Introduction to Foreign Policy – PLCY 860

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/01/2024

Course Description

This course requires students to research the basic contours of academic research in foreign policy. Students will work with their faculty member to understand the scope, history, controversial issues, and methods associated with academic research in this cognate. This research will serve as a stepping-stone to conducting a comprehensive literature review for their dissertation and provide the needed context to ensure that the student’s chosen dissertation topic is focused and appropriate.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course is designed to help students undertake independent research that contributes in an original way to the foreign policy field. Students will address real world foreign policy problems in the field with a strong understanding of the role of geopolitics, political culture, political economy and religion in affecting foreign policy issues of importance. Students will complete a professional literature review to help prepare them to complete their dissertation. Students will contribute to research and learn to produce new knowledge through a thorough evaluation of theories and different approaches to the study of foreign policy. American evangelicals have had a long-term impact in world affairs and Christian approaches to international affairs will be emphasized. Scholars and policy makers need to be aware of the power of faith to inform and enhance foreign policy. Learning about the foreign policies of central countries like Britain, the United States, France, Israel, Russia, Germany, China, India, Iran and South Africa will help students gain an important understanding of foreign policy making in the world today.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 750-800 words, contain 3 scholarly citations (with the exception of “Discussion: Sage Research Methods and Foreign Policy Context” which will require at least 5 scholarly sources), contain at least 1 relevant Bible verse, and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150-250 words and include at least 1 scholarly source. Sources will be cited in current APA format and must have been published within the last 5 years. 

Op-Ed Paper Assignment

Every member of the class is required to submit one written Op-Ed essay of no more than 1000 words, of the sort that might appear in a major national newspaper.

Research Paper: Outline Assignment

Students will prepare an outline to highlight the selected topic for the second research paper, identify specific challenges related to the topic, and provide recommendations drawn from the course material. Additionally, students will provide a list of at least 10 scholarly sources in addition to the course readings and presentations. The sources will be listed using an alphanumeric outline format. Citations will be in current APA format.

Research Paper: Short Assignment

The student will be required to draft 1 short research paper. The paper must contain 12–15 double-spaced pages of content (not including the title page and bibliography) in current APA format, with default margins, and use 12-pt. Times New Roman font. A minimum of 10 scholarly sources in addition to the course readings and presentations and at least 1 Scripture reference are required. Each paper must include a title page and bibliography in current APA format.

Analytical Paper Assignment

Every member of the class is required to submit one analytical essay, modeled on one of the short essays in the journal Foreign Affairs. This essay must be at least 2–3 pages (not including the required Title page and Bibliography), contain a minimum of 3 scholarly sources in addition to the course readings and presentations, include at least 1 Scripture reference, and adhere to current APA format.

Research Paper: Final Assignment

The student will write a 17-20 page double-spaced critical assessment research paper on a topic related to the course. The discussion of the topic should, ideally, be an extension and development of your chosen topic for Research Paper 1 and should also include an understanding of the following: 1) The major ideas relating to foreign policy as defined in this course, and specifically the public policy context and process; 2) Biblical integration; and 3) an awareness of current, scholarly research on the topic. This paper must contain a minimum of 20 scholarly sources in addition to the course readings and presentations, include at least 1 Scripture reference, use current APA format, and include a Title page and Bibliography.