Explore American foreign policy at the broadest level of analysis - the level known as grand strategy. The course will showcase the main theoretical perspectives that inform the study of US grand strategy and apply them to historical and contemporary cases of American statecraft. In this connection, we will assess the relevance of the US experience for theorising about power politics and the implications of alternative theories for thinking critically about American behaviour. You will gain an appreciation of the debates and controversies that animate the study of US foreign policy, as well as of the unique challenges posed by making foreign policy in the American political, economic, and cultural context.
The aims of this short course are two-fold. First, to enable you to reflect on and share ideas with other students about why you chose to study international relations and what it means to study international relations. Second, to acquire and develop the key skills you need to study international relations, including analytical skills, communications skills (verbal and written), problem solving skills and team working skills. Students will work together in small groups on the skills required for reading and taking notes; conducting research; writing essays and exams; and succeeding as an IR scholar.
Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) is the study of decision-making in international relations. It looks at how international, domestic and individual pressures shape the decisions leaders make and the actions states take. In the first half of the course we will discuss conceptual matters, gradually building a toolkit of approaches that together help us explain and understand how and why states and individuals behave the way they do. In the second half we work through a series of detailed case studies, covering foreign policy decision-making and outcomes in Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and China.
The course examines the role of power and politics in international economic relations. Besides international structural factors, it emphasises the role of domestic political interests and their influence over foreign economic policies. Major approaches covered include historical views on international political economy, and contemporary systemic theories of international cooperation, interest groups politics. ideas and institutions. The course provides an overview and explanation of the international monetary and trade systems since 1944. It also discusses current debates on trade, monetary policy, the political roots of financial crises, globalisation and the retreat of the state, and environmental protection.
For more information see the course guide: http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/calendar/courseGuides/IR/2017_IR206.htm
The course applies the theories and conceptual tools of the discipline of International Relations to the study of the Middle East region. It uses the empirical material offered by the history, politics, political economy and international politics of the region to explore these concepts and theories. More specifically, it concentrates on the areas of foreign policy analysis, international political economy, gender, the study of international norms and conflict and peace studies. It explores the applicability of various International Relations theories (for example, realism and neo-realism; neo-liberalism; constructivism; English School; Critical Theory and post-modernism) to the study of the region.