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POLI 142A UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY

FALL 2009: FINAL EXAMINATION

Overview: Throughout this course we have examined trends in American foreign policy
from the American Revolution through the post 9/11 era. We have noted that American
weakness (in the aftermath of the Revolution), a bipolar distribution of power during the
Cold War, and American hegemony in the aftermath have all had critical effects on US
foreign policy. The Bush administration suggested that 9/11 has forced a re-evaluation of
the way in which the United States should view the world. During its first year in office, the
Obama administration is still finding its way in regards to US foreign policy, juggling tensions
in the Middle East, relations with Europe, a more resurgent Russia, and a growing China. It is
the debate over US foreign policy in these regions that will form the basis of your final
examination.

Prompt: You are being asked to advise the Obama administration on adopting a foreign
policy framework for one of the following regions/countries:

1. The Middle East


2. Europe
3. Russia
4. China

Your analysis should address the following questions:

1) Why is this region strategic to US interests (i.e. what does the US want)?

2) What does the target state/region want?

3) What areas of agreement/disagreement exist between the US and your selected


region?

4) Does your proposed policy follow or diverge from the policy of the previous
administration?

5) Are there limitations (political or otherwise) which could hinder the adoption of
your policy?

For this paper, you may focus on specific facets of foreign policy within a region (i.e. military
vs. economic policy), on certain sub-regions within a region (e.g. Israel-Palestine or Iran for
the Middle East, etc.) or on the region as a whole (e.g. European policy).

Requirements: The paper should provide a well organized argument to the prompt, using
course materials (lecture, course readings, current events materials, etc.) to substantiate
your argument. While you are not required to use outside resources for this paper, you will
find that current events material will be useful in augmenting course materials. The paper
should be 6-8 pages in length (typed, double-spaced, with one inch margins), and should
contain a bibliography. You may use either MLA or APA format to cite sources within your
paper. If you wish to pick the paper up from the political science office, please write
“Buckley-Yes” on the front of your exam and sign it.

TA Office Hours: Daniel Maliniak (dmaliniak@ucsd.edu) Tuesdays 11-12 in SSB 351

Chris O’Keefe (cokeefe@ucsd.edu) Mondays 11-12 in SSB 351


Due Date: The final examination is due between 11:30 and 2:29 on Thursday 10 December
2009. University policy as well as course policy precludes us from accepting any papers
without valid documentation after the allotted time. Please plan accordingly.

Good luck!