Games Advisors Play: Foreign Policy in the Nixon and Carter Administrations / Edition 1

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What happens when presidential advisors, in Machiavellian terms, think more of themselves than of the prince and seek their own profit more than the goals of the president or the "good of the realm"? In Games Advisors Play, Jean A. Garrison examines case studies of foreign policy in the Nixon and Carter administrations and addresses how and why advisors manipulate the group process, under what conditions advisors engage in power games, and in what situations they are most effective in influencing presidential policy choices.

Given the high stakes, policy advocates employ various tactics to manipulate the advisory process and decision outcome. Three types of tactics are used: structural maneuvers, procedural maneuvers, and interpersonal maneuvers. Although these tools are important to the success of an advisor, the advisory process is a dynamic group process, and advisors must recognize that others have potential influence as well. The effectiveness of advisors therefore also depends on their power and authority, their manipulative skills, their interpersonal communication skills, and the relationships among members of the inner circle.

Using the internal policy debate over arms control to trace the influence advisors have on specific decisions, Garrison compares the power games in Nixon's hierarchical system Number Three: Joseph V. Hughes, Jr., and Holly O. Hughes Series in the Presidency and Leadership Studies to Carter's more open advisory system. The disparate advisory systems provided advisors with different opportunities to influence the president and overall policy making.

As a contribution to the decision-making literature in foreign policy, Games Advisers Play challenges static conceptions of the advisory process. Foreign-policy scholars, presidential scholars, and political psychologists will find this an exciting and thought-provoking study.

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Editorial Reviews

Fred I. Greenstein

“ . . . a fascinating exercise in focused comparison, a book that any student of the presidency can profit from reading.” --Fred I. Greenstein, Princeton University
Garrison (social science, Boston U.) makes case studies of the foreign policy, and particularly the debate over arms control, during two administrations to explore how and why advisors manipulate the group process to seek their own profit, under what conditions they engage in power games, and in what situations they are most effective in influencing presidential policy choices. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jean A. Garrison is an assistant professor of social science in the College of General Studies at Boston University. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of South Carolina.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations XI
List of Tables XI
Preface XIII
Introduction: Machiavelli's Warning XV
List of Abbreviations XXVII
Chapter 1. Politics within the Inner Circle: The Theoretical Framework 3
Chapter 2. Henry Kissinger's Advisory System: Designing Policy Consensus on Arms Control 29
Chapter 3. Consciously Seeking an Independent Basis of Power: Henry Kissinger's Dominance of Arms Control Policy 53
Chapter 4. Influence Patterns in a Problem-Solving Environment: Building Jimmy Carter's Deep Cuts Coalition 76
Chapter 5. Influence Patterns in a Contentious Political Environment: Developing Stalemate on SALT II 100
Conclusion: Effective Influence in the Advisory Process 119
Appendix Notes on the Case Study Approach 143
Notes 147
Bibliography 175
Index 185
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