America in the World: Soft and Hard Power Since 1945 A

Department of American and Canadian Studies, School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies

College of Arts and Law


Code 21951

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 10

Semester 1

Pre-requisite modules You must have completed at least one year of appropriate study in this discipline.

Module description

America in the World: Hard and Soft Power since 1945, Part A

This module examines in a thematic fashion some of the key ways that the American state has interacted with the world since 1945. Specifically, it consider "soft power", such as economic policy and cultural exchanges, and "hard power" of military force, high-pressure diplomacy, and covert operations conducted by intelligence agencies.

Through the study of "soft power" and "hard power", the course will examine concepts in American foreign policy during the Cold War such as "containment and liberation," the "domino theory," and détente. This will be followed by an exploration of the "missing dimension" of American diplomacy, the role of intelligence agencies, by a discussion of American military policy during the Cold War, and by consideration of dominant trends in economic policy. Finally, there will be an examination of the "soft power" of public and cultural diplomacy and the drive to win "hearts and minds" and counter anti-Americanism, particularly in the post-Cold-War period.

Assessment consists of a 2000-word essay.

Teaching and learning methods