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Leader: Tom Travis

Description:   The course will examine current and often controversial issues of American foreign policy. The topics covered in the context of U.S. foreign policy will be: the implications of new defense technologies, the U.S. and Israel, the challenges of Turkey, the Islamic awakening, U.S. energy independence, global food and climate change, China's new foreign policy, and world trade.

Each class will examine one or two of these topics. The format will be to review the information and background provided in the reading; to evaluate recent and current U.S. foreign policy; to discuss the pros and cons of the various foreign policy options for the U.S., and to recommend a foreign policy option that best serves the interests of the U.S. and the world. 

I teach interactively and strive to promote vigorous and stimulating class participation and discussion.  There will be very little lecture.

At least one class will be conducted as a foreign policy decision-making simulation.  Each class member will play a role, such as Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Director of the C.I.A., chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor, etc. I will play the President and chair the cabinet meeting.  At this meeting we will select a policy to deal with a crisis based on one of the topics above. Past class members have enjoyed this exercise very much.

Past students in this course are welcome to take it again since the topics are new, and therefore the class discussion will be different. 

Biography: Tom Travis was a professor of international relations and political science and director of the international relations program at Bucknell for thirty-three years.  He received several teaching awards from the university.  He has traveled to ninety-two countries, with more to come.

Materials for course:   The informative and well written reading is the booklet: Great Decisions 2014, published by the Foreign Policy Association.  You should go to the FPA website and order the booklet.

Number of participants:      

Minimum:  6    
Maximum: 18

Location: Spring Run Conference Room   

Meeting time:  Mondays, February 24 through March 31, 2014,  1 - 3 p.m.   

(Note: Each class is two hours long.)

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