Congress and Foreign Policy Seminar

The APSA-SAIS Foreign Affairs seminar, "Congress and Foreign Policy," is offered in conjunction with the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. This eight-week course examines the role of the Congress in shaping U.S. foreign policy.

The course meets twice weekly in September and October. In addition, fellows take part in a weekly brown bag lunch series that provides the opportunity to speak with policy experts, journalists, lobbyists, and other experts.

The class is open to international fellows, federal executive fellows whose work is connected to foreign policy, and APSA-sponsored fellows who have a background in international affairs. Prospective APSA-sponsored fellows may express an interest in taking the course in their congressional fellowship application.

Through lectures, discussion, short papers, role-playing exercises, and presentations, the course provides an overview of various issues connected to the role of Congress in the realm of international affairs. Topics covered include defense and intelligence, foreign policy and foreign aid; trade and foreign economic policy; congressional oversight; the role of interest groups; and relations between the President and Congress, among others. Through the course, fellows gain greater understanding of foreign policy issues on Capitol Hill and broaden their overall knowledge of the workings of Congress.

The course is taught by Dr. Charles Stevenson, Professorial Lecturer in American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins-SAIS. Dr. Stevenson previously served as Professor of National Security Policy at the National War College and served 22 years as a staff member to four different Senators, working primarily on defense and foreign policy issues. In 1999-2000, Dr. Stevenson served as a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff, working on use of force issues and long-range planning. He has degrees from Harvard (AB and PhD) and the Fletcher School (MA) and studied at King's College, London, on a Fulbright Fellowship. His areas of academic specialization include national security policy making, civil-military relations, the politics of national security, and technology and military innovation.