President, the Congress, and the Making of Foreign Policy

President, the Congress, and the Making of Foreign Policy

by Paul E. Peterson
     
 

In this collection of writings edited by Paul E. Peterson, ten scholars examine the relative power of the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government in establishing the country's foreign policy. The subject is considered in terms of the international and constitutional context; presidential advisers and congressional committees; presidential influence… See more details below

Overview

In this collection of writings edited by Paul E. Peterson, ten scholars examine the relative power of the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government in establishing the country's foreign policy. The subject is considered in terms of the international and constitutional context; presidential advisers and congressional committees; presidential influence on the chamber floor; and policy arenas. The book demonstrates that the Democratic party has become more unified and more solidly opposed by Republicans on both foreign and defense issues. Congressional party leaders have become more active regarding foreign policy matters, and assertive questioning within congressional committees is an increasingly partisan affair. This growth in partisan conflict might be thought to have grave implications for the capacity of the executive to conduct foreign policy, but even after the end of the Vietnam war, major decisions were executive ones. During the Carter and Reagan administrations it was the president who reversed a policy of detente with the Soviet Union. The Bush administration defined the U.S. response to the collapse of the Soviet empire and committed troops to Saudi Arabia. Congress continues to delegate responsibility for trade policy to the executive. The editor concludes that the dominant role the president continues to play in foreign affairs results from requirements imposed on all nations by a potentially anarchic international system. Only the executive has the capacity to act with the efficiency and dispatch needed to defend the national interest. Yet the requirement that the president defend his foreign policy positions before Congress helps to insure that those decisions remain consistent with the country's long-term welfare.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780806126852
Publisher:
University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date:
01/28/1994
Pages:
298
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 9.05(h) x 0.92(d)

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