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United States Foreign Policy and National Security (PO983)

US Foreign Policy

With Donald Trump in the White House promising an 'America First' foreign policy based on the principle of 'peace through strength', what does he really mean? This module examines the making of US foreign policy and analyses some of the key global issues confronting the United States in the 21st century.

The module aims to deepen your understanding of who makes US foreign policy, how, why, and with what consequences. The module considers different conceptual approaches to analysing US foreign policy, examines the role of both values and interests, and explores the institutions, processes, and domestic politics of US foreign policy making and implementation. The module engages with a number of key issues in contemporary US foreign policy, including the US response to the perceived threat of international terrorism, questions concerning US military interventions and the use of force, the role of the US in regions such as the AsiaPacific, and the debate over the nature and strength of 'American leadership' in world politics. A particular focus is on the issue of American 'grand strategy' and how this has developed transformed under the influence of different presidencies.

US Security Policy

US President Donald Trump has said he 'will never, ever apologize for protecting the safety and security of the American people.' But what is security and how does US security policy relate to ideas about American grand strategy and geopolitics? This module engages critically with the centrality of 'security' in US foreign and defense policy by drawing on insights from the study of international security. Particular attention is given to the role of security in determinations of American grand strategy and the subsequent policy outcomes and developments in a number of security areas. After an analysis of traditional US concerns over defense and military security, we will turn the bulk of our attention to how the United States has confronted so-called new security challenges such as homeland security, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, environmental security, human security, and the role of identity and culture in US national security. The module concludes by pointing to the future opportunities, challenges, and constraints the US faces in the governance of international security.

Please note: for students on the MA in US Foreign Policy, you will take both parts as a 40 CATS core module. For students on other PAIS MA degrees, you will have the option of selecting one or both of these as 20 CATS modules.