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POL 66 — America and the World: The Foreign Policy Challenge

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 1—May 20
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 3
Unit: 1
Tuition: $465
Instructor(s): Amir Magdy Kamel
Limit: 50
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Apr 1—May 20
8 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 3
1 Unit
Amir Magdy Kamel
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
The evolution of American foreign policy from the 20th to the 21st centuries reflects the shifting dynamics of global politics. While the 20th century was characterized by a Cold War–era bipolarity, the 21st century’s political landscape trending toward divisiveness and populism emphasizes a more interconnected and multipolar world grappling with power competition, climate change, cybersecurity, and more. This course will explore these New World Order challenges with a foreign policy emphasis, placing them in historical context, evaluating them from a US perspective, and unpacking the implications for US influence on global affairs.

Together, we will explore the US approach on the world stage as it endeavors to influence global stability, dollar dominance in the world economy, and the pursuit of liberal democratic ideals. We will examine the nuanced concept of “foreign policy,” dissecting its defining elements, principal motivators, and primary limitations within the context of US interactions with nations such as China and Russia. The course will include in-depth discussions about key internal and external players, small-group activities to evaluate the potential impact of the 2024 elections, and a thought-provoking in-class debate regarding the overall effectiveness of US foreign policy. By the end of this course, students will understand recent shifts in American foreign policy and will be equipped with a comprehensive grasp of the factors shaping our nation’s role in a rapidly evolving world.

This course requires no prior knowledge of American foreign policy or global affairs. The course is designed for students interested in how the United States has become the dominant power in the world, how it exercises this dominance, and the challenges it faces.

Associate Professor, King's College London; Visiting Scholar, Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Stanford

Amir Magdy Kamel has taught international relations, international political economy, technology, and security courses for more than 10 years at King’s College London and Stanford. His research focuses on the impact of financial technology on policymaking and challenges to both US and EU foreign policy. His latest book is Floundering Stability: US Foreign Policy in Egypt. Kamel received a PhD in political science from King's College London.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.