A List Of US Foreign Policy Dissertation Ideas To Explore


Foreign policy is one of the broad research categories under international relations IR. The two other broad research categories under international relations include international political economy, and war and security. As an international relations student who wants a list of U.S. foreign policy dissertation ideas to explore, you should consider discussions that focus on why and how elite decision makers like the president pursue and select a particular course of action. Here are some dissertation ideas to consider.

Your dissertation might focus on the interpersonal, psychological and institutional factors that lead to particular types of foreign policy results, such as decisions to heighten a rivalry or dispute.

  • An indefensible decision to intervene in a sovereign state: What factors led to the involvement of U.S. to directly assist a rebel cause in the Libyan civil war that helped to bring regime change?
  • A new Cold War front: What factors have prevented the U.S and its allies or NATO from directly supporting the rebel cause in Syria?
  • A revisionist approach to the interpretation of the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • U.S. foreign policy and transitional justice: A case study on Liberia and Cambodia
  • The impact of the war on terror on U.S foreign policy in the Middle east and Africa

Alternatively, you can adopt a comparative approach and examine whether and how U.S foreign policy differs from that of developing states in terms of processes and outcomes.

  • Whether and how does the promotion of western-style democracy by the U.S. in the Middle East become a pursuit of hegemony?
  • Rethinking the concept of democracy: What it means, how it’s practiced, and its effectiveness in developing countries.
  • A comparative analysis of the differences between U.S and Africa’s approach to interventions in conflicts in foreign countries

Finally, you may decide to study whether international factors or domestic factors are of greater value in understanding U.S. foreign policy. Here are some examples.

  • An investigation into whether U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East from the 1960s to 2000 was inspired by a sole desire to protect American oil interests.
  • A study of whether domestic factors or international factors are influencing U.S. foreign policy toward North Korea
  • What are the effects of China’s increasing influence in Africa shaping U.S foreign policy in Africa?
  • Why is the U.S. not a member of the International Criminal Court yet it is the greatest financial supporter?

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