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Decision-Making in American Foreign Policy

Decision-Making in American Foreign Policy
Translating Theory into Practice

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  • Publication planned for: June 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from June 2019
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108447683

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Not yet published - available from June 2019
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About the Authors
  • This foreign policy analysis textbook is written especially for students studying to become national security professionals. It translates academic knowledge about the complex influences on American foreign policymaking into an intuitive, cohesive, and practical set of analytic tools. The focus here is not theory for the sake of theory, but rather to translate theory into practice. Classic paradigms are adapted to fit the changing realities of the contemporary national security environment. For example, the growing centrality of the White House is seen in the 'palace politics' of the president's inner circle, and the growth of the national security apparatus introduces new dimensions to organizational processes and subordinate levels of bureaucratic politics. Real-world case studies are used throughout to allow students to apply theory. These comprise recent events that draw impartially across partisan lines and encompass a variety of diplomatic, military, and economic and trade issues.

    • Contains real-world case studies of recent events which are used throughout to allow students to apply theory
    • Translates foreign policy decision making for a practitioner audience - explicitly aims to show the professional relevance of academic theory
    • Updates concepts and paradigms by drawing contemporary political parallels and updating many now outdated examples usually used to illustrate these concepts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Advance praise: 'This insightful book peers inside the black box of national security decision-making through the prism of real, recent, and relevant cases.' Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    Advance praise: 'This is the perfect textbook for graduate and advanced undergraduate students who want to gain the conceptual tools they need to be successful foreign policy practitioners. Students will come away with a deep understanding of how the Executive and Legislative branches of the US government operate as well as a comparative perspective on decision-making in other countries.' James Goldgeier, American University, Washington, DC

    Advance praise: 'This fresh new textbook in foreign policy analysis is very welcome. From a pedagogical standpoint, it is organized extremely well, unfolding each layer of analysis through copious and current examples, case studies, guiding questions, and useful summaries. From a theoretical standpoint, in addition to covering the expected FPA levels of analysis, it offers the best exploration of sub-bureaucratic politics I've seen. I highly recommend this book both for classroom use as well as for the scholar's bookshelf.' Valerie M. Hudson, Texas A&M University

    Advance praise: 'This is an invaluable and comprehensive guide to academic theories about how the American national security system works in practice. This textbook fills a critical gap in making the theories of foreign policy analysis understandable and relevant for current and future practitioners. Speaking as a current academic and former military leader, I strongly recommend this as essential reading for civilian and military students alike who are seeking to hone their skills to become effective and successful national security professionals.' James Stavridis, retired Admiral, US Navy, Supreme Allied Commander, NATO (2009–13), Dean Emeritus, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (2013–18)

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: June 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108447683
    • dimensions: 253 x 177 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from June 2019
  • Table of Contents

    List of boxes
    List of figures
    1. Introduction
    2. Foreign policy analysis
    3. Unitary state perspective
    4. Cognitive perspective
    5. Organizational process perspective
    6. Bureaucratic politics perspective
    7. Palace politics perspective
    8. Sub-bureaucratic politics perspective
    9. Domestic politics
    10. Other countries
    11. Conclusion

  • Authors

    Nikolas K. Gvosdev, United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island
    Nikolas K. Gvosdev is a Professor of National Security Affairs and holds the Jerome E. Levy Chair in Economic Geography and National Security at the United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. He is the former Editor of The National Interest policy journal and previously was a senior fellow at the Nixon Center (now the Center for the National Interest). He holds non-residential fellowships with the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. He is the author of numerous scholarly and policy books, articles, and chapters including recent books on US and Russian foreign policy. He holds a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

    Jessica D. Blankshain, United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island
    Jessica D. Blankshain is an Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, where she teaches courses on foreign policy analysis, leadership studies, decision making, and civil-military relations. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University.

    David A. Cooper, United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island
    David A. Cooper is currently The James V. Forrestal Professor of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, and is the former Chair of the Department of National Security Affairs. He previously served for nearly two decades as a career US Defense Department official including as a member of the Senior Executive Service. He has held a number of important foreign and national security policy positions including in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and at US Africa Command. He is the author of a comparative foreign policy book and various scholarly and policy articles and chapters on international relations and US foreign policy. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from The Australian National University.

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