Course 108: Current Issues of American Foreign Policy
Leader: Tom Travis
Description: The course will discuss current and controversial issues of American foreign policy. The topics covered will be: The Future of the Euro, Egypt and the Arab Spring, The Future of NATO, Myanmar and Southeast Asia, Iran and Its Nuclear Weapons, China in Africa, When Should the US Intervene Abroad, and Foreign Threats to US Security.
The course will proceed by discussion and debate. First, the informational background for the topic will be discussed. Second, current US foreign policy will be evaluated. Third, alternative foreign policy options will be considered and assessed, with an attempt to agree on the best foreign policy option.
At least one of the classes will simulate US foreign policy decision-making, whereby class members will assume roles as key foreign policy officials-Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor, Head of the CIA, UN Ambassador, Secretary of Treasury, and so on. The President (your course leader) will convene a cabinet meeting composed of these officials (the class members) and seek agreement on a policy for the US to pursue.
Students who have previously been enrolled in my American Foreign Policy classes may take this one because the topics are different and updated.
Biography: Tom Travis has a Ph.D. in political science from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, and is an emeritus professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell. From 1971-2003 he taught at Bucknell, where he chaired the international relations program for 26 years and received three awards for distinguished teaching. He has also served as a Senior Fulbright Lecturer twice in India and once in Russia, and he has traveled to 83 countries.
Materials for Course: The reading will be the 2013 Great Decisions Briefing Book, which should be purchased on line at http://www.fpa.org/, the website of the Foreign Policy Association.
Number of Participants: Minimum: 6; Maximum: 20
Location: Spring Run Conference Room
Meeting Time: Mondays, February 25 through April 1, 1 - 3 p.m. (Each class is two hours long.)