American Foreign Policy in the 21st Century: European Union, East Asia, Middle East, and Eurasia

Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Course Description

  • Course Name

    American Foreign Policy in the 21st Century: European Union, East Asia, Middle East, and Eurasia

  • Host University

    Universidade Católica Portuguesa

  • Location

    Lisbon, Portugal

  • Area of Study

    International Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

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

    This short-term course aims to increase our understanding of the critical aspects of American Foreign Policy, that is, the U.S. relations with the European Union, the Middle East, East Asia, and Eurasia. It is a Political Science class, thus part of the Social Sciences – a branch of scientific knowledge that investigates human behavior as it interacts in the public sphere of politics, economics, cultural settings, and societal issues.
     We will study the primary foreign policy-making institutions and bureaucracies in the United States and some of the most critical contemporary foreign policy debates. For instance, we will examine the challenges the United States faces abroad in the post-cold war world, including its military involvement abroad, nuclear proliferation, the U.S. role in Middle East politics, and the rise of U.S. economic competitors in Asia. 
     With the support of a variety of texts focusing on the substance of U.S. Foreign Policy towards different world regions, the course should take us to consider the relevance of the international world order created by the United States in the aftermath of WWII and explore the status of that liberal order: Is it failing? If it is, what are the causes of its decline? If it declines, will the international order institutions (U.N., for instance) survive? And if the international liberal order ends, what is on the horizon to replace it? 
    This course demands regular class attendance and participation. It also requires time and dedication regarding the assigned readings and assignments. This course emphasizes writing skills, ideas, and critical thinking through different assignments and class activities. All learning activities and class materials are an integral part of this course; test questions will come from any of them. The course stresses acquiring knowledge in an active and collaborative learning environment. This means an actual engagement in the learning process, a reasonable amount of time dedicated to readings and assignments, a willingness to listen, and the ability to work in teams. Students are required to work in groups.

    This short-term intensive course on American Foreign Policy examines the centrality of the United States in world affairs and analyzes the status of the United States' relations with countries in the European Union, Eurasia, East Asia, and the Middle East. Classroom lectures, readings, audiovisual materials, and student class presentations will be enhanced with field visits in Lisbon that will bring students into direct contact with local organizations and experts in world affairs.
     Our classes will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays comprising of: 
    a) Classroom teaching and learning, including student class presentations and 
    b) External activities (site visits) consisting of meetings with local organizations and experts in world affairs.
    Course materials include readings, audiovisuals, PowerPoint presentations, and other learning resources distributed in class.
    Required readings
    • Articles posted online every week (as specified in the course calendar below)

    Students who complete the requirements of the course will:
    • Understand contemporary issues in U.S. foreign policy. 
    • Acquire familiarity with U.S. relations with the European Union, the Middle East, East Asia, and Eurasia. 
    • Sharpen writing, teamwork, and public policy skills. 
    • Apply knowledge and skills to real-world situations in U.S. Foreign Policy. 
    • Take an analytical approach to the subject matter


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.