American Foreign Policy through "The West Wing"


Fall 2016

Mondays, 7:45 - 9:15 pm, Keohane Atrium 4E

This course seeks to explore American foreign policy through the lens of Aaron Sorkin's award-winning TV series, "The West Wing." Using episodes to launch discussions on grand strategy and America's role abroad, students will have the opportunity to learn about current events around the globe, analyze trends for different spheres of conflict, scrutinize publications and statements by leading government officials, debate U.S. policy in two key areas, and challenge their own existing moral and ethical beliefs with regard to foreign policy. Each week's class will have a broad theme in which we will analyze relevant episodes of "The West Wing" in conjunction with more scholarly publications. The course will attempt to cover a wide range of American foreign policy areas to provide a brief overview and fundamental understanding of America's role abroad and some of the challenges - legal, political, ethical, and moral - the the President of the United State faces when shaping such policy. While the course is not intended to serve as an exhaustive introduction to American foreign policy, our goal is for students to emerge from the class with an expanded knowledge of these topics and a deeper interest in the subject of American grand strategy.

  • Matthew King,
  • Amy Kramer,
  • Peter Feaver, Political Science
Class Limit: