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American Foreign Policy and Political Ambition

American Foreign Policy and Political Ambition

October 2013 | 496 pages | CQ Press
In his eagerly-awaited second edition, Ray revisits his deceptively simple premise that the highest priority of leaders is to stay in power. Looking at how political ambition and domestic pressures impact foreign policymaking is the key to understanding how and why foreign policy decisions are made. The text begins by using this analytic approach to look at the history of foreign policymaking and then examines how various parties inside and outside government influence decision making. In a unique third section, the book takes a regional approach, not only covering trends other books tend to miss, but giving students the opportunity to think comprehensively about how issues intersect around the globe—from human security and democratization, to globalization and pollution.

Guided by input from adopters and reviewers, Ray has thoroughly re-organized the book and streamlined some coverage to better consolidate the historical, institutional, regional, and topical chapters and focus the thematic lens of the book. Ray has also brought the book fully up-to-date, addressing the latest events in American foreign policy, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the killing of Bin Laden, the WikiLeaks scandal and its aftermath, the impact of social media on foreign policy and world affairs, nuclear proliferation, developments in U.S.-Russian relations, climate change, and more.
Tables, Figures, and Maps
Regional Maps
About the Author
1. The Impacts of American Foreign Policy
2. Analyzing Modern American Foreign Policy: Competing Approaches
3. The Past as Prologue: American Foreign Policy from the American Evolution through World War II
4. The Cold War
5. The President and Congress
6. Government Agencies, Economic Issues, and Foreign Policy
7. The Impact of Extra-Governmental Factors on American Foreign Policy: Political Parties, Interest Groups, the Mass Media, and Public Opinion
8. The United States and Europe: A Parting of the Ways?
9. Inter-American Relations
10. The United States and Sub-Saharan Africa
11. The United States in Asia: The Coming Clash with China?
12. The United States, Israel, and Its Neighbors
13. The U.S. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Their Origins (and Legality)
14. The Evolution and Conclusion of the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
15. U.S. Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century
For Further Research

Very good introductory text for the course International Relations in the U.S., Canada and Latin America (the part about U.S. foreign policy. Chapters about policy making process should be larger, however, and theoretical chapter should refer more to the U.S. foreign policy (I do appreciate poliheuristic theory reference as well as neo-cons).

Dr Marcin Grabowski
Political Science and International Relations, Jagiellonian University
October 24, 2014

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