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School of Politics and International Relations

POLM040 Themes & Cases in US Foreign Policy

Credits: 30 credits

Semester: Semester B

Timetable: Mondays 9:00-10:00, and Tuesdays 17:00-18:00

Contact: Dr. George Loefflmann

Availability: Optional module for MA & MRes International Relations and MSc Public Policy students

Description: This module will consider the principal forms in which US foreign policy has been practised and interpreted since the foundation of the Republic. Amongst these are American Exceptionalism and Anti-Americanism, ‘spheres of influence’, liberal interventionism and protectionist isolationism, Cold War containment, the ‘War on Terror’ following 9/11, and the strains on unipolarity in the early 21st century.
Amongst the case studies linked to these themes, students will consider the role of Native Americans and immigration, the war of 1898, gunboat diplomacy in the Caribbean, the ideas of Woodrow Wilson, the Vietnam War, the consequences of the 9/11 attacks, and the challenges posed by China.


  • Item 1: 40% Research Essay 1 (2000 words)
  • Item 2: 60% Research Essay 2 (3000 words)
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