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Monday, January 12, 2004

Classes Begin

It's the first day of class. I'm teaching an undergraduate course on American Foreign Policy. Anyone interested can look at the syllabus. I'm not using a lot of web links this year since I found a decent companion reader.

My second class is a master's-level seminar on International Relations Theory. Again, the syllabus is on-line. Because the students may or may not have a background in IR, I have them read an advanced textbook that covers a lot of key theories. Additionally, they read journal articles each week.

Next Monday is MLK Holiday, but in two weeks the grad seminar will be talking about realism (and neorealism). That means lots of Hans Morgenthau, Kenneth Waltz and John Mearsheimer. Since my forthcoming conference paper for the International Studies Association is about the post-cold war "failure" of realist policy advice vis-a-vis US foreign policy, I may well blog on this topic in the next two weeks.

Short version: the realists expect the US to start worrying a great deal about China (and stop trading so much), are fairly unconcerned about nuclear proliferation (Ukraine, Germany, etc.), and supported deterrence/containment for Iraq (rather than war). They have expected NATO's demise since 1990 and criticize the apparent neoimperial direction of US foreign policy.

The neorealists, in particular, offer a coherent set of ideas that seems to have been dismissed by the foreign policy hierarchy in the US.

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