Henry R. Nau
There are four standard American foreign policy traditions, and they have existed since the beginning of the republic. The traditions include isolationists/nationalists like George Washington and Andrew Jackson; realists like Alexander Hamilton and Teddy Roosevelt; conservative internationalists like Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan; and liberal internationalists like Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. Rooted in both the history and the logic of the American experience, the traditions are indispensable to ensure that America considers all of the elements of a changing world in meeting global challenges.
Linda L. Fowler
Since World War II, the executive branch has dominated international affairs, while legislators have used their power occasionally and reactively. Lawmakers seem to have a diminished capacity for responding to executive initiatives and seem to put party loyalty ahead of institutional loyalty i9n overseeing defense and foreign policy. Nevertheless, the Constitution remains a dominating force, conferring powers on the House and Senate that may pose a potential threat or constraint to the executive powers. This article evaluates literatures on congressional war powers. It considers how constitutional developments in both the legislative and executive branches have resulted to a relatively weak institution today. It also compares the direct and indirect pathways for the lawmakers to affect executive decision-making and suggests that less visible forms of constraints are potent, although difficult to measure. The article then turns its focus to future directions for research, particularly on the role of parties in affecting the balance between the legislative and executive branches and the indirect forms of influence on the use of force.
John A. Cloud and Damian Leader
This chapter explains the history and role of diplomacy in advancing U.S. interests. The State Department is discussed as the primary actor in American diplomacy. The rise of multilateral diplomacy in the 20th century is examined along with the continued applicability of bilateral approaches. The State Department’s role in forming and implementing policy, in coordination with other government agencies, is outlined as well as its role in development assistance, consular affairs, and public diplomacy. The increased role of transnational issues, including human rights, religious freedom, arms control, and nonproliferation is outlined. The structure, funding and career paths of Foreign Service officers is examined, and the increasing use of diplomats alongside the U.S. military in combat zones in recent decades. The chapter highlights the limited resources that the United States commits to diplomacy when compared with military activities.
Jonathan M. DiCicco and Brandon Valeriano
International rivalries are discussed with an emphasis on their relevance to U.S. national security. Social-scientific research on these protracted, antagonistic, and often violent relationships serves as a wellspring of insight into national security challenges. A primary focus on rivalries between sovereign states is supplemented with discussion of rivalries involving nonstate actors, including armed groups associated with insurgency and terrorism. To anchor these discussions, the chapter briefly denotes definitional, conceptual, and operational aspects of rivalry research. Rivalries are linked to U.S. national security concerns through first-, second-, and third-order effects. The challenge of overcoming histories of hostility to achieve peaceful resolution of rivalries is examined. Future directions in rivalry research, including the imperative to incorporate contemporary policy concerns (such as cybersecurity and emerging technologies and techniques associated with international conflict), are discussed in a forward-looking manner that emphasizes the complementarity of scholarship and policy arenas.
This chapter examines international terrorism, defined as the use or threatened use of violence by a nonstate actor to arouse fear in a population with the goal of achieving a political or social outcome. The chapter begins by providing an overview of the changing role of international terrorism in U.S. national security policy, and then presents various scholarly approaches applied to understanding the causes of terrorism. The next section discusses counterterrorism strategies, focusing on the relative effectiveness of repressive versus conciliatory instruments and targeted versus indiscriminate approaches to countering terror. The chapter ends with a summary of lessons learned and recommendations for those involved in shaping U.S. counterterrorism policy.
Kathryn Bryk Friedman
This article investigates a unique aspect of New York State governance—its engagement in foreign policymaking. It also discusses some of the ways in which state officials collaborate and build relationships with foreign governments and, particularly in the case of Canada, provincial counterparts in economic, political, cultural, and environmental spheres. It is shown that New York State legislators engage in foreign policymaking on issues that directly affect their constituents, although admittedly to a minimal degree when compared to their executive and judicial counterparts. The New York State judiciary has contributed to the growing body of international human rights law. It then turns to local government engagement in foreign policy. New York foreign policy takes place in social, political, cultural, economic, and environmental sectors touching virtually every corner of the globe. It is suggested that New York State has nothing to lose from strengthened engagement on the global stage.
Jon C. Pevehouse
This article starts by briefly outlining the state of the field of international relations and domestic politics and examines how this literature has developed over the years. It also reports some of the recent literature on two-level games — i.e., the idea that presidents simultaneously play a bargaining game at the domestic level (with Congress) and at the international level (with other states). Then, new literature that links presidents to questions of international cooperation, in particular, cooperation that occurs within international organizations, is presented. The article concentrates on the core theoretical and empirical debates in the literature surrounding the presidency and international cooperation. It is suggested that presidents have incentives to limit their own policy autonomy in order to gain bargaining leverage domestically. Much of the exciting research in international relations lies at the border with American politics.
Douglas L. Kriner
Presidency scholarship on foreign policy has systematically minimized the importance of other domestic political actors in constraining presidential discretion in the international arena. When choosing their foreign policy strategies, presidents look to the partisan balance of power on Capitol Hill, anticipate the amount of leeway Congress will grant them to pursue their policy preferences, and adjust their conduct of policy making accordingly. The article then draws on literatures from within American politics and international relations to identify three mechanisms through which other domestic political actors can retain some measure of influence over the president's conduct of the nation's IR, even when they are unable to legally compel him to change course. It finally explores the ways in which political and strategic considerations moderate the capacity and willingness of Congress, the courts, and organized interests to use these mechanisms to influence presidential decision making in the international arena.
Shoon Murray and Jordan Tama
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.
This chapter contends that the Western Hemisphere is not only key to the development of U.S. national security but also remains of great importance today. Quite simply, U.S. national security interests grew firstly within their own “neighborhood,” and those interests continue to be both important and complex into the present day. Crucially, this is where national security threats come into direct contact with the U.S. homeland. Understanding this history and these interactive dynamics is important to the analysis of contemporary national security questions in the Western Hemisphere. The chapter focuses on key issues that are deeply intertwined: economics and trade; democracy, development, and human rights; drugs and transnational threats; and homeland security and homeland defense.
Ulysses, the Sirens, and Mexico's Judiciary: Increasing Precommitments to Strengthen the Rule of Law
Todd A. Eisenstadt and Jennifer Yelle
This article reviews the work of enterprising scholars. It studies the 2006 postelectoral conflict, and then describes and analyzes Mexico's greatest success story in the creation of independent judicial bodies. It also investigates the institutional changes to the Mexican judiciary and the independence and authority of the Supreme Court after the large-scale reforms of 1994. The article includes a summary of relevant cases from the 1990s and 2000s, as well as a study of the present state of the citizen and judiciary perception of the court.
Implementing deterrent and compellent strategies are among the most critical tasks of the national security decision maker. However, as the case of U.S.-Iranian relations since 1979 demonstrates, deterring another state from taking action—especially if it considers those steps to be in its national interests—or compelling it to adopt policies in line with one’s own preferences but which represent a setback to the goals of the other state can be a difficult proposition. In addition, the Iran relationship demonstrates howthe use of deterrent and compellent instruments must be weighed against costs and other second- and third-order effects which may cause the policymaker to accept a less than optimal outcome in order to avoid greater complications in other areas.
This chapter focuses on the relationship between news media and US foreign policy, with an emphasis on war—a subset of the latter—given that this has been a growing area of concern in political communication scholarship. Although interest in this topic goes back arguably to the roots of mass communication research, this chapter focuses on the explosion of research on it in the last quarter century. It highlights current theoretical and empirical approaches with an eye toward delineating what former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld memorably called the “known unknowns.” Unanswered questions are also discussed.
Ashley J. Tellis
Throughout the Cold War, relations between the United States and India were defined by the two countries’ often mismatched worldviews, national priorities, and capabilities. These three factors prevented Washington and New Delhi from realizing the full potential of their relationship, despite the natural kinship bestowed by their shared identity as liberal democracies. Today, although Cold War-era non-alignment politics and the irritant of India’s exclusion from the international nuclear non-proliferation regime have largely abated, vestiges of these structural constraints persist even as India opens itself to global markets and undertakes economic reforms. To make good on the strategic partnership to which they have committed themselves and which is especially important given China’s rising power, both countries must define a minimally acceptable notion of reciprocity in their interactions by reconciling the American expectations of exchange-based relations with the Indian desire for a no-obligations partnership that preserves its strategic autonomy.
Kenneth W. Stein
The US–Israeli relationship is complicated, dynamic, multidimensional, and enduring. From initial American governmental opposition to the present, Washington has become Israel’s most trusted ally. Rooted in common bonds, entrenched military sharing, and valued strategic interests, the association has also greatly influenced the shaping and sustenance of American Jewish identity. Four factors have influenced the relationship’s evolution: (1) deep American Jewish involvement in the American electoral system; (2) American government impatience with regularly objectionable Arab state behavior toward Washington; (3) a US imperative to contain threats to the region’s politics and states, including the Cold War, Islamic radicalism, and Iranian adventurism; and (4) how Washington retained its perceived need not to alienate Arab oil-producing states. The evolving relationship is explained in three time periods: distance after World War II, the unwavering embrace of Israel’s security from the1960s onward, and deep disagreements with that sustained embrace seventy years later.
William G. Howell and Tana Johnson
This article traces the evolution of the argument regarding the contribution of war to presidential power, as well as its empirical record. It then provides critiques that are meant to guide future research on the topic. The close of the Vietnam War and the concurrent congressional resurgence did not silence discussions of an imperial presidency. They merely put them on hold. Future scholarship should assess the precise origins of the presumed relationship between war and presidential power, as well as the conditions under which it is more and less likely to hold. It should account for both war's benefits and costs to presidential power.