9/11; jihad; al-Qaeda; War on Terror; Osama bin Laden; Afghanistan; the Taliban; the Bush Doctrine; Iraq; WMDs; waterboarding; targeted killing and drones. America’s War on Terror, launched as a response to the terrorist attacks of September, 11, 2001 has created some of the most important and controversial themes in foreign policy in the twenty-first century thus far. This module tracks 9/11 back to its Cold War origins, answers the frequently asked question “why do they hate us?”, and explores the policies introduced by the Clinton, G.W. Bush and Obama administrations in their efforts to counter the ever-evolving terrorist threat.
Aims and Objectives
Transferable and Generic Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Conduct primary research through digital archives and government websites.
- Analyse critically primary and secondary material.
- Organise and structure material into effective written assignments
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- The causes of and contexts for the declaration and prosecution of the War on Terror, from the Reagan administration’s support for the Mujahideen to 9/11 and the G.W. Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.
- Key primary sources and literature that provide evidence of the objectives and effectiveness of US policies in the War on Terror.
- The challenges facing historians when engaging with contemporary historical issues.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Discuss the historical background of the War on Terror from its Cold War origins.
- Apply frameworks discussed by scholars for the pursuit of specific foreign policies.
- Express familiarity with official US government documents such as National Security Strategies.
Topics which may be covered on this module include:
the historical background to the terrorist attacks which occurred in the United States of America on September 11, 2001
the foreign policy response referred to as the War on Terror
the role played by the Reagan and G.W.H. Bush administrations (1981-1993) in Afghanistan, in particular the funding, training and equipping of Mujahideen fighters
the emergence of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network
the reasons behind the declaration of jihad against the United States, and the policies pursued by the Clinton administration (1993- 2001) to counter this threat
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching methods include:
- A weekly two-hour class incorporating lecture and seminar elements
- Lecturer-led examination and discussion of sources
Learning activities include:
- Preparatory reading before each seminar
- Participation in group and class discussion
- Independent reading of the sources provided and of related secondary works
- Short oral presentations on primary sources
- Independent research of additional information and source materials
Lecture elements will provide you with general knowledge and understanding about chronology, sources and key concepts. This will be consolidated through readings and seminar discussions of primary and secondary source material. Discussion in seminars will help you to develop your own ideas about a topic, to analyse a range of source material and to articulate a critical argument.
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Timothy J. Lynch and Robert Singh (2008). After Bush: The Case for Continuity in American Foreign Policy. New York NY: Cambridge University Press.
Fraser Cameron (2005). US Foreign Policy After the Cold War: Global Hegemon or Reluctant Sheriff?. New York NY: Routledge.
G. John Ikenberry (2006). Liberal Order and Imperial Ambition. Malden MA: Polity.
Bob Woodward (2010). Bush at War; Plan of Attack; State of Denial; The War Within; Obama’s Wars. New York NY: Simon and Schuster.
Zbigniew Brzezinski (2007). Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower. New York NY: Basic Books.
Helen Duffy (2005). The ‘War on Terror’ and the Framework of International Law. Cambridge MA: Cambridge University Press.
John W. Dietrich (ed.) (2005). The George W. Bush Foreign Policy Reader: Presidential Speeches with Commentary. New York NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Alvin Z. Rubinstein, Albina Shayevich, Boris Zlotnikov (2000). The Clinton Foreign Policy Reader: Presidential Speeches with Commentary. New York NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay (2005). America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy. Hoboken NJ: Wiley & Sons.
Robert Kagan and William Kristol (eds.) (2000). Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy. San Francisco CA: Encounter Books.
Francis Fukuyama (2006). After the Neocons: America at the Crossroads. London: Profile Books.
Simon Coll (2004). Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. New York NY: Penguin.
Michael Cox and Doug Stokes (eds) (2008). US Foreign Policy. New York NY: Oxford University Press.
Philip Auerswald, Christian Duttweiler, John Garofano (eds.) (2003). Clinton’s Foreign Policy : A Documentary Record. The Hague: Kluwer Law International.
John Lewis Gaddis (2004). Surprise, Security, and the American Experience. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
John Dumbrell (2010). Clinton’s Foreign Policy: Between the Bush’s, 1992 – 2000. New York NY: Routledge.
Assessments designed to provide informal feedback:
- You will engage in small group exercises, focusing on specific formative tasks, which will be reviewed in class
- You will be encouraged to discuss preparation for your formal assessment with your tutor
- You will have the opportunity to seek individual advice on your work in progress from your tutor
- Guidance and advice in class on preparation, completion and presentation of assignments will be available to you
The formal assessments will promote skills of analysis and critical thinking. They will also reinforce organisational, planning and writing skills.
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
An internal repeat is where you take all of your modules again, including any you passed. An external repeat is where you only re-take the modules you failed.
Repeat type: Internal & External