wk 14 foreign policy, political science homework help

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National Interest can be tricky to define. Geography plays an important role. There are those interests that we sometimes refer to as “vital,” “core,” or “primary.” This is because the closer to home, the easier it is to define national interest—stay a sovereign state and don’t get conquered or subverted. The farther from home, the more difficult it is to define national interests and we call those “secondary” interests. These are less than vital and may become primary interests but it can be difficult to tell. Who decides national interest in a democracy? If we define national interest as a policy that the majority of citizens prefer, do the people of the United States determine national interest, or do their leaders based on their own beliefs and policy initiatives decide? Is the national interest easy to define in rhetoric, but more complicated in reality?


  1. Read “National Interest: From Abstraction to Strategy” by Michael G. Roskin http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ssi/00354.pdf (Article available in Course Documents)
  2. Think about what constitutes United States national interest. Write a one page response on how we should determine a reasonable and objective view of what our national interest should be?


Students will understand the complicated nature of defining the national interest, and evaluate who should determine the national interest in a democracy.


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