Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy

This new edition examines the role of the federal bureaucracy in formulating U.S. national security policy.

This new edition of Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy revisits and revises the widely popular original volume. Since that original publication in 1974, authors Morton Halperin and Priscilla Clapp, with Arnold Kanter have been significant participants in America’s foreign policy community. This thoroughly revised book updates their classic analysis of the role played by the federal bureaucracy—civilian career officials, political appointees, and military officers—in formulating U.S. national security policy, illustrating how policy decisions are actually made. The second edition also includes an expanded analysis of Congress’s role in the politics of foreign policy making.

Government agencies, departments, and individuals all have certain interests to preserve and promote. Those priorities, and the conflicts they sometimes spark, heavily influence the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy provides numerous examples of bureaucratic maneuvering and reveals how they have influenced U.S. international relations. The revised edition includes examples of bureaucratic politics from the past three decades, from Jimmy Carter’s view of the State Department to conflicts between George W. Bush and the bureaucracy regarding Iraq.

Morton H. Halperin is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and director of U.S. Advocacy for the Open Society Institute. He served in three presidential administrations, most recently under Bill Clinton, and his books include The Democracy Advantage: How Democracies Promote Prosperity and Peace (Routledge, 2005).

Priscilla Clapp served nearly thirty years in government under six presidents, mostly in the State Department and overseas.

Arnold Kanter is a principal and founding member of the Scowcroft Group. He has served in several capacities in government, including Special Assistant to the President and Under Secretary of State.

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