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PSC 303: International Relations

McCormick, chapters 10, 11, 12, & 13, student notes

compiled by Prof. Jeremy Lewis, Revised 21 Feb. 2009; some reformatting, March 2015.

Ch. 10: Military & Intelligence Bureaucracies: Pervasive or Accountable?
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Ch. 11: Political Parties, Bipartisanship, and Interest Groups
(Angela G. Dupree, 2000)

 Political Parties and the Bipartisan Tradition

 The Cold War Years
Bipartisanship through the Vietnam Era

Recent studies show that the Cold War years may not have been as bipartisan as believed.

Bipartisanship and Congressional Foreign Policy Voting
Partisan Divisions from Reagan to Clinton
The Future

Partisan divisions are likely to continue for several reasons: 1. divided gov't at the national level (White House controlled by one party and Congress by the other), 2. deepened ideological cleavages between the major parties, 3. the Cold War has ended, 4. an increase in foreign policy issues dealing with economics, the environment, and social-cultural concerns (instead of security issues) since the end of the Cold War.

Interest Groups & Foreign Policy Process

Interest groups influence members of Congress by lobbying for or against particular policies. They may also influence foreign policy bureaucracies that lobby Congress as well.

Types of Foreign Policy Interest Groups

1. Business groups: Virtually every major corporation on the Fortune 500 list is represented in Washington. They lobby to increase foreign trade, expand their own exports, and promote a strong national defense.

2. Labor Unions: Lobby to protect American workers from importation of cheaper goods and the export of jobs by American firms that seek cheaper labor markets abroad. The most prominent labor unions are the AFL-CIO, which opposed NAFTA for fear of the loss of jobs to cheaper labor in Mexico, and UAW. Not all labor unions are strictly involved in economic issues. For example, in 1983 the National Endowment for Democracy provided the AFL-CIO with funds to promote democracy in foreign countries.

3. Agricultural Groups: support efforts to increase the export of farm products.

4. Religious Organizations: The most prominent groups are the National Council of Churches (Protestant), the American Friends Service Committee (Quaker), and the National Council of Catholic Bishops.

5. Ethnic Groups: The most active groups are those of Jewish, Irish, and East European heritage. They usually only participate in foreign affairs focusing on American policy toward the country or region of their ancestor's origin.

6. Veterans Groups: Most widely known are the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the American Veterans of WWII. Vietnam Veterans Against the War lobbied to stop American involvement in Vietnam. Also, the veterans of the Persian Gulf War became involved in getting the government to seek the origin of the "Gulf War syndrome."

7. Ideological Groups: Most prominent are the Americans for Democratic Action (liberal) and the American Conservative Union. They evaluate members of Congress on policy from their particular perspectives and issue yearly voting scores for all members.

8. Think Tanks: These are organizations that analyze problems and give policy advice through testimony on Capitol Hill and publishing scholarly books and articles to influence policy making. Ex. The Heritage Foundation (conservative), the Cato Institute (conservative/libertarian), Brookings Institution (liberal)

9. Single-issue Groups: This is the biggest category of interest groups. They can form, lobby, and disband quickly. Ex. anti-Vietnam War movement was very successful in rallying support to end involvement in Vietnam.

10. Foreign Lobbies: 160 nations are represented by lobbyists in Washington who try to persuade Congress to give them favorable treatment.

The Impact of Interest Groups

1.) The Theory of the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) Analyses Challenging the Influence of the MIC 2.) Ethnic Groups

Chapter 12: Media, Public Opinion, and Process
(Krista Leachman-Spring 2003)

-Media and public can do and effect the shape of the U.S. foreign policy.

-The way the media covers a foreign policy issue can affect it.

-There has been a major increase in TV and radio stations and also internet to relay news to the public.
[BUT more channels has fragmented the audience and viewers/readers tend to only expose themselves to channels they agree with.]

-Media plays roles in foreign policy.

 1) separate actor, advance their own views
 2) accomplice of govt. policy, supportive more often than critical
 3) media and govt. in a " mutually exploitative " relationship, both gaining from the other
-Media has biased reporters
  -they don't reflect characteristics of American public as a whole
  -members of media are largely liberal-54% left of center, 17% right of center
  -partisan orientation was skewed in one direction as well (over 4/5's supported Democratic presidential candidates)
[Research does show journalists are more liberal than average -- BUT Fox effect from 1998- (dominates evening s among cable audience); and journalists do not control media; and advertisers, publishers and editors are more conservative.]
-Long time media analyst Bernard Cohen made a good point in saying that the media is strongly successful in telling its readers  what to think about.
-Members of the media are dependent on the " golden triangle "(White House, Pentagon, & State Dept.) for gathering news.

-Studies show that the media's impact on the public, the publics views were relatively stable over time but when the opinion change did occur in the short term, news commentators produced the most change in public's opinion.

-The publics views on foreign policy are somewhat moodish because they are uniformed and thats why there is a lack of interest.
-People care more about local or national news than they do about foreign affairs.
-American people have been divided with not only whether the U.S. should be involved with foreign policy but now we should  be involved.
-Accommodationists are people who favor Cooperative Internationalism.
-Hardliners are those who favor Militant Internationalism.
-V.O. Key says that public overall views can also effect govt. action.
-Presidential elections- if public doesn't like views of the candidate on foreign policy, they can use their votes to punish people. [BUT only really motivated about wars or state of economy.]
-Elections for Congress are hardly ever fought on foreign policy questions.

-To Sum everything up, it is very debatable on whether the public's opinions of foreign affairs are relatively stable or if they are  moodish depending on leadership.

Chapter 13. American Foreign Policy Values and the Future
By Eun (Lisa) Lee, 2005
A Nation Divided
There is certain value conflict over the direction of foreign policy between the mass and elite levels.
From the rejection of the values of the Cold War consensus, to the unilateralism of the George W. Bush administration, the American approach to foreign policy has gone through substantial modification almost every four years. That view fails to capture the divisions in value orientation among the leadership (the foreign policy elites) and the American people, beginning in the post-Vietnam era and continue to the present.
Value Differences within Elites
1. Isolationists-Tended to tilt toward the conservative end of the ideological self- identification scale.
2. Internationalists-Prefer the GOP to the Democratic Party
3. Hard-liners-Republicans, conservatives
4. Accommodationists-Democrats, liberals
These divided opinions within elites make it hard to shape American foreign policy.
Value Differences between Elites and Masses
Even between elites and masses, there are differences in value to share the four belief systems to the same degree. (Data from the 2002 Chicago Council survey)
1. American leadership-Tends to be much more internationalist (in both the militant and cooperative varieties). Willing to increase aid to other countries. Committed to an active world role. Willing to use force and to share intelligence information against terrorism.
2. Mass public-Tends to favor more hard-line (supporting a more militant internationalism) and isolationist. Committed to strengthening the United Nations. View immigration and refugees as critical threat to United States.
Implication from these results- “leaders need to do a better job either educating the public or following their preferences.”
A New Foreign Policy Consensus?
Calls for a New Consensus
Zbigniew Brezinski, national security advisor in the Carter administration, said that the Vietnam experience had shattered the WASP foreign policy elite and that Henry Kissinger’s global design failed to replace the lost elite. Thus, there was a “need for national leadership that was capable of defining politically and morally compelling directions to which the public might positively respond.”
1970s- Foreign policy scholars and practitioners insisted for new approaches to replace the Cold War consensus.
-With a collapse of the Soviet Union, calls for a new consensus, were once again wide spread
-After September 11, the prospects for a new consensus were debated again. George W. Bush administration sought to advance a new consensus with its National Security Strategy statement of 2002 “against terrorists and tyrants.”
Was September 11 a transforming event for American foreign policy?
-It may have altered the attention of the United States, but it did not reshape the global political landscape and some traditional issues that were extant. It is difficult to claim that a new universal foreign consensus has emerged.
Three crucial questions to form a new consensus
1. Will a new consensus be necessary or functional for American policy?
2. Can it be developed even there’s divided leadership and a divided public?
3. What values should constitute this new consensus?
United States today are too diverse to be summarized under a single category. While a consensus may make a country easier to govern, it doesn’t necessarily make for good policy. So, foreign policy may have to be made piecemeal —on a case-by-case basis or, less demanding than an overarching consensus, but more than a case-by-case.
Developing a New Consensus
1. Political leadership is needed- it must accept the changed global reality
2. The leadership must be willing to educate the public continuously on foreign policy
3. The public evaluate its beliefs and values on what the United States should stand for in the world
Alternate Approaches to Building a Consensus
(1) a neo-isolationist approach to American foreign policy;
(2) a more self-interested and unilateral approach to American involvement;
(3) an approach emphasizing more completely democratic and ethical ideals in American foreign policy;
(4) an approach emphasizing greater international cooperation in American policy.
—this is a policy to reduce excessive American role in world affairs emerged after Vietnam War. Efforts to reshape the international system or to expand human rights globally would no longer be core United States values.
It would better allow the United States to promote its “extrasecurity values”—such as promoting its liberal ideals and its domestic welfare—than would a strategy of “strategic internationalism.” And it is also more compatible with the various competing political cultures prevalent in American society.

Chapter 13: American Foreign Policy Values and the Future (cont’d)
Amanda Spiegel, 2005


William Kristol and Robert Kagan: emphasized strong unilateralist approach saying US was to pursue a “benevolent global hegemony”
-achieve this by increasing defense spending, citizen awareness of America’s international role, and harmony of moral goals and national interests; appealed to many, including W. Bush admin.
Robert Lieber: said that American primacy would continue because there was no real challenger to American power, and that US leadership is the “necessary catalyst” for effective global action, policy of “international collaboration”
-Russia, China, Germany, or European Union couldn’t match or challenge US dominance
Richard N. Haas: approach of the “post-post-Cold War years”, favored less hegemonic approach, proposed the use of the “doctrine of integration” where the principal aim of US is to integrate other countries/organizations into arrangements that will promote a world consistent with US interests/values, transition: “balance of power to pooling of power”
-with this approach, US leadership is crucial, US would work with other nations despite past tensions, and US willingness to work on the basis of achieving results, and also that the US “can and will act alone when necessary.”
-problems with these approaches: too much unilateral involvement conflicts with a public that wants multilateral efforts and a less world policeman approach, and too realist approaches that focus on national interests conflict with US morals


George Quester: suggested an approach nearly 20 years ago that involved a return to America’s emphasis on domestic values in dealing with global issues, believes US should stand for its values, but government would promote them peacefully with other nations and organizations; Quester said that US had double standard after Vietnam, stating that US were willing to apply the standards of political democracy in foreign policy with Western Europe and Canada, but unwilling with the developing world
-Quester’s basis of policy was a return to democratic values, believed that correcting democratic institutions at home and promoting them abroad to make the internal and international purpose of the US not just government policy but source of national identity
-Clinton and George W. Bush embraced democratic ideals in foreign policy
-Although the promotion of democratic ideals and American values appeal to the public, questions arise…
-a more multilateral approach into American foreign policy with a break from bipolarity of the Cold War
Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay: emphasize the need to use wider degree of multilateralism in US foreign policy in the era of globalization, and that problems conflict with the unilateralist view including global warming, international terrorism, etc, and promote that “international cooperation can extend the life of American primacy” and manage the effects of globalization -argue that it is in the US national interest to create global order “based on democracy, human rights, and free enterprise, and then the US will enhance its liberty, security, and prosperity
-Four Strategies of American Foreign Policy:
1) to sustain American economic and military strength,
2) US extension and adaptation to
international institutions and arrangements
3) enforcement of existing international agreements and monitor and compel compliance,
4) US take the lead in creating effective international institutions/arrangements to handle the downsides of globalization
-Daalder and Lindsey believe that US has no other choice in global politics but to try to create a world community that shares American values
Joseph S. Nye, Jr: emphasizes the effort to “define our national interest to include global interests”
-Nye says that a unilateralist approach isn’t sufficient because:
1)the approach underestimates the US ability to manage the forces of globalization alone,
2) the unilateralist approach has the potential to damage America’s ability to create envy/rivalry from other states
-Nye’s “grand strategy” compares to Daalder and Lindsey’s but adds the values the US needs to pursue in a multilateral context, promotes that the US work to maintain “regional balances of power”, an “open international economic system”, and protecting the global commons, by doing so- manage impacts of globalization, and promote human rights and democracy in a larger foreign policy consideration