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GPIS Concentration:U.S. Foreign Policy & International Relations

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Participants gather for a group photo at the ODU Graduate Program in International Studies’ Annual Graduate Research Conference. College of Arts and Letters

U.S. Foreign Policy and International Relations Field Seminars


  • Students selecting this field as their major or minor must complete U.S. Foreign Policy and World Order (IS 606) as their required field course.
  • M.A. students must select TWO more courses within the field.
  • Ph.D. students must choose FOUR more courses.
  • Students are strongly advised to take courses other than those listed below only in consultation with the field coordinator.

IS 701/801 Global Change and American Foreign Policy

Seminar, 3 hours. 3 credits. This research seminar examines the transformation of the U.S. role in the world in the global context of the 20th Century and since September 2001.

IS 703/803 Ethics and Foreign Policy (WAP)

Lecture, 3 hours; 3 credits. The focus of this research seminar will be on the role of normative ideas in international relations. Students will be introduced to the growing literature on normative approaches to international relations as well as the traditional literature on the practical and philosophical problems of ethical action in the relations of states. Although a number of policy applications will be considered, the primary focus will be on the theoretical incorporation of normative ideas into our understanding of state action in the anarchic international environment.

IS 705/805* The Euro-Atlantic Community

Seminar, 3 hours; 3 credits. An examination of the Euro-Atlantic area as a partial international system since World War II; alignments and patterns within and between the members of the European "community" and the role and attitudes of the United States and leading European states to preserve and strengthen their sovereign prerogatives and influence; and the prospects for a true Euro-Atlantic community that would link the U.S. and Europe.

IS 706/806 The Causes of War (WAP)

Lecture, 3 hours; 3 credits. This research seminar will explore the theoretical and empirical literature on the causes of violent conflict between states.

IS 712/812 The New Germany in the New Europe

Seminar, 3 hours; 3 credits. The unification of Germany and the end of the East-West conflict have changed the context within which policy is made in Europe. What kind of Europe will emerge? What kind of hierarchies will determine direction and pace of European politics? The purpose of this course is to explore the role played by Germany in the development of post-Cold War European politics.

IS 715/815 The New France in the New Europe

Seminar, 3 hours; 3 credits. Emphasis will be placed on the transformation of French-American relations from the idyllic beginnings of the American nation to the complexities of the Cold War, to the new alignments of the new Europe and the European Union.

IS 720/820 Research Seminar in Global Security

Seminar, 3 hours; 3 credits. The research seminar investigates the profound changes in international security brought about by the end of the Cold War with a specific focus on the role of nuclear weapons. The primary purpose of the seminar is to promote research into the global aspects of the nuclear issue and to enhance understanding of the relationship between nuclear control and the New World Order.

IS 722/822 Democracy and International Relations (WAP)

Lecture, 3 hours; 3 credits. An examination of the relationship between democratic politics, democratic ideals, and international relations. Subjects covered will include trends and processes of democratization and their implications for international relations, the distinctiveness of democratic states in their international behavior, the impact of the international environment on the internal politics of democratic states, and the problems of democracy in global governance.

IS 723/823 U.S. Foreign Policy and World Order

IS 795/895 Advanced IS Research Workshop (WAP)

1-3 credits. The advanced study and discussion of selected (titled) topics not offered on a regular basis.

IS 795/895 Foreign Policy of Russia/Soviet Union (WAP)

IS 795/895 The Politics of the Middle East (WAP)

Lecture, 3 hours; 3 credits. Explores the international relations of the Middle East from World War I to the present. Examines the origins of the Arab-Israeli and Persian Gulf Wars and their modern dimensions. Examines the role of oil, outside powers and religion.

IS 795/895 Russia Between East and West (WAP)

IS 795/895 US-Latin American Relations (WAP)

IS 796/896 Special Topics in American Foreign Policy

IS 796/896 Emerging Issues in International Security

WAP = "With Appropriate Paper". To count for field credits, these courses must have the paper topic approved by the field coordinator.