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Decision-Making in American Foreign Policy

Translating Theory into Practice

Nikolas K. Gvosdev, United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, Jessica D. Blankshain, United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, David A. Cooper, United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island


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…

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Key features

  • 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 aiming 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  • Updates concepts and paradigms by drawing contemporary political parallels and updating many now outdated examples usually used to illustrate these concepts

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