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Congress and the Foreign Policy Process

Modes of Legislative Behavior

Political Traditions in Foreign Policy Series

280 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / None

Political Science & Political History

  Paperback / 9780807125106 / February 2000

In this highly original and thoroughly informed study, Cecil V. Crabb, Jr., Glenn Antizzo, and Leila S. Sarieddine identify and examine recurring modes or patterns of legislative behavior over the span of America’s diplomatic experience. Although congressional involvement in foreign policy making has received much scholarly attention, this work is groundbreaking in that it focuses on those patterns of congressional conduct that have repeated themselves over time and, on the basis of experience, will probably continue to occur. Thus it creates a large, predictable framework of legislative activity concerning America’s problems abroad to which students of U.S. foreign policy can relate Congress’s actions in any era.

The authors identify four models of legislative conduct— congressional assertiveness and activism in foreign affairs, congressional acquiescence in diplomatic leadership by the president, a bipartisan approach, and a division-of-labor model in which both the president and Congress play significant but essentially different roles. In examining each of these modes, the authors explore the circumstances and factors that gave rise to each pattern and evaluate its positive and negative results for the overall foreign policy of the United States.

Brimming with lively language and invaluable observations, Congress and the Foreign Policy Processoffers a thought- provoking means to understanding a complex and important area in the study of American government. 

Glenn J. Antizzo is coauthor of Charting a New Diplomatic Course: Alternative Approaches to America's Post-Cold War Foreign Policy and Congress and the Foreign Policy Process: Modes of Legislative Behavior. He is an associate professor of government at Nicholls State University, in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Cecil V. Crabb, Jr., (1924-2003) was professor emeritus of political science at Louisiana State University, and the author of many books, including The Doctrines of American Foreign Policy: Their Meaning, Role, and Future. He also coauthored Congress and the Foreign Policy Process: Modes of Legislative Behavior.

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