Faculty of Arts


Foreign Policies of Europe and America

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for POLITICS 244.



This course compares and contrasts the foreign policies of the United States, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union. It touches on the institutions, politics and processes of foreign policy decision-making, including diplomacy, trade, security, human rights and the environment and relations with international organisations. Trans-Atlantic relations and issues receive special attention. The policy successes and the prospects of America and Europe for international leadership are to be identified and assessed.


• To provide students with basic information on American and European foreign policy institutions, processes, aims, collaborations, disputes and outcomes and those of the other states, regions and international organisations with which America and Europe interact
• To alert students to scholarly, journalistic and critical interpretations of the origins, structures, processes and political issues surrounding key sectors of American and European foreign policy
• To enhance students’ ability to make comparative assessments of foreign policy initiatives by applying relevant criteria in a balanced fashion
• To sharpen students’ skills and deepen experience in perceptive listening, efficient research, discriminating analysis, critical thinking, accurate writing and persuasive oral presentation
• Indirectly, to prepare students for career work in policy analysis and advocacy in governments, international organisations, NGOs, media and other professions
• In general, to recommend the view that foreign policymaking is an interest-driven but ultimately pragmatic problem-solving and decision-making activity by individuals working in government institutions, all of which are profoundly affected by political domestic and international influences


The course comprises a series of approximately 24 lectures, mainly on the foreign policies of 1) the United States, 2) the European Union, and 3) selected states of Europe, particularly Great Britain, France and Germany. Comparisons and contrasts between US and European policies will be highlighted and assessed for relative effectiveness. The two lectures per week are supplemented by a discussion hour each week at which some students will present oral reports and the tutor will lead discussions of lecture topics and readings and offer guidance on essay and exam writing techniques. 

View the course syllabus

Availability 2018

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley


Donald M. Snow, American Foreign Policy in a New Era (Boston: Pearson, 2013).

Recommended Reading

Fraser Cameron, An Introduction to European Foreign Policy, 2nd ed.(London: Routledge, 2012)


POLITICS 244: 15.0 points


30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or 15 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations and EUROPEAN 100, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points in Global Politics and Human Rights



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