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Unit of study_

GOVT3672: American Politics and Foreign Policy

This unit provides an overview of the American political system and the formulation of foreign policy. The unit considers how foreign policy is made through the interaction of executive, legislative and judicial branches and with other elements of civil society, with a special emphasis on the post-Cold War period. It seeks to answer: (a) what is the influence of domestic politics on US foreign policy; and (b) how does the US system cope with the apparent contradictions between its ideals and the imperatives of global power?

Code GOVT3672
Academic unit Government and International Relations
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 2000 level in GOVT or 12 credit points at 2000 level in American Studies
GOVT2405 or GOVT2445

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate a strong understanding of the basic institutional structure of the U.S. system of government
  • LO2. demonstrate an understanding of the patterns and recurring themes in U.S. domestic politics, and their connections with US foreign policy
  • LO3. demonstrate an understanding of foreign policy as a joint field of political science and international relations
  • LO4. critically understand existing concepts and debates in political science about U.S. politics and foreign policy
  • LO5. use a range of concepts and theoretical frameworks to analyse and explain major events and decisions in U.S. foreign policy, especially since 1945
  • LO6. evaluate how the Trump and Biden presidencies continue or change existing patterns of U.S. politics and foreign policy

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 2 weeks before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.