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
The foreign policies of the United States are being reshaped by new forces, both domestic and foreign. President Trump has upturned many of the conventions that have long guided American foreign policy while at the same time the US faces new challenges from both China and Russia. Competition is digital and cyber-attacks, domestic and foreign, are new faces of power. A central question of this topic is how the architecture of world politics, largely set by the United States following World War II, will be restructured.

The topic provides a historical perspective for understating these contemporary developments, including ways in which the relationship between the US and Australia has evolved. Research being developed in Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security and Governance will be introduced in the topic.
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