Comparative Government and Foreign Policy
Standard(s) of Learning
||The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of the United States in a changing world by
||describing the responsibilities of the national government for foreign policy and national security;
||assessing the role played by national interest in shaping foreign policy and promoting world peace;
||examining the relationship of Virginia and the United States to the global economy;
||examining recent foreign policy and international trade initiatives since 1980.
||The student will demonstrate knowledge of how governments and economies in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the People’s Republic of China compare with government and economy in the United States by
||describing the distribution of governmental power;
||explaining the relationship between the legislative and executive branches;
||comparing the extent of participation in the political process;
||comparing the degree of government involvement in the economies.
Explain that American foreign policy consists of the official positions and actions that the national government takes in its relationships with other countries.
Explain that the President has primary responsibility for making foreign policy; the President can negotiate, persuade, apply economic pressure, and threaten military intervention.
Describe foreign policy powers of other branches:
• Congress has the power to declare war and to appropriate funds.
• The Senate has the power to confirm ambassadors and to ratify treaties.
• The Supreme Court has the power to interpret treaties.
Identify key agencies in the foreign policy arena:
• State Department
• National Security Council
• Foreign Service
• Department of Defense
• Central Intelligence Agency
Using the following information, explain how public policy decisions are made and implemented:
• Public opinion, special interests, international organizations, and foreign countries influence foreign policy and national security issues.
• The President is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces.
Using the following information, explain how American interests are safeguarded at home and abroad:
• Conventional diplomacy, foreign aid, economic sanctions, and military intervention abroad serve to protect American interests and promote national security.
Explain that United States foreign policy priorities reflect American political values.
Evaluate foreign policy goals and how the national interest shapes foreign policy decisions:
• Fulfilling a commitment to preserve a peaceful world
• Promoting democratic values
• Protecting nations from aggression
• Encouraging market-oriented economies and free trade
• Safeguarding the global environment
• Advancing international cooperation
Explain that making foreign policy decisions requires balancing competing or contradictory foreign policy goals.
Explain that total world production is greater when nations specialize in the production of those products that can be produced most efficiently.
Explain that the economies of Virginia and the United States depend on resources and markets around the world for the production and sale of goods and services.
Explain that Virginia and United States businesses have become multinational in their quest for resources, markets, and profits.
Explain that international trade provides Virginia and the United States with goods and services for which they do not possess absolute or comparative advantage.
Explain that Virginia and the United States benefit when they produce goods and services for which they have a comparative advantage and trade for other items.
Evaluate how the United States continues to face challenges to its security and economic well being in the post-Cold War era.
Identify challenges that shaped American foreign policy in the post-Cold War world.
Identify recent initiatives addressing foreign policy challenges:
• Trade with China
• Human rights abuses
• Nuclear and biological arms control
• The future of NATO
• Curbing drug traffic
• Global environment
Explain that in recent decades the national government has worked to reduce barriers to international trade.
Explain how the national government has worked to promote fair and free trade throughout the world.
Explain that governments organize their institutions to serve the fundamental purposes for which government is established.
Explain that the two most common ways to organize institutions of the central government:
• A federal system of government (United States and Mexico): Powers are shared between levels of government; powers are separated and shared among the branches of the national government.
• A unitary system of government (Great Britain): All governmental power is vested in the central government, which may choose to delegate some of its authority; this type of government often has a parliamentary system. The legislative branch holds both legislative and executive powers. The executive is chosen by the legislature.
Explain how participation in the political process reflects the degree to which governmental power is limited:
• Limited governments have restraints on power and encourage broad-based participation in the political process.
• Governments of unlimited power (authoritarian governments) place no limits on the power wielded by one person or small group.
• The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controls all levels of government in the People’s Republic of China. Participation in the political process is limited.
Below is an annotated list of Internet resources for this organizing topic. Copyright restrictions may exist for the material on some Web sites. Please note and abide by any such restrictions.
Central Intelligence Agency. <http://www.cia.gov/>. This site presents operational and career information about the area of foreign intelligence.
“Comparative Advantage.” Auburn University. <http://www.auburn.edu/~johnspm/gloss/comparative_advantage>. This site explains the economic concept of comparative advantage.
Mexico – A Country Study. <http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/mxtoc.html>. This site provides information on Mexico: its history, society, economy, government, and national security.
“The National Security Council.” The White House. <http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/>. This site provides policies, news, and features related to the National Security Council.
“The People’s Republic of China.” University of Maryland. <http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/prc.html>. This site outlines the establishment of the People’s Republic and its transition to Socialism in the early 1950s.
U.S. Department of Defense. <http://www.defenselink.mil/>. This site provides news articles and other information related to the U.S. military and its operations around the world.
U.S. Department of State. <http://www.state.gov/>. This site presents the structure and operations of the U.S. Department of State, along with the latest related news.
“The United States and China.” World Public Opinion. < http://www.americans-world.org/digest/regional_issues/china/china2.cfm>. This site provides information on U.S./China relations.
The World Factbook. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. <https://www.cia.gov/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html>. This site contains searchable information on all countries.