The Domestic Sources of American Foreign Policy: Insights and Evidence


The new edition of this leading reader for courses in American foreign policy offers students an up-to-date, highly accessible introduction to the broad array of domestic factors influencing U.S. policymakers. Editor James M. McCormick has carefully selected two dozen current insightful and sometimes controversial essays by a distinguished group of leading experts— scholars, journalists and public officials—including 11 new and 7 updated contributions.

In his introduction, ...

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The Domestic Sources of American Foreign Policy: Insights and Evidence

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The new edition of this leading reader for courses in American foreign policy offers students an up-to-date, highly accessible introduction to the broad array of domestic factors influencing U.S. policymakers. Editor James M. McCormick has carefully selected two dozen current insightful and sometimes controversial essays by a distinguished group of leading experts— scholars, journalists and public officials—including 11 new and 7 updated contributions.

In his introduction, McCormick evaluates the challenges facing U.S. foreign policy makers in recent years and assesses the Obama Administration’s successes and failures in its efforts to pursue a new direction in American foreign policy. The volume is then divided into three major parts with an opening essay by the editor to place each part in context and then a selection of essays that analyzes the topic in that part in more detail. Part I, "The Societal Environment," contains a series of articles on the position of interest groups, the impact of military experience, the effect of public opinion, and the role of elections and political parties on foreign policy. Part II, "The Institutional Setting," examines how various political institutions, such as Congress, the presidency, and various bureaucracies (e.g., the National Security Council, the intelligence community) shape American foreign policy. Part III, "Decision makers and Their Policymaking Positions," provides various case analyses over several administrations to illustrate how individuals and bureaucracies affect the foreign policy decision making at the highest levels of government.

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Editorial Reviews

Dorle Hellmuth
In keeping with the high standard of previous volumes, this sixth and thoroughly updated edition is yet another invaluable resource for students of U.S. foreign policy. First-rate contributions by policymakers and scholars offer complementary perspectives about the various societal, institutional, and individual factors that shape American foreign policy and drive decision-making processes. I highly recommend this book to both undergraduate and graduate students as well as anyone seeking to develop a comprehensive understanding of the domestic sources of American foreign policy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442209602
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/16/2012
  • Edition description: 6th Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 484
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

EDITOR James M. McCormick is professor and chair of the department of political science at Iowa State University. He has also held positions at the University of New Mexico, Ohio University, the University of Toledo, and Texas A& M University. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in 1986-1987. McCormick is the author of American Foreign Policy and Process (5th ed., 2010) and editor of A Reader in American Foreign Policy (1986). He has also published numerous articles and chapters on foreign policy and international politics in such journals as World Politics, American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Politics, and Legislative Studies Quarterly. He was recipient of the Iowa State University Foundation Award for Outstanding Research at Mid-Career in 1990, a Fulbright Senior Award to New Zealand in 1993, the Fulbright-SyCip Distinguished Lecturer Award to the Philippines in 2003, the 2010 Iowa State University International Service Award, and the 2011 Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award by the International Studies Association—Midwest.


Gordon Adams is a Professor in the U.S. Foreign Policy Program at the School of International Service at American University and a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center.

Adam J. Berinsky is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the U.S. Secretary of State in the Obama administration.

I.M. (Mac) Destler is the Saul I. Stern Professor at the School of Public Policy,
University of Maryland and He is co-author, with Ivo H. Daalder, of In the Shadow of the Oval Office: Profiles of the National Security Advisers and the Presidents They Served—from JFK to George W. Bush (Simon & Schuster, 2009).

Peter D. Feaver is the Professor of Political Science, Director of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies, and Director of the Program in American Grand Strategy at Duke University.

Louis Fisher is Scholar in Residence withthe Constitution Project and worked from 1970 to 2010 as Senior Specialist in Separationof Powers for Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress and as Specialist in Constitutional Law with theLaw Library.

Christopher F. Gelpi is Professor of Political Science at Duke University.

James Goldgeier is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University.

Patrick J. Haney is Professor of Political Science at Miami University (Ohio).

Seymour M. Hersh is a Washington-based investigator journalist and a regular contributor to The New Yorker on military and national security issues.

Robert Jervis is Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University.

Christopher M. Jones is professor of political science and associate vice provost for university honors at Northern Illinois University and served as president of the Foreign Policy Analysis Section of the International Studies Association, 2008-2010.

Matthew Leatherman is a Research Associate for the Stimson Center’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense Program.

James M. Lindsay is Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair at the Council on Foreign Relations

Ryan Lizzi is the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker.

Walter Russell Mead is James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities at Bard College and Editor-at-Large of The American Interest.

John Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago

Michael Nelson is the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College and a senior fellow at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.

Miroslav Nincic is Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Davis.

Joseph S. Nye is University Distinguished Service Professor and former dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Philip A. Russo is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs at Miami University.

Steve Smith is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter.

The late James C. Thomson, Jr., was professor emeritus of journalism, history, and international relations at Boston University.

Stephen Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Jon Western is Five College Associate Professor of International Relations at Mount Holyoke College and the Five Colleges.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Dedication Introduction: The Domestic Sources of American Foreign Policy Part I: The Societal Environment Chapter 1: The Future of American Power: Dominance and Decline in Perspective (New to this edition)
Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
Chapter 2: Think Again: American Decline (New to this edition)
Gideon Rachman Chapter 3: The Tea Party, Populism, and the Domestic Culture of U.S. Foreign Policy (New to this edition)
Walter Russell Mead Chapter 4: Ethnic Interest Groups in American Foreign Policy (New to this edition)
James M. McCormick Chapter 5: The Israel Lobby John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt Chapter 6: American Veterans in Government and the Use of Force (From the 5th edition)
Peter D. Feaver and Christopher Gelpi Chapter 7: Events, Elites, and American Public Support for Military Conflict Adam J. Berinsky Chapter 8: External Affairs and the Electoral Connection Miroslav Nincic Part II: The Institutional Setting Chapter 9: Person and Office: Presidents, the Presidency, and Foreign Policy Michael Nelson Chapter 10: Presidents Who Initiate Wars Louis Fisher Chapter 11: How National Security Advisers See Their Role I. M. (Mac) Destler Chapter 12: The Shifting Pendulum of Power: Executive-Legislative Relations on American Foreign Policy James M. Lindsay Chapter 13: Leading Through Civilian Power Hillary Rodham Clinton Chapter 14: A Leaner and Meaner Defense Gordon Adams and Matthew Leatherman Chapter 15: Why Intelligence and Policymakers Clash (New to this edition)
Robert Jervis Chapter 16: Intermestic Politics and Homeland Security (New to this edition)
Philip A. Russo and Patrick J. Haney Chapter 17: American Trade Policy Making: A Unique Process (New to this edition)
I. M. (Mac) Destler Part III: Decisionmakers and Their Policymaking Positions Chapter 18: How Could Vietnam Happen? An Autopsy (From the 5th edition)
James C. Thomson, Jr.
Chapter 19: Policy Preferences and Bureaucratic Position: The Case of the American Hostage Rescue Mission (From the 5th edition)
Steve Smith Chapter 20: Roles, Politics, and the Survival of the V-22 Osprey(Slight Updated from the 5th edition)
Christopher M. Jones Chapter 21: NATO Expansion: The Anatomy of a Decision (From the 5th edition)
James M. Goldgeier Chapter 22: Sources of Humanitarian Intervention: Beliefs, Information, and Advocacy in U.S. Decisions on Somalia and Bosnia (From the 5th edition)
Jon Western Chapter 23: Last Stand (From the 5th edition)
Seymour M. Hersh Chapter 24: Obama: The Consequentialist (New to this edition)
Ryan Lizza Index About the Editors and Contributors
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