AMST 420—FALL 2008


Colin S. Cavell, Ph.D.                                                                                                   Course Room No.:  S17-229

Class MW:  9:30-10:45  [Ramadhan—9:30-10:30]                                     INTERNET:

Office Hours:  By appointment                                                                                                 Office No.:  S17-263

VOICE:  17438775 (W)                                                                                                                           39631156 (H)


A historical survey of America’s rise to international prominence and a discussion of its current place on the international scene and its stance on various regional and global issues.


Grading Policy:  20% for Attendance*; 20% for the Class Presentation; 20% for the Midterm Exam; 20% for the Research Paper; and 20% for the Final Exam. A Guidelines sheet will be distributed outlining the requirements for your Class Presentation and for your Research Paper.


Grading Scale:  93-100=A; 90-92=A-; 88-89=B+; 83-87=B; 80-82=B-; 78-79=C+; 73-77=C; 70-72=C-; 68-69=D+; 63-67=D; 60-62=D-; 0-59=F


Attendance Policy*:  Attendance in class is mandatory.  It is the student’s responsibility to sign the attendance sheet each day of class; failure to sign the attendance sheet—even if in attendance—will be counted as an absence.  If your unexcused absences exceed 25% of the total number of lectures of the course in this semester, you will be automatically withdrawn from the course and be given a grade of (WF) which will be counted towards your GPA.  As well, you are expected to follow the syllabus and accordingly be prepared for each day's class.  This means that you must read the pre-assigned readings before class so that you will be prepared to discuss and debate in class the subject matter scheduled for that day and answer questions related to the issues being covered.  NOTE:  TURN OFF all cell phones during class.


* Absence from class may be made up by preparing a two-page, typed (i.e. using maximum 12 point font size and maximum double-spaced text with one-inch margin on all sides), summary on the missed material scheduled to be covered the day(s) of your absence.  The summary must be in your own words and must not be copied material from the text(s), the internet, or any other source(s).  All summaries must be turned in to me by the last day of classes if you want credit for your absences.


Required Texts:

Ambrose, Stephen and Douglas Brinkley.  1997.  Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938.  Eighth Revised Edition.  New York: Penguin.  [ISBN 9780140268317] 

Cavell, Colin S.  2002.  Exporting ‘Made-In-America’ Democracy:  The National Endowment for Democracy & U.S. Foreign Policy.  Lanham, MD:  University Press of America, Inc.  [ISBN-10  0-7618-2440-5 ISBN-13 978-0-7618-2440-4]

Sept. 15:  Introduction to U.S. Foreign Policy:  History, Politics, and Choice


Sept. 17:  The Twisting Path to War


Readings:  Ambrose, “Introduction,” & Ch. 1, “The Twisting Path to War”


Sept. 18:  [Last day for dropping courses]




Sept. 22:  The War in Europe


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 2, “The War in Europe


Sept. 24:  The War in Asia


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 3, “The War in Asia


Sept. 28-Nov. 20:  Withdrawal Period with (W)


Sept. 29:  The Beginnings of the Cold War


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 4, “The Beginnings of the Cold War”


Oct. 1-3:  Eid Al-Fitr holidays 1429—[no classes]


Oct. 6:  The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 5, “The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan”


Oct. 8:  Containment Tested


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 6, “Containment Tested”


Oct. 13:  Korea


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 7, “Korea


Oct. 15:  Eisenhower, Dulles, and the Irreconcilable Conflict


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 8, “Eisenhower, Dulles, and the Irreconcilable Conflict”


Oct. 20:  From Hungary and Suez to Cuba


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 9, “From Hungary and Suez to Cuba


Oct. 22:  Kennedy and the New Frontiers


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 10, “Kennedy and the New Frontiers”


Oct. 27:  Vietnam: Paying the Cost of Containment


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 11, “Vietnam: Paying the Cost of Containment”


Oct. 29:  Nixon, Détente, and the Debacle in Vietnam


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 12, “Nixon, Détente, and the Debacle in Vietnam


Nov. 3:  America in the Middle East and Africa


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 13, “America in the Middle East and Africa


Nov. 5:  Midterm Exam


Nov.  9-13:  Mid-Semester break holiday—[no classes]


Nov. 17:  Carter and Human Rights


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 14, “Carter and Human Rights”




Nov. 19:  Reagan and the Evil Empire


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 15, “Reagan and the Evil Empire”


Nov. 24:  The End of the Cold War


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 16, “The End of the Cold War”


Nov. 26:  Bush and the Gulf War


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 17, “Bush and the Gulf War”


Dec. 1:  Clinton and Democratic Enlargement


Readings:  Ambrose, Ch. 18, “Clinton and Democratic Enlargement”


Dec. 3:  Exporting ‘Made-In-America’ Democracy


Readings:  Cavell, “Introduction”


Dec. 7:  Arafh holiday—[no classes]


Dec. 8-10:  Eid Al-Adha holidays 1429—[no classes]


Dec. 15:  Democracy and Hegemony


Readings:  Cavell, Ch. I, “Democracy and Hegemony”


Dec. 16-17:  National Day of Bahrain holidays—[no classes]


Dec. 22:  From Westphalia to Globalization [Last Day for In-Class Presentations]


Readings:  Cavell, Ch. II, “From Westphalia to Globalization”


Dec. 24:  Past U.S. Attempts to Export Democracy in Latin America [Research Papers Due]


Readings:  Cavell, Ch. III, “Past U.S. Attempts to Export Democracy in Latin America


Dec. 29:  Al-Hijra new year holiday—[no classes]


Dec. 31:  Origin, Structure, & Grantfunding Practices of the NED


Readings:  Cavell, Ch. IV, “Origin, Structure, & Grantfunding Practices of the NED”


Jan. 1, 2009:  New Year’s holiday—[no classes]


Jan. 5, 2009:  Capitalism, Hegemony, and Democracy; Last day of classes; Review


Readings:  Cavell, Ch. V, “Capitalism, Hegemony, and Democracy”


Jan. 7-8, 2009:  Ashura Holiday


Jan. 17, 2009:  Final Exam  14:30-16:30


Jan. 25, 2009:  Last day for submitting first semester’s grades


Jan. 25-Feb. 21, 2009:  Inter-semester Break [Holidays]