J298 Reporting on America Abroad

After three decades of the so-called “post-Cold War world,” and foreign policy fiascos in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, the myth of American omnipotence has been definitively put to rest. The Cold War consensus is a distant memory. The “Unipolar Moment” of supposedly predominant American power passed in the blink of an eye. Now Joe Biden, a near perfect embodiment of “the Blob,” the Washington foreign affairs cabal, is left with the unenviable task of rebuilding US foreign policy in a world in which the country is no longer all powerful economically — and in which the public is as deathly sick of foreign entanglements as it is mistrustful of the discredited elite responsible for them. For foreign correspondents, security commentators and intelligence writers, this is a target-rich environment, for during the next months and years the officials of the Biden Administration must somehow seek to craft a new, more limited foreign policy, one which finally attains what Walter Lippman called “solvency”: matching the country’s commitments with the country’s power. In this class, even as we read some of the best foreign reporting and commentary yet written, we will seek to study and debate this fascinating process as it unfolds — and to analyze its progress and nuances in at least three pieces of reporting or commentary.



Time:  M 9:00 - 12:00

Location:  209 North Gate (Greenhouse)

Class Number:  31972

Section:  033

Units:  3

Length:  15 weeks

Course Material Fee:  None

Enroll Limit:  

Restrictions & Prerequisites