Washington Center

U.S. Foreign Relations with Asia

Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Semester Dates: 
January 7 - April 15, 2014
University of Michigan
Semester Elective

 This course seeks to help students develop the analytical skills necessary to understand American policy towards Asia, especially in preparation for a career in foreign policy. Key goals of the class include:

  • To identify and analyze foreign policy challenges;
  • To understand a range of viewpoints on key policy issues;
  • To integrate knowledge of comparative politics into foreign policy analysis;
  • To encourage outside-the-box thinking with regard to foreign policy issues;
  • To improve students’ writing, presentation, and discussion skills;
  • To help students prepare for professional careers, whether in foreign policy or elsewhere;

A central premise of this course is that in order to formulate a thoughtful Asia policy, we must understand Asia. It is important to understand the interests and pressures facing policymakers within each country in order to interpret their behavior. As such, you will learn about Asia. However, the Asian continent is home to over 4 billion people, 48 countries, 19 major linguistic families, every major world religion, and hundreds of ethnic and cultural groups. In short, we will not be able to cover all or even a small fraction of Asia in this course. Rather, this course will emphasize depth rather than breadth. In particular, we will focus on East and Southeast Asia.That said, students will have an opportunity to study countries not covered in the syllabus through the policy memo assignment. Moreover, at the end of the course all students will pool their collective knowledge in order to draft a comprehensive Asia policy during a policy planning simulation.

Taught by Dominic Nardi

Course Syllabus

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