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Introduction to the course September 23, 2008 pols 425 u.s. foreign policy professor timothy c. lim / cal state los angeles

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the course September 23, 2008 pols 425 u.s. foreign policy professor timothy c. lim / cal state los angeles"— Presentation transcript:

1 introduction to the course September 23, 2008 pols 425 u.s. foreign policy professor timothy c. lim / cal state los angeles

2 2 introduction to course course information highlights  consistent, on-time attendance is critical to doing well  quizzes and webct assignments constitute 60 percent of course grade no make ups on quizzes; must arrive on time must register for webct immediately; if you are not familiar with webct, sign up for workshop sooner, not later webct course guide available online all required readings are important graduate students must write research paper in lieu of final examination (undergraduate students have this option)

3 3 introduction to course course information highlights  lecture notes (powerpoint slides) typically--but not always-- available on instructional site: professor lim’s coursesite url:  make sure I have your address; is the best way to contact me, and is the primary way I contact you outside of class  grades available online via gradesource.com  questions or concerns? let me know

4 4 addendum to syllabus: mastering course material if you expect to do well in this course, you must master the material for this course to master the material, you must allot sufficient time to carefully read, review, and reflect upon the required assignments introduction to course addendum to syllabus

5 5 addendum to syllabus: olicy policy on cell phones and other electronic devices  turn off cell phones; remove from desk  if feel a need to text message, take it outside: it’s distracting to me and I always see it  laptops okay, but only for note taking; may not be used during quizzes introduction to course addendum to syllabus

6 6 addendum to syllabus: the need for written documentation If it’s important, write it down, save it, and deliver it to me is best introduction to course addendum to syllabus

7 7 and now … a brief introduction to the study of foreign policy

8 8 to begin: a musical interlude listen to this song by randy newman, titled “political science” what does it tell us, if anything, about the role of the u.s. in the world? what can we learn from this song? introduction to course the study of foreign policy file removed intentionally available online

9 9 to begin: a musical interlude learning from “political science” No one likes us--I don't know why We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try But all around, even our old friends put us down Let's drop the big one and see what happens introduction to course the study of foreign policy sounds familiar. many americans fail to understand that u.s. interests are not necessarily the interests of other countries; moreover, there is a tendency to ignore the implications of the threat to use massive force to resolve foreign policy problems (a point newman clearly does recognize)

10 10 to begin: a musical interlude learning from “political science” We give them money--but are they grateful? No, they're spiteful and they're hateful They don't respect us-so let's surprise them We'll drop the big one and pulverize them introduction to course the study of foreign policy many americans see foreign aid as a handout; a symbol of american generosity. yet, foreign aid, too, is a reflection of american interests. during the cold war, especially, foreign aid often went to repressive, but pro-american regimes.

11 11 to begin: a musical interlude learning from “political science” Boom goes London and boom Paris More room for you and more room for me And every city the whole world round Will just be another American town Oh, how peaceful it will be We'll set everybody free You'll wear a Japanese kimono And there'll be Italian shoes for me They all hate us anyhow So let’s drop the big one now Let’s drop the big one now introduction to course the study of foreign policy a perfect reflection of the contradictions of american foreign policy: the world will be peaceful and free, if only we could kill everyone who disagrees with us and reorganize their societies and economies such that they serve american interests. americans have a difficult time understanding the conflict between the rhetoric of american ideas and the reality of american power.

12 12 introduction to course the study of foreign policy the why question in foreign policy why did the united states decide to invade iraq? discuss

13 13 introduction to course the study of foreign policy the why question in foreign policy to answer why questions, we must also pose and answer who and what questions …  who are the actors that matter in foreign policy?  what is the most important level of analysis?  what forces or processes matter in foreign policy decisions and why?

14 14 introduction to course the study of foreign policy the how question in foreign policy to many scholars, why, who and what questions--while important--give us an incomplete understanding we must also ask how-possible questions… how was the war possible? how important was discourse in making the iraq war possible?

15 15 introduction to course the study of foreign policy in the study of foreign policy, there are many explanations or theories that purport to explain both specific and general foreign policy decisions we will take a careful look at several of these over the first part of this quarter, but first … foreign policy theory

16 16 introduction to course the study of foreign policy the authors of foreign policy: theories, actors, cases argue that the study of foreign policy “ought not be regarded as an independent intellectual domain” by this they mean that the study of foreign policy should be “opened up” and interdisciplinary foreign policy theory

17 17 introduction to course the study of foreign policy “We believe that the dynamics of foreign policy are found in a wide range of IR works. Indeed, the objects of foreign policy inquiry necessitate an engagement with a host of social science fields, and a number of subfields” (p. 4) why might this be important? what are the implications of this approach? foreign policy theory

18 18 introduction to course the study of foreign policy fields relevant to foreign policy  international relations  social psychology  rational choice  comparative politics  public policy  critical theory  others special relationship between IR and foreign policy


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