Douglas C. Foyle Counting the Public In

ISBN 13: 9780231110686

Counting the Public In

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9780231110686: Counting the Public In
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Does the public alter American foreign policy choices, or does the government change public opinion to supports its policies? In this detailed study, Douglas Foyle demonstrates that the differing influence of public opinion is mediated in large part through each president's beliefs about the value and significance of public opinion.Using archival collections and public sources, Foyle examines the beliefs of all the post-World War II presidents in addition to the foreign policy decisions of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton. He finds that some presidents are relatively open to public opinion while others hold beliefs that cause them to ignore the public's view. Several orientations toward public opinion are posited: the delegate (Clinton) favors public input and seeks its support; the executor (Carter) believes public input is desirable, but its support is not necessary; the pragmatist (Eisenhower, Bush) does not seek public input in crafting policy, but sees public support as necessary; and finally, the guardian (Reagan) neither seeks public input nor requires public support. The book examines the public's influence through case studies regarding decisions on: the Formosa Straits crisis; intervention at Dien Bien Phu; the Sputnik launch; the New Look defense strategy; the Panama Canal Treaties; the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; the Strategic Defense Initiative; the Beirut Marine barracks bombing; German reunification; the Gulf War; intervention in Somalia; and intervention in Bosnia.

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Book Description:

The book examines the public's influence on foreign policy through case studies including the Formosa Straits crisis; intervention at Dien Bien Phu; the Sputnik launch; the New Look defense strategy; the Panama Canal Treaties; the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; the Strategic Defense Initiative; the Beirut Marine barracks bombing; German reunification; the Gulf War; and intervention in Somalia and Bosnia.

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Does the public alter American foreign policy choices, or does the government try to change public opinion to support its policies? In Counting the Public In, Douglas C. Foyle demonstrates that it depends on the president. Using archival collections and public sources, Foyle rigorously examines the foreign policy beliefs of all the post-World War II presidents. He also discusses the decisions of Eisenhower, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, outlining four distinct types of decision makers (delegates, executors, pragmatists, and guardians), each of which weighs the importance of public opinion differently. Including detailed case studies of decisions on military intervention in Indochina, Lebanon, Somalia, Bosnia, and the Gulf, and reactions to Sputnik, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and German reunification, Counting the Public In offers a valuable contribution to recent debates about the domestic sources of international relations and the development of American foreign policy.

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9780231110693: Counting the Public In: Presidents, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy

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ISBN 10:  0231110693 ISBN 13:  9780231110693
Publisher: Columbia University Press, 1999
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