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U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. Foreign Policy
The Paradox of World Power

Sixth Edition
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July 2019 | 376 pages | CQ Press
“Hook’s text delivers a comprehensive but up-to-date and easily accessible account of the internal and external forces that constrain U. S. foreign policy makers.” 
—Niall Michelsen, Western Carolina University

The same aspects of American government and society that propelled the United States to global primacy have also hampered its orderly and successful conduct of foreign policy. This paradox challenges U.S. leaders to overcome threats to America's world power in the face of fast-moving global developments and political upheavals at home.

U.S. Foreign Policy explores this paradox, identifies its key sources and manifestations, and considers its future implications. Bestselling author Steven W. Hook shows readers how to think critically about these cascading developments and the link between the process and the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. 

The Sixth Edition highlights global and domestic shifts in the balance of power that affect U.S. foreign policy. It includes essential coverage of foreign policy initiatives under the Trump administration and how they compare to the actions of his recent predecessors. The most pressing question is whether U.S. foreign policymakers can manage these dynamics in a manner that preserves U.S. primacy.

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Figures, Tables, Maps, and Boxes
Chapter 1. The United States in a Turbulent World
The Paradox of America’s World Power  
The Numbers of U.S. Foreign Policy  
Key Terms  
Chapter 2. The Expansion of U.S. Power
Economic and Territorial Expansion  
Fighting Two World Wars  
Global Primacy and the Cold War  
New Challenges After the Cold War  
Key Terms  
Chapter 3. Dynamics of Decision Making
The Global Context: Rival Perspectives  
Opening the “Black Box” of Domestic Politics  
The Impact of Civil Society  
Coping With Bureaucratic Politics  
The Human Factor  
Key Terms  
Chapter 4. Presidential Power
The Constitution’s Mixed Blessing  
Presidential Prerogative in the “Zone of Twilight”  
Structures of the “Presidential Branch”  
Judicial Interventions in Foreign Policy  
Key Terms  
Chapter 5. Congress Beyond the “Water’s Edge”
Trends in Legislative-Executive Relations  
Constraints on Congressional Action  
Foreign Policy by Committee  
War Powers and the Use of Force  
The Power of the Purse  
Key Terms  
Chapter 6. The Foreign Policy Bureaucracy
Agency Dysfunctions and the Paradox of World Power  
The Diplomatic Complex  
The Security Complex  
The Intelligence Complex  
The Economic Complex  
Key Terms  
Chapter 7. Public Opinion at Home and Abroad
Democracy and the Paradox of World Power  
Public Opinion Since World War II  
Key Terms  
Chapter 8. The Impact of Mass Communications
Functions of the News Media  
Patterns of Foreign News Coverage  
The Social Media Revolution  
Online News and Views From Overseas  
Key Terms  
Chapter 9. Social Movements and Interest Groups
Group Action and the Paradox  
Dynamics of Social Movements  
Types of Foreign Policy NGOs  
Group Strategies and Tactics  
Buying Power: The Corporate Connection  
Key Terms  
Chapter 10. National Security and Defense Policy
The Foundation of Strategy  
Justifying the Use of Force  
The Nuclear Shadow  
Waging War on Terror  
Key Terms  
Chapter 11. Economic Statecraft
Models of Political Economy  
The Balance of Economic Power  
Trade Policy as a “Two-Level Game”  
National Interests and Foreign Aid  
Economic Sanctions as a Policy Tool  
Key Terms  
Chapter 12. Transnational Policy Problems
Managing the Global Commons  
The Immigration Debate  
The Dangers of Weapons Proliferation  
Human Rights and Democracy  
Prospects for “Exporting” Democracy  
Threats to Democracy at Home  
Key Terms  
Appendix A: U.S. Administrations Since World War II
Appendix B: The War Powers Resolution of 1973
About the Author


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“Hook’s text delivers a comprehensive but up-to-date and easily accessible account of the internal and external forces that constrain U. S. foreign policy makers.”

Niall Michelsen
Western Carolina University

“In his U. S. Foreign Policy book, Steven Hook provides an unbiased and detailed survey of American foreign policy and its dilemmas and paradoxes over time. Its framework is especially valuable in explaining many of the country’s foreign policy dilemmas and challenges under the Trump Administration. It is highly recommended for students, scholars, and professionals in the area of U. S. foreign policy.”

Ivan Dinev Ivanov
University of Cincinnati

“There are some pretty good texts on the process of U. S. foreign policymaking and some pretty good books on the content and history of U. S. foreign policy, but there are very few that combine both in anything more than a perfunctory manner. That makes this text one of the most complete and comprehensive introductions to U.S. foreign policy out there. Because major topics are fully contained in separate chapters, the text can be used modularly. Moreover, it is well written for a student audience. While it presents topics for the novice in this field of study, it is not dumbed-down. It nicely combines facts and history with theories of foreign policymaking and analysis. Students who read this book will experience a superb introduction to American foreign policy and how it is studied.”

Steven G. Livingston
Middle Tennessee State University

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