2 x 50-minute lectures weekly
1 x 50-minute tutorial weekly
Course context
Associated majors: American Studies; International Relations; History; Bachelor of International Relations; Bachelor of Government and Public Management
Examination 35%, assignment(s), test(s), tutorial participation, tutorial presentation
Topic description
This topic begins with a broad background to contemporary American foreign policy, focusing on isolationism, the emergence of the United States as a major world power, the Cold War and the uncertain world of post Cold War US foreign policy. The second half of the topic emphasises the influence of the US in shaping a global economy built upon free trade and looks carefully at the debates over current American foreign policy. The topic concludes with an examination of the September 11 terrorist attacks and subsequent changes in US foreign policy.
Educational aims
  • To understand the broad development of US foreign policy, different views on that policy and the process by which that policy is sustained or changed
  • Introduce students to different types of sources and encourage them to critically analyse and assess these sources
  • Introduce students to academic styles of communicating in both written and oral form

Expected learning outcomes
  • An appreciation of the evolution of US foreign policy from 1945 to the present
  • An understanding of the way US foreign policies are created
  • An understanding of how Australian-US foreign policy issues fit into the broader context of US foreign policy
  • An ability to work within primary and secondary sources on US foreign policy
  • Critically analyse and assess a range of sources relevant to the topic
  • Be able to work both collaboratively and independently and to apply their knowledge in a range of situations
  • Communicate effectively by constructing and developing a coherent argument in written assessment