In his new core text, James L. Ray raises the bar for the study of American foreign policy, bringing original insight, crisper writing, and at last the most current theories to bear on the subject. Though he draws upon the realist, liberal, and radical perspectives, instead of relying on traditional axioms such as states seek power, or states seek security, Ray starts from the premise that the highest priority of leaders is to stay in power. Ray keenly observes that how leaders respond to their most important domestic constituents is the key to understanding why and how foreign policy decisions are made.

In chapters detailing the history of American foreign policy, Ray shows how domestic pressures have shaped in stunning ways foreign policymaking from the birth of the nation, through expansion and annexation, and right up through the Bush administration's Iraq War. Then, covering the policymaking process, Ray analyzes how various parties inside and outside government influence decisionmaking, with detailed discussions of the role of the media, public opinion, interest groups, the various federal agencies, Congress, and the executive. Ray shows how the ongoing debates around domestic economic and social policies like social security and Medicare have always played a part in the process.

The Impacts of American Foreign Policy

The impacts of American foreign policy

A READER OF THIS BOOK WHO IS TWENTY YEARS OLD WILL HAVE HEARD references to the United States as the “sole remaining superpower” almost all of his or her life. Perhaps the reader will have paid no attention. Nonetheless, it is true that, since the end of the Cold War in 1989 (or ...

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