Fall 2021 - POL 445W D100

American Foreign Policy (4)

Class Number: 3815

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 4125, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Eight upper division units in Political Science or permission of the department.



Examines US foreign policy in the post World War II era. Topics to be covered will include the formation of foreign policy, 20th century American security issues, alliance relations, crisis management and international economic relations. Writing.


Has US foreign policy gone back to “normal” now that Donald J. Trump is no longer President of the United States? President Joseph Biden frequently talks about working within a “rules based order.” What does that mean? Does it distinguish Biden’s foreign policy from Trumps or are the differences more cosmetic than real?

This course encourages students to answer questions about current US foreign policy by learning about how the US conducted itself on the world stage in the past and understanding why the US government behaved in these ways. Emphasis is placed on learning how to write clearly and persuasively about US foreign affairs. Course topics include: the global context confronting US foreign policy makers; market influences on US foreign policy; domestic political explanations of US foreign policy; national values and mass attitudes in US foreign policy; bureaucratic influences on US foreign policy; and the perceptions of leaders.


  • Weekly essays and assignments 60%
  • Foreign policy simulation 10%
  • Research project 20%
  • In class participation 10%



Kaufman, Joyce P. A concise history of US foreign policy. Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.

ISBN: 978-1442270459

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.