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Decision-Making in American Foreign Policy

Book description

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.


'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

'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

'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

'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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