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Foreign Policy
Guide: Supranational Systems

This collection of resources provides an overview of the development of international organizations following World War II. The structure, goals, successes, and setbacks of various supranational organizations—from the United Nations to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—are explored in depth. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • Governments' approaches to regulation change over time based on domestic and global circumstances
  • American domestic policies span a spectrum from a free-market approach to a highly regulatory approach
  • A citizen's opinion on the need for regulation generally depends on his or her role in society
  • Social and economic policies form the basis of domestic policy
  • Through social policy, government officials can provide programs and services to maintain and improve citizen welfare
  • Through economic policy, the government seeks to maintain stability for the national economy
  • Foreign policies are influenced by the accepted doctrine of a time period, which is often shaped in reaction to world events
  • The executive branch plays the leading role in directing foreign policy

Key Questions

  • Discuss the role of two significant supranational systems that have been put in place since World War II. How do these systems impact American foreign policy decisions?
  • What is the liberal school of thought regarding supranational systems? What is the realist school of thought? Which school of thought do you agree with more?


  1. Overview: Supranational Systems
  2. Outlines: Outline
  3. Transcripts: Transcript
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Lesson: 1-The U.S. and International Institutions
  6. Lesson: 2-The UN's Structure and Purpose
  7. Lesson: 3-The UN Security Council
  8. Lesson: 4-International Development and Trade
  9. Lesson: Closing
  10. Reference Articles: International Peacekeeping
  11. Reference Articles: United Nations
  12. Reference Articles: World Trade Organization
  13. Reference Articles: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  14. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Political cartoon: Refusing to Give the Lady a Seat (ca. 1919)
  15. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Political cartoon: anti-free trade (1888)
  16. Political, Government & Court Documents: United Nations: Charter (1945)
  17. Speeches: Clinton, Bill: Address following NATO Air Strikes on Yugoslavia (1999)
  18. Quotes: McNamara, Robert: quote on peacekeeping

MLA Citation

"Supranational Systems." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/Content/2156162?cid=256. Accessed 6 Dec. 2019.

Entry ID: 2156162

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