Many actors—from the president and members of Congress to interest groups, NGOs, and the media—compete to shape U.S. foreign policy. The new fifth edition captures this strategic interplay using 15 real-world cases, of which four are brand new: the death of Osama bin Laden and the use of targeted assassinations, nonproliferation policy and the U.S.–India nuclear agreement, the U.S. reaction to Egypt's collision with the Arab Spring, and the surprise asylum request of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. Fully updated to cover the Obama administration, all cases have been revised to reflect recent developments. Whether grappling with use-of-force questions, the international financial crisis, legal and human rights, trade issues, multilateral approaches to the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran, or climate change, Carter's engaging case study approach encourages students to question motives, consider alternatives, and analyze outcomes.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus may have been the first person to put in writing the notion that “the only constant is change.”1 Since the days of the Greek city-states, foreign policy has involved reacting to both threats and opportunities that arise in a changing international environment. However, the pace of those changes in the international system has varied considerably over time. From 1947–1989, there were only incremental changes in the issues typically perceived as most important by U.S. foreign policy makers. The Cold War rivalry dominated their discussions, and, regardless of the subjects involved, most foreign policy-related issues sooner or later came down to this question: How does this affect our relations with the Soviet Union and its allies?2
When the Cold War rivalry ...