IGA-335: Values and Interests in U.S. Foreign Policy

Semester: Not Offered

Credit: 1.0



Day Time Location
First Day
Meet Day


This course explores the tensions between values and interests in the formulation of contemporary U.S. foreign policy. It is a course about the political and bureaucratic process of crafting foreign policy as well as a substantive exploration of how morality is defined and manifest in that process.It is useful for those interested in working inside government or shaping its policies from the outside. Students begin by exploring the concept of human rights and its relationship to U.S. political ideologies as well as definitions of the U.S. national interest that shape the security discourse). They analyze changes in values rhetoric, policy, and organizational structure, probing the links between American decision making and international and nongovernmental influences and institutions. Political and bureaucratic factors shaping U.S. policy formulation are explored through consideration of topics such as U.S. prosecution of the "war on terror," the use of foreign assistance, (non) intervention in Iraq, Rwanda, Sudan, and Libya, and U.S. engagement with the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. We will conduct two class exercises. The first will be a simulatation of a Principal's Commmittee Meeting regarding humanitarian intervention in Rwanda in 1994; the second will be a negotiation of the principles of a National Security Strategy. The course highlights tensions among individual rights and national sovereignty, exceptionalism and internationalism, and politics and ideals. Vigorous class participation is expected; auditing is not an option (NSF Fellows welcomed). Familiarity with international affairs and U.S. political processes is helpful but not required.

Not offered in 2013-14.