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Politics and Strategy: Partisan Ambition and American Statecraft
     

Politics and Strategy: Partisan Ambition and American Statecraft

by Peter Trubowitz
 

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Why do some national leaders pursue ambitious grand strategies and adventuresome foreign policies while others do not? When do leaders boldly confront foreign threats and when are they less assertive? Politics and Strategy shows that grand strategies are Janus-faced: their formulation has as much to do with a leader's ability to govern at home as it

Overview

Why do some national leaders pursue ambitious grand strategies and adventuresome foreign policies while others do not? When do leaders boldly confront foreign threats and when are they less assertive? Politics and Strategy shows that grand strategies are Janus-faced: their formulation has as much to do with a leader's ability to govern at home as it does with maintaining the nation's security abroad. Drawing on the American political experience, Peter Trubowitz reveals how variations in domestic party politics and international power have led presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama to pursue strategies that differ widely in international ambition and cost. He considers why some presidents overreach in foreign affairs while others fail to do enough.

Trubowitz pushes the understanding of grand strategy beyond traditional approaches that stress only international forces or domestic interests. He provides insights into how past leaders responded to cross-pressures between geopolitics and party politics, and how similar issues continue to bedevil American statecraft today. He suggests that the trade-offs shaping American leaders' foreign policy choices are not unique--analogous trade-offs confront Chinese and Russian leaders as well.

Combining innovative theory and historical analysis, Politics and Strategy answers classic questions of statecraft and offers new ideas for thinking about grand strategies and the leaders who make them.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
Trubowitz has written an impressive book with a modest thesis. He makes the case that both the distribution of power around the world and domestic politics influence strategic decisions in U.S. foreign policy. . . . Trubowitz captures the complexity of these decisions with theoretical sophistication, an unusual breadth of historical examples, and an impressive clarity of argument. This is an important book.
Political Science Quarterly
Scholars of American politics and international relations alike will find a strong theoretical foundation along with extensive empirical material in this work for exploring such topics.
— Meena Bose
Political Science Quarterly - Meena Bose
Scholars of American politics and international relations alike will find a strong theoretical foundation along with extensive empirical material in this work for exploring such topics.
From the Publisher

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2011: Top 25 Books

"Trubowitz has written an impressive book with a modest thesis. He makes the case that both the distribution of power around the world and domestic politics influence strategic decisions in U.S. foreign policy. . . . Trubowitz captures the complexity of these decisions with theoretical sophistication, an unusual breadth of historical examples, and an impressive clarity of argument. This is an important book."--Choice

"Scholars of American politics and international relations alike will find a strong theoretical foundation along with extensive empirical material in this work for exploring such topics."--Meena Bose, Political Science Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691149578
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/04/2011
Series:
Princeton Studies in International History and Politics Series
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Peter Trubowitz is associate professor of government at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of "Defining the National Interest".

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