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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2017
Oct 27, 2021
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BLHS 240 - Propaganda and Amer Frgn Pol
Since at least World War I propaganda has been an essential element of international relations, used by governments and non-state actors to pursue their interests by influencing and manipulating foreign public opinion. A word with negative connotations for many, propaganda is one of the defining concepts of the modern era. Indeed, in the aftermath of 9/11, terrorism has been called “propaganda, a bloody form of propaganda” by RAND expert Brian Jenkins.

The purpose of this course is to examine the nature, history, use, and morality of propaganda. The organization is chronological. It focuses on how propaganda has been employed in US foreign policy during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The relationship of propaganda to traditional, public, and cultural diplomacy is examined in detail. The use of propaganda by totalitarian states and terrorist groups is studied. By taking this course students should have a better understanding of propaganda and its problematical but important role in the world today.

Students are expected to read not only historical materials on propaganda, but also contemporary treatments on the subject in the mass media and specialized journals. Roughly one third of the class period is devoted to present-day issues pertaining to propaganda; the remaining time focuses on the historical evolution of the use of propaganda, primarily by the US government.

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours

Levels: Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Lecture

Liberal Studies - Human/Soc Sc Department

Must be enrolled in one of the following Degrees:     
      B.A. in Liberal Studies

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