Current American Foreign Policy

The American University of Rome

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Current American Foreign Policy

  • Host University

    The American University of Rome

  • Location

    Rome, Italy

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, International Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course description
    This course is an in‐depth study of American foreign policy. The course will briefly survey the history of American Foreign Policy which will serve to approach current foreign policy issues. Which are the main issues in today’s American foreign policy? What factors shape American foreign policy? How is American Foreign Policy carried out? How does American foreign policy work together with International Organizations (like the UN), military alliances (like NATO) and regional organizations (like the EU)? The students will be expected to carry out individual work analyzing American foreign policy in specific regions or countries around the world. There will be a strong focus on contemporary political events and how to understand and interpret these.

    Course Learning Objectives
    At the end of the course, students will be able to:
    1. To develop a deeper knowledge about the history, politics, and bureaucratic institutions that have shaped American foreign policy, emphasizing particularly the interplay among these forces;
    2. To be able to articulate some of the major issues in current American foreign policy, the effectiveness of these policies, and the reasons for their successes or failures;
    3. To be able to discuss the issues which will face the United States in coming years and the ways that foreign policy can be influenced;
    4. To strengthen the ability to make more effective oral and written presentations; 
    5. To strengthen research skills both in the library and on the internet, including an ability to identify the possible bias of these sources.


    Course Learning Activities

    • Class sessions:  Classes will consist of lectures, presentations by students, and discussions of specific topics.  In addition to the required readings for each class, the students will be expected to follow current events, either in the press or on the Internet, and be prepared to comment at the beginning of each class about issues that seem to involve American foreign policy. Tentative plans have also been made for visits to the US Embassy in Rome and US Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome.   
    • Textbook:  The basic text for the course will be Daniel S. Papp (et al.) American Foreign Policy:  History, Politics, and Policy.  Pearson Longman. New York. 2005.    Other readings will be required.  A tentative list for these readings is attached.  The supplementary readings can be downloaded from Ambassador Borg's web page    
    • Term paper:  Each student will write a term paper of 2,000 to 2,500 words on an issue of contemporary American foreign policy.  Sample subjects and additional information are included in a separate section on the term paper at the end of this outline.    
    • Oral presentation:  Each student will make one longer oral presentation no longer than 10 minutes in length based upon the research paper.  These presentations before the class will be scheduled to coincide with a broader discussion of related topics.  
    • Examinations:  In addition to a mid‐term and final examination, other tests may occur. The number and frequency of these other tests will depend on the level of preparedness for each lesson and degree of classroom participation.


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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