A Culture of Deference: Congress and the Making of American Foreign Policy

Overview

A Culture of Deference is filled with revelations about both Congress and American foreign policy. The author traces the development of a set of norms and beliefs - "a culture of deference" - that has confined Congress to the margins of power and caused American interests to suffer around the globe. A legacy of fifty years of hot and cold war, this powerful but often unseen web of internal customs helps generate bipartisan obeisance to the president as well as to narrow-based "special interests." The book ...
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Overview

A Culture of Deference is filled with revelations about both Congress and American foreign policy. The author traces the development of a set of norms and beliefs - "a culture of deference" - that has confined Congress to the margins of power and caused American interests to suffer around the globe. A legacy of fifty years of hot and cold war, this powerful but often unseen web of internal customs helps generate bipartisan obeisance to the president as well as to narrow-based "special interests." The book portrays the workings of this phenomenon in the Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton admistrations via fresh analyses of Congress and U.S. policy regarding El Salvador, Angola, Nicaragua, Zaire, Iraq, Bosnia, and Somalia. Weissman also shows how exceptional bipartisan leadership and emergent broadbased political constituencies occasionally enable Congress to transcend its predominant culture.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Weissman (Senior Governance Advisor, ARD Inc.) offers a behind-the- scenes look at decision making in Washington, focusing on Congress' role in foreign policy. He portrays the workings of a "culture of deference" to the president and to special interests in the Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations, and analyzes US policy regarding countries including El Salvador, Angola, and Somalia, suggesting how Congress and the public might revive democratic leadership in foreign affairs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465007615
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/1995
  • Pages: 272

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 A Congressional Culture 1
Ch. 2 Giving the President the Benefit of the Doubt: The Congressional Opposition and U.S. Policy Toward El Salvador, 1980-1984 33
Ch. 3 The Politics of Lobbying: U.S. Policy Toward Zaire, 1979-1990 70
Ch. 4 The Secret Congress: The Intelligence Committees and U.S. Covert Action in Nicaragua and Angola 105
Ch. 5 Transcending the Culture: Congressional Leadership and El Salvador, the Philippines, and South Africa 137
Ch. 6 Toward Congressional Revival 178
Notes 195
Index 247
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