Anno immatricolazione
Anno offerta
Corso di studio
Anno di corso
Periodo didattico
Primo Semestre (02/10/2017 - 16/12/2017)
40 ore di attività frontale
Lingua insegnamento
Tipo esame
Basic knowledge of international history of the 20th century
Obiettivi formativi
The course will examine the history of United States foreign relations – broadly defined - from the late XX century to the election of Donald Trump. Examining the US role and place in the world, specific questions will be raised and discussed: what triggered the American hegemonic rise? How do we conceptualize the response to the deployment of America’s multifaceted global power? How do we investigate the connection between domestic politics and foreign policy choices?
The course will consider the impact of the political, geopolitical and economic transformations of the past century on the foreign policy choices and particular attention will be paid to specific transitions (i.e.: WWI, WWII, the Cold War, the 1970s, the end of the Cold War, 9/11).
After a broader introductory lecture on the origins of the United States and its relation to North America, the course will follow a chronological pattern. Historiographical debates and issues will also be thoroughly discussed and examined.

Learning goals:

• to organize and use relatively large amounts of information
• to reflect critically on knowledge and understanding as presented in academic literature
• to be able to engage with the historiography
• to understand the current debate on the foreign relations of the United States of America and its historical matrices.
Programma e contenuti
1) Introduction. The Atlantic divide: the meaning of North America
2) The War of 1898 and the Rise to Empire
3) US Foreign Relations in the early XX century: from the Monroe Doctrine to the Open Door Policy
4) World War I and the Wilsonian Moment
5) 1920s’ Internationalism
6) The isolationist Moment
7) World War II and the US hegemonic rise
8) The US in the early Cold War years
9) Rollbacks and Massive Retaliation: Eisenhower’s Foreign Policy
10) The New Frontier, Modernization, and the Vietnam Quagmire
11) The “Color Line”: Decolonization and Civil Rights
12) Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and the “realist” moment
13) The pivotal 1970s: Realism, Globalization, and Human Rights
14) The rightward bound and the Reagan Reversal
15) The Post-Cold War: Analyses, Predictions, Prescriptions
16) The post Cold War Years: The US in the unipolar age
17) Humanitarian intervention and the 1990s
18) 9/11 and the unipolar moment
19) From Bush to Obama
20) At the dawn of the Trump Era
Metodi didattici
This is a lecture-seminar course. Students will therefore be asked to always prepare for class and actively participate to the discussions.
I will alternate lectures, student-driven class discussions, and guided work in small groups. Lectures and seminars are based on a combination of historiography and primary sources.
Testi di riferimento
The list of primary sources will be provided in class.

Here is the list of the secondary sources

1) F. Gilbert, “To the Farewell Address. Ideas of Early American Foreign Policy”, Princeton University Press, ch. 3 (pp 44-74)
2) - Thomas G. Paterson, United States Intervention in Cuba, 1898: Interpretations of the Spanish–American–Cuban–Filipino War, « The History Teacher », (1996), pp. 341–361
- Louis A. Pérez Jr, Cuba in the American imagination, University of North Carolina Press, 2008, Introduction
3)- Jay Sexton, The Monroe Doctrine. Empire and Nation in 19th Century America (2011), chap. 6 “Intervention”
- Matthew Frye Jacobson, Barbarian Virtues. The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917 (2000), chap. 6 “Children of Barbarism. Republican Imperatives and Imperial Wards”
4) - Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (2007), pp.15-54
- Tony Smith, America’s Mission. The United States and the Wordwide Struggle for Democracy in the Twentieth Century (2012), ch. 4 “Wilson and a World Safe for Democracy”
5) - David Ellwood, The Shock of America. Europe and the Challenge of the Century (2012), ch.2
- Melvin Leffler, 1921-1932: Expansionist Impulses and Domestic Constraints in William H. Becker and Samuel F. Wells, Jr (eds), Economics and World Power: An Assessment of American Diplomacy since 1789, ( 1984), 225-75
6) - Frank Ninkovich, The Wilsonian Century. US Foreign Policy since 1900 (1999), ch. 3 “Normal Internationalism as Utopia”
- Akira Iriye, The Globalizing of America, 1913-1945 (1993), ch. 10 “Wilsonianism confirmed - and betrayed”
7) Warren Kimball, The Juggler (1990), pp.7-20 and pp. 83-105
8)- Melvin Leffler, The Emergence of an American Grand Strategy, 1945-1952 in Westad and Leffler (eds), The Cambridge History of the Cold War. I: Origins (2010), pp.66-89
- Anders Stephanson, Fourteen Notes on the Very Concept of the Cold War (1997) (http://www.h-net.org/~diplo/essays/PDF/stephanson-14notes.pdf)
9) - John L. Gaddis, Strategies of Containment (1982), pp.127-197
10) - Michael Hunt, Lyndon Johnson’s War, 1996, ch.1-3
- Michael Latham, “Ideology, Social Science, and Destiny: Modernization and the Kennedy-era Alliance for Progress”, Diplomatic History (1998) 22 (2): 199-229
11) - Tim Borstelmann, The Cold War and the Color Line. American Race Relations in the Global Arena (2001) chap. 4 “Revolutions in the American South and Southern Africa”
- Mary Dudziak, “Brown as a Cold War Case”, Journal of American History Vol. 91, No. 1, June 2004
12) - Jeremi Suri, Henry Kissinger and the American Century, 2007, ch. 2-3
- Barbara Keys, Henry Kissinger: the Emotional Statesman, “Diplomatic History”, September 2011, 587-609
13) - Daniel Sargent, The United States and Globalization in the 1970s in Sargent, Manela, Ferguson and Maier (eds.), The Shock of the Global. The 1970s in Historical Perspective, 2010
- Giovanni Arrighi, “The world economy and the Cold War, 1970-1990”, in The Cambridge History of the Cold War in Melvin Leffler e Arne Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of the Cold War. Vol. III: Endings, 2010
14) - Beth Fischer, US foreign policy under Reagan and Bush in Melvin Leffler e Arne Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of the Cold War. Vol. III: Endings, 2010
- Doug Rossinow, The Reagan Age. A History of the 1980s, 2015, ch.12 and ch.14
15)- John Mearsheimer, Back to the Future. Instability in Europe After the Cold War, “International Security”, 1990
- Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations? “Foreign Affairs”, 1993
16) - John G. Ikenberry, The Restructuring of the International System After the Cold War in Melvin Leffler e Arne Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of the Cold War. Vol. III: Endings, 2010
- Melvin Leffler, Dreams of Freedom, Temptation of Power, in Jeffrey A. Engel, The fall of the Berlin Wll. The revolutionary Legacy of 1989 ( 2009), ch. 5
17) - Stephen Wertheim, A Solution from Hell: The United States and the Rise of Humanitarian Interventionism, 1991-2003." Journal of Genocide Research”, 2010
- Ivo Daalder and Michael O’Hanlon, Winning Ugly. NATO’s War to Save Kosovo, 2000, ch. 1 and 6
18) Christopher Layne, This Time is for Real: The End of Unipolarity and the Pax Americana, « International Studies Quarterly », 2012, pp.202-212
Stephen G. Brooks, G. John Ikenberry, William C. Wohlforth, Don't Come Home, America: The Case against Retrenchment, « International Security », 2012/ 3, pp.7-51
19) - Marilyn Young and Lloyd Gardner (eds.), The New American Empire, 2004, chapter by Maier
- Melvin Leffler and Jeffrey Legro (eds.), To Lead the World. American Strategy After the Bush Doctrine, 2008, chapter by Eichengreen & Irwin (Ch.8)
20) Trump, Putin and the New Cold War". What lay behind Russia’s interference in the 2016 election – and what lies ahead?”, by Eva Osnos, David Remnick and Josua Yaffa, The New Yorker, March 6, 2017 Issue
Modalità verifica apprendimento
The final grade will be based upon:
50% Participation (informed discussion)
20% Final Paper (4.000 words). Information will be provided in class
30% Final Exam. two brief essays (ca. 700-1000 words each) to be chosen among four questions
Altre informazioni
Students are expected to attend regularly, and must provide reasonable justifications for any absence.

Electronic “etiquette” policy: cell phones, tablets and pagers are to be off during class. Laptops are allowed exclusively for note taking. All other uses are not permitted during class, and we reserve the right to ask offenders to turn their laptops off or leave class. Repeated infractions will result in a reduction of the final grade.