Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 12 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter revisits the old paradox that the U.S. president is perhaps the most powerful person in the world and yet is constrained domestically by other political actors and a centuries-old constitutional framework. The chapter discusses key actors that shape American foreign policy, including the president, presidential advisers, the federal bureaucracy, Congress, the courts, interest groups, the media, and public opinion. Presidential candidates often call for major shifts in foreign policy, but once they are in office presidents are constrained by strategic and fiscal realities, the bureaucracy’s preference for continuity, America’s separation of powers system, rising partisanship, the fragmented media, and the openness of U.S. institutions to societal pressures. The result is that modern presidents struggle to build and maintain the domestic backing needed to carry out their foreign policy agenda.

Keywords: U.S. foreign policy, president, presidential advisers, bureaucracy, Congress, courts, interest groups, media, public opinion

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.