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GEN Y: Will they bring a different understanding to what constitutes a moral foreign policy?

INTRODUCTION:

As the boom of Gen Yers - those born in the 1980s and after - begin to make their mark in the political arena, what, if anything, can we expect and/or hope to see change? Historical conflict and more recent nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea have fueled long-standing moral and political concerns in the U.S. Are the moral concerns of young Iranians and North Koreans any different from those of past generations? Are the recent international air strikes in Libya ethical?

Will old conflicts and ideologies continue to dominate international dialogue or can we expect something different from a younger generation?

 

INSTRUCTOR PREPARATION:

  • Reading of suggested materials below
  • General understanding of the major issues in question:
    • Current and historical American relations with Iran and North Korea
    • Some understanding of every day life of young Iranians and North Koreans
    • Possible aims of foreign policy

 

LIST OF SUGGESTED MATERIALS TO BE READ BEFORE CLASS:

Most of these are short and intended to give the reader an introduction to the problem.







IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES:

 Watch:




 

Do: Ask students to think about and discuss the following questions:

    • A large Brookyns Institution study revealed that 73% of young leaders believe that the United States is no longer globally respected. Is it important that the US be globally respected?

  • According to the same study, young leaders saw terrorism (31%), climate change (12.8%), nuclear proliferation (11.5%) , and global poverty as America’s top foreign policy challenges for the future. Do you agree with these evaluations and their relative order of importance? Why or why not?
  • Put yourself in the perspective of a young Iranians and North Korean (respectively), how would you describe the positive values that drive your country’s domestic and international policies?
  • From the same perspective, how might you be critical of your country’s domestic and international policies?
  • How would you describe the positive values that drive our own nation’s internal and international policies? Given these values, how might you be critical of our own country’s domestic and international policies?
  • How might local attitudes and biases affect the way Americans are seen by Iranians and North Koreans? How might our own local attitudes and biases affect the way we see citizens of those nations?
  • How would you view American foreign policy from the eyes of an Iranian your age? A North Korean?
  • As the world’s largest economic and military power, what role should the United States play in the world?

 

* For additional ideas on assignments and lesson plan you might develop with this material, visit our suggestions for incorporating lessons ethics into your course page.