American Politics and Foreign Policy (GOVT2445)


This unit will be an overview of the American political system and the formulation of foreign policy. It will cover the major Federal political institutions: the Presidency, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. The unit will consider how foreign policy is made through the interaction of these institutions and with other elements of civil society. Finally, it will examine the outcome of this process - US foreign policy itself - with special emphasis on the post-Cold War period. We will seek to answer two key questions: (a) what is the influence of domestic politics on US foreign policy; and (b) how does the US system cope with the apparent contradictions between its ideals and the imperatives of global power?

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week


1x2000wd Essay (40%), 10x30wd tutorial quizzes (10%), 1x2hr exam (40%), Tutorial participation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


(12 Junior credit points in Government and International Relations) or (AMST1001 and (HSTY1023 or HSTY1076))



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.