Washington Center

Power and Purpose: Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy

Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT
Quarter Dates: 
March 24 - June 2, 2021
Course Number: 
UCLA Political Science 120B
Quarter Elective

This course explores the ideas and assumptions that guide U.S. foreign policy. We will consider how U.S. leaders choose to engage with the rest of the world -- and consider how they might in the future -- by focusing on a number of recurring themes including: relations with China and Russia; nuclear proliferation; the problems of weak and failing states; democracy promotion; terrorism and counterterrorism; resource competition; the importance of culture and national identity; transnational threats such as infectious disease and climate change; and the economics of national security.

Remote Syllabus

About the Instructor: Professor Chris Preble currently serves the co-director of the New American Engagement Initiative, a new project within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. He served as Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute for more than 17 years at the Cato Institute. Professor Preble has written two books (on U.S. foreign policy/grand strategy) and edited three others (on Iraq, counterterrorism, and threat perception). He's also written a number of shorter papers and book chapters (on, for example, the Middle East, nuclear weapons, the defense budget, intelligence assessment, fixing failed states, and U.S.-Japan relations). Professor Preble has also taught at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota; and at Temple University, where he earned his PhD in History. He earned his BA (also in History) at George Washington University, and served for four years in the U.S. Navy, including a little more than three years on the USS TICONDEROGA (CG 47). 

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