Skip Navigation

Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: IRLS412 Course ID: 3759 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

An analysis of the foreign policy and policy-making process in various regions of the world. Specific case studies allow the student to assess national priorities and ideological commitments in the post-Cold War era.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/26/20 - 04/02/21 04/05/21 - 05/30/21 Spring 2021 Session B 8 Week session
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1: Compare the foreign policy objectives of different geographic regions.

CO-2: Apply decision-making theories, conceptual frameworks, and/or models of foreign policy analysis to specific case studies.

CO-3: Examine the process of foreign policy decision-making among state and non-state actors with competing interests.

CO-4: Analyze the constraints of decision-makers in creating foreign policy.

CO-5: Assess the major political, security, and economic instruments for achieving policy objectives in the context of regional foreign relations

Forum discussions – 25 percent

Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Midterm assignment - 25 percent

The Midterm Assignment consists of a take-home case study assignment of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and is 6 pages total. Students will identify and compare the foreign policy objective(s) of the United States, the USSR, and Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and will use one of the theories or conceptual frameworks presented in Weeks 1-3 to explain how nuclear war might have occurred if the US, USSR, and/or Cuba had acted differently at any one of the seven steps of the crisis.

The exclusive use of required texts and readings from this course is mandatory.

Progress assignment - 25 percent

The Progress Assignment presents students with a crisis situation involving North Korea. Students will write a policy analysis and recommended response based on the domestic and international constraints that decision-makers would face in this situation.

The Progress Assignment is 8-10 pages including research and analysis.

Final assignment – 25 percent

In the Final Assignment, students are presented with a specific foreign policy problem based on the readings in weeks 7-8, and will evaluate the best way to solve it using a specific foreign policy instrument or instruments. This assignment is 6 pages total.

The exclusive use of required texts and readings from this course is mandatory.

NameGrade %
Forums 25.00 %
Week One Forum 3.13 %
Week Two Forum 3.13 %
Week Three Forum 3.13 %
Week Four Forum 3.13 %
Week Five Forum 3.13 %
Week Six Forum 3.13 %
Week Seven Forum 3.13 %
Week Eight Forum 3.13 %
Midterm Assignment 25.00 %
Assignment 1: Week 3 Midterm Assignment 25.00 %
Progress Assignment 25.00 %
Assignment 2: Week 6 Progress Assignment 25.00 %
Final Assignment 25.00 %
Assignment 3: Week 8 Final Assignment 25.00 %
  • Required Course Textbook

The required texts for this course are:

Dobson, Alan P. and Steve Marsh. 2006. US Foreign Policy Since 1945, 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge. E-book available in the APUS Online Library

Cebeci, Munevver, ed. 2011. Issues in EU and US foreign policy. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books. E-book available in the APUS Online Library

  • External websites and other assigned reading found in the Lessons area of the classroom.

  • Weekly Lesson Notes and videos or audio files are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
Book Title:U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1945, 2nd Ed-E-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Taylor & Francis Group
Author:Dobson, Alan
Unit Cost:$32.50
Book Title:To find the library e-book(s) req'd for your course, please visit to locate the eReserve by course #.
Author: No Author Specified
Book Title:US Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century : Gulliver's Travails - E-book available in the APUS Online Library
Author:Rochester, J. Martin
Unit Cost:$39.83

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.