History 24, Section 1

Making U.S. Foreign Policy (1 unit, P/NP)

Professor Daniel Sargent
Monday 2:00-3:00, 180 Barrows Hall, Class number: 40188

What is foreign policy, who makes it, and to what avail? This freshman seminar, “Making U.S. Foreign Policy,” will introduce students to the study of U.S. foreign policy. The course will assess the institutional and bureaucratic dimensions of foreign policy, beginning with the Constitution and the organization of the American government for the conduct and implementation of foreign policy. Readings will consider the evolving international context for foreign policy, the utility of strategy, and the particular challenges the United States faces as the world’s dominant superpower. The course will offer an introduction to academic disciplines and methods for studying foreign policy and international relations more broadly. Students will also explore and engage campus resources, including visiting speakers from the professional foreign policy community.

Instructor Bio

Daniel J. Sargent is associate professor in the Department of History. He is the author of A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s and a range of articles and essays on US foreign policy and international relations. He is now writing a history of the American world order. A PhD graduate of Harvard University, Sargent has held fellowships at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and at International Security Studies at Yale University. At Berkeley, he teaches courses on US foreign relations, the Cold War, human rights, and global history. He has in the past taught freshman seminars on US foreign policy in the 1970s and on the history of human rights.

Faculty web site: http://history.berkeley.edu/people/daniel-sargent


The seminar is intended to help freshman who are interested in US foreign policy and international relations to figure out how to develop, cultivate, and refine their interests over their undergraduate careers. Accordingly, I am most interested in students who plan to major in the social sciences and would prefer that preference be given to these students over students who plan to major elsewhere and are interested in the course for reasons of intellectual breadth and/or diversity.