United States Foreign Policy

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United States Foreign Policy


In this study we will try to explore the concept of “Foreign Policy” in United States. The main focus of the research will be to reflect on the analysis and theories regarding the forign policy in America. The research will also analyze the effectiveness of Applications and Empirical Evidence regarding the theories and policies, and the influence of these applications help in analysing the future directions.

United States Foreign Policy


American foreign policy has fluctuated throughout the existence of the United States, stemming from the influence of exogenous dynamics and significant watersheds felt throughout the international system as well as endogenous changes and influences within the American government. Noteworthy declarations such as the Monroe Doctrine, international conflicts such as the Spanish-American War, World War II, and the cold war as well as regional conflicts such as the Vietnam War and the Korean War significantly influenced American foreign policy. Currently, the events of September 11, 2001, represent the major exogenous watershed that influenced the foreign policy decision-making of the U.S. government. In addition to the exogenous dynamics that have been decisive in American foreign policy, the endogenous aspects of the U.S. government such as the president, Congress, the bureaucracy, and American public opinion have considerable influence in foreign policy decision making (Breuning, 2007).

The scholarly study of foreign policy in the field of international relations (IR) goes back to the mid-1950s and early 1960s. Although this means that foreign policy analysis (FPA) is still a relatively young area of specialization, the FPA literature is rich and diverse. As it is discussed in the following pages, since its inception FPA has evolved through distinct stages (Hudson, 2005; Neack, Hey, & Haney, 1995). Specifically, FPA has moved away from searching for an overarching theory of foreign policy to finding theories that work under certain conditions. In this chapter, FPA refers to the scholarly study of foreign policy as a whole, which includes such distinct literatures as comparative foreign policy and foreign policy decision making (Hermann, 2003).

American Foreign Policy Analysis

What is foreign policy, and how is it different from the study of IR more generally? By foreign policy we mean the actions, strategies, and decisions directed at actors outside the borders of a domestic political system (i.e., a state). That the primary intended target of policy is external to the domestic sphere distinguishes foreign from domestic policy (Kaarbo, Lantis, & Beasley, 2002). In other words, as Breuning (2007) puts it, foreign policy is “the totality of a country's policies toward and interactions with the environment beyond its borders”. A state's foreign policy covers a variety of issues ranging from the rather traditional security and economic areas to environmental and energy issues, foreign aid, migration, and human rights (Breuning, 2007). The actors that initiate foreign policy actions, and those who are the targets of the actions, are often states but not always (Foyle, 2004).

FPA is “first and foremost interested in explaining how and why decisions came ...
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