Unit US Foreign Policy

International relations
Study-unit Code
Conflitti internazionali, studi strategici e analisi di politica estera
Cristina Baldassini
  • Cristina Baldassini
  • 42 ore - Cristina Baldassini
Course Regulation
Coorte 2021
Learning activities
Attività formative affini o integrative
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Opzionale (Optional)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
The course is divided into two parts. The first part analyses the history of the United States of America and how the political institutions work. The second part focuses on core points of American foreign policy from its origins to present day.
Reference texts
Texts for attending students:

a) M. Del Pero, Libertà e impero. Gli Stati Uniti e il mondo 1776-2016, Laterza 2017 (chapters X, XI, XII);
b) a text assigned during the course.

Texts for non-attending students:

a) G. Borgognone, Storia degli Stati Uniti. La democrazia americana dalla fondazione all’era globale, Feltrinelli 2016;
A. S. Markovits, La nazione più odiata. L’antiamericanismo degli europei, Einaudi 2007;
c) J. Nye, Fine del secolo americano?, introduzione di A. Panebianco, il Mulino 2016.
Educational objectives
The purpose of the course is to provide students with a knowledge of the core points of American foreign policy, from its origins to present day, while also studying some of the key moments of American political and social history. At the end of the course, students will have a knowledge of the evolution of American foreign policy, not only in terms of factual reference, but also according to its determining myths, ideas and interests. Students will also gain an understanding of the basic characteristics of American democracy and the United States’ role in the world.
In order to gain an understanding of the topics covered, a general knowledge of contemporary history is required.
Teaching methods
The course is organised as follows: the first part consists of series of lectures on all subjects of the course. Audiovisual material will be used; articles and documents will also be analysed. The second part of the course is organised in seminars to enable in-depth analysis of American foreign policy issues, through class discussions on texts assigned to students.
Other information
For further information: cristina.baldassini@unipg.it
Learning verification modality
Students taking this course will be assessed by means of a mid-course and end-of-course exam. For the mid-course exam test students will be required to present a text assigned by the lecturer at the beginning of the course, to be done during class. This exam encourages students to independently analyze a specific aspect of American foreign policy.
The final exam consists of a written examination lasting about 45 minutes. The purpose of this exam is to ascertain the level of students' knowledge of the programme contents and their ability to express them in a clear and appropriate manner.
Non-attending students must sit a single oral exam, lasting about 30 minutes, with questions on the content of three texts assigned in the programme.
Extended program
The first part analyses the American political system (ideas, interests and institutions). The second part focuses on core points of American foreign policy from its origins to present day. In particular, the following topics will be covered in depth, with extensive use of scientific literature:
a) American exceptionalism and the myth of the frontier;
b) Americans and war;
c) Exporting democracy? Cases of success and failure from 1945 to present day;
d) Is the “American Century” over? The contemporary debate.
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