of setting foreign policy?

Week of October 10: Constructivist/Traditions

Walter Russell Meade, Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World

Dale C. Copeland, “Review: The Constructivist Challenge to Structural Realism: A Review Essay,” International Security, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Autumn, 2000), pp. 187-212

Paul McCartney, “Nationalism and U.S. Foreign Policy from September 11 to the Iraq War,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 119, No. 3 (Fall, 2004), pp. 399-423

Michael Mastanduno, “The United States Political System and International Leadership: A ‘Decidedly Inferior’ Form of Government?” in G. Ikenberry, ed., America Foreign Policy: Theoretical Essays.

Questions: Do culture and domestic politics matter? Is there anything distinctive regarding the way Americans view and approach foreign policy?
Topic 2: Twentieth Century Events
Week of October 17: Cold War

Melvyn P. Leffler, “The American Conception of National Security and the Beginnings of the Cold War, 1945-48,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 89, No. 2 (Apr., 1984), pp. 346-381

Graham T. Allison, “Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” American Political Science Review, 63, No. 3 (September 1969), pp. 689-718.

J. Gaddis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy During the Cold War, chapters 2, 9

George Kennan, The Sources of Soviet Conduct (The “X” Article).

M. Cox, "Whatever Happened To the 'Second' Cold War? Soviet-American Relations 1980-1988," Review of International Studies 1990, Vol 16

Questions: What type of world allows the US to be secure? Must all countries be liberal democracies or otherwise resemble the US? Or will a world in which no other country or group of countries is able to coerce the US sufficient?
Week of October 24: Vietnam

Yuen Foong Khong, “Seduction by Analogy in Vietnam: The Malaya and Korea Analogies”

Edward Cuddie, “Vietnam: Mr. Johnson's War. Or Mr. Eisenhower's?” The Review of Politics, Vol. 65, No. 4 (Autumn, 2003), pp. 351-37

L. Gelb, "The Essential Domino: American Politics and Vietnam", Foreign Affairs, April 1972.

Randall Bennett Woods, “Dixie's Dove: J. William Fulbright, The Vietnam War and the American South,” The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 60, No. 3 (Aug., 1994), pp. 533-552

J. Gaddis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy During the Cold War, chap 8.

Questions: Was the US correct to engage in regional wars on the basis of the “domino” theory, or do displays of US power harm the US cause by making it appear to be a hegemon to be opposed at all costs? Did the US misperceive the expression of nationalism in developing countries?
Week of October 31: Iraq Wars

Louis Fisher, “Deciding on War against Iraq: Institutional Failures,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 118, No. 3 (Fall, 2003), pp. 389-410

Paul T. McCartney, “American Nationalism and U.S. Foreign Policy from September 11 to the Iraq War,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 119, No. 3 (Fall, 2004), pp. 399-423

Chaim Kaufmann, “Threat Inflation and the Failure of the Marketplace of Ideas: The Selling of the Iraq War,” International Security, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Summer, 2004), pp. 5-48.

Brian C. Schmidt & Michael C. Williams, “The Bush Doctrine and the Iraq War: Neoconservatives Versus Realists,” Security Studies, 17:2, 191-220

Questions: What threats did Iraq pose to the US? Was the decision to use force to democratize Iraq based on a sound strategy or did it misunderstand the nature of democracy and the Middle East?
Week of November 7: Foreign Policy and Terrorism

Stephen M. Walt, “Beyond bin Laden: Reshaping U.S. Foreign Policy,” International Security, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Winter, 2001-2002), pp. 56-78

Melvyn P. Leffler, “9/11 and the Past and Future of American Foreign Policy,” International Affairs, Vol. 79, No. 5(Oct., 2003), pp. 1045-1063

Robert G. Patman, “Globalisation, the New US Exceptionalism and the War on Terror,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 6 (2006), pp. 963-986

Michael C. Desch, “America’s Liberal Illiberalism: The Ideological Origins of Overreaction in U.S. Foreign Policy,” International Security, Vol. 32, No. 3 (Winter 2007/08), pp. 7–43

Questions: Did the US over-react to 9/11? Can US foreign policy since that event be explained by terrorism, or are other explanations more compelling?
Topic 3: Politics and Institutions

Week of November 14: Presidency and Cabinet

Jeffrey S. Peake, “Presidential Agenda Setting in Foreign Policy,” Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 1 (Mar., 2001), pp. 69-86

Margaret G. Hermann and Thomas Preston, “Presidents, Advisers, and Foreign Policy: The Effect of Leadership Style on Executive Arrangements,” Political Psychology, Vol. 15, No. 1, Special Issue: Political Psychology and the Work of Alexander L. George (Mar., 1994), pp. 75-96

Paul E. Peterson, “The President's Dominance in Foreign Policy Making,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 109, No. 2 (Summer, 1994), pp. 215-234

James M. McCormick and Eugene R. Wittkopf, “Bipartisanship, Partisanship, and Ideology in Congressional-Executive Foreign Policy Relations,1947-1988,” The Journal of Politics, Vol. 52, No. 4 (Nov., 1990), pp. 1077-1100.
Week of November 21: Congress

James Meernik, “Presidential Support in Congress: Conflict and Consensus on Foreign and Defense Policy,” The Journal of Politics, Vol. 55, No. 3 (Aug., 1993), pp. 569-587

James Meernik and Elizabeth Oldmixon, “Internationalism in Congress,” Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 3 (Sep., 2004), pp. 451-465

James M. Lindsay, “Congress and Foreign Policy: Why the Hill Matters,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 107, No. 4, (Winter 1992-1993), pp. 607-628

James M. Lindsay, “Congress, Foreign Policy, and the New Institutionalism,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Jun., 1994), pp. 281-304
Week of November 28: Public Opinion and Foreign Policy

R. Jacobs, and B. Page, “Who Influences U.S. Foreign Policy?” The American Political Science Review, Vol. 99, No. 1, Feb.2005.

A.Berinsky, “Assuming the costs of war: Events, elites, and American public support for military conflict”. The Journal of Politics, Vol. 69, No. 4, Nov. 2007

D. Lorenzo,. “The Lumpy Consistency of Foreign Policy Arguments Deployed by the Activist Portion of the American Public" (manuscript)

W. Mead, “The Tea Party and American Foreign Policy,” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2011.
Week of December 5: Foreign Policy Tools

J.L Gaddis. "The Rise, Fall and Future of Detente", Foreign Affairs,

Winter 1983-84.  

W.Y. Smith, "Principles of US Grand Strategy: Past and Future", The Washington Quarterly, Spring 1991

Andrew C. Goldberg "Selective Engagement: U.S. National Security Policy in the 1990's", The Washington Quarterly, Vol 15, No3, Summer 1992  

Larry Diamond "Promoting Democracy, " Foreign Policy, No87, Summer 1992  

L. Freedman,. "Escalators and Quagmires: expectations and the use of Force" International Affairs, 1991.

S. Knack, “Does Foreign Aid Promote Democracy?” International Studies Quarterly (2004) 48, 251–266

Topic 4: Regions

Week of December 12: Middle East

Jody C. Baumgartner, Peter L. Francia, Jonathan S. Morris, “A Clash of Civilizations? The Influence of Religion on Public Opinion of U.S Foreign Policy in the Middle East,” Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 2 (Jun., 2008), pp. 171-179

Noam Chomsky, “After the Cold War: U. S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East,” Cultural Critique, No. 19, The Economies of War (Autumn, 1991), pp. 14-31

Douglas Little, “The Making of a Special Relationship: The United States and Israel, 1957-68,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 25, No. 4 (Nov., 1993), pp. 563-585

Week of December 19: Asia

Aaron L. Friedberg “The Future of U.S.-China Relations: Is Conflict Inevitable?” International Security, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Autumn, 2005), pp. 7-45

Steven M. Goldstein and Randall Schriver, “An Uncertain Relationship: The United States, Taiwan and the Taiwan Relations Act,” The China Quarterly, No. 165, Taiwan in the 20th Century (Mar., 2001), pp. 147-172

Peter Howard, “Why Not Invade North Korea? Threats, Language Games, and U.S. Foreign Policy,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 4 (Dec., 2004), pp. 805-828

Topic 5: Critiques

Week of December 26: Scholarly Critiques

Joseph Nye, “Soft Power and American Foreign Policy,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 119, No. 2 (Summer, 2004), pp. 255-270

Samuel Huntington, “The Lonely Superpower,” Foreign Affairs Vol. 78, No. 2 (March-April 1999), pp. 35-50

G. John Ikenberry, “America’s Imperial Ambition,” Foreign Affairs Vol. 81, No. 5 (Sept-Oct. 2002), pp. 44-60

Anonymous, Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on

Terror. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 2004

Francis Fukuyama, America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power and the Neoconservative Legacy, 2006.
Week of January 2: Review and Catchup

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