Research Seminar in Foreign Policy – PLCY 861

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

In this course, students will identify and discuss the major debates and issues in foreign policy. Students will conduct an extensive literature review of their chosen dissertation topic. Students will work with faculty to ensure that their literature review is comprehensive and sets them up for a successful research question for their dissertation. Students will also submit a dissertation research question for review and discussion.

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


As the second course in the Economic Policy cognate, this course allows the student to conduct extensive literature reviews in debates related to various facets of economic policy. Students will be encouraged to explore these debates and also develop meaningful research toward their eventual dissertation topic.

Course Assignment

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)

The student will take part in 4 Discussions in this course. These are meant to be reflective assignments where students engage with one another about the process of the learning experience and the emergence of possible dissertation topics. Furthermore, discussion among classmates about the various policy debates being studied, analyzed and researched is a vital part of the learning process. We hope that these assignments will be intellectually stimulating and encouraging for students on the journey to completing the dissertation. The emphasis for these discussions is on reflection and collaboration, not on new research per se. The student will also respond thoughtfully to the comments of classmates and provide feedback and interaction to at least 2 classmates. The original thread should be 450–500 words, and each reply should be at least 250 words. The student will support the original thread and each reply with research and citations in APA format as needed. 

Research Paper Assignments (3)

The student will discuss and research key questions and debates related to economic policy in the form of 3 papers in current APA format. Each paper must be 12–14 pages of content, double-spaced, and must include citations from relevant readings, presentations, and at least 20 scholarly sources. The student should use these assignments to experiment with and explore possible dissertation topics.

Literature Review Assignment

The student will conduct a final literature review discussing his or her chosen dissertation topic/research question. The literature review will focus on the key debates associated with the question based upon the student’s research and must propose a workable dissertation question. The paper will be a minimum of 15–17 pages of double-spaced content, in current APA format, with the use of a minimum of 25 scholarly sources.