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American Foreign Policy

American Foreign Policy
A Framework for Analysis

February 2006 | 536 pages | CQ Press

How can students best understand the ideas that animate U.S. foreign policy decisions and the processes that facilitate them? How can they come to terms with the motivations that guide these decision makers? In his distinctive new text, William O. Chittick identifies three value orientations--security, economic, and community--that fundamentally shape U.S. foreign policy choices. Chittick argues that it’s not enough to look at only one of these dimensions--security, in the case of most traditional texts--or even one at a time. Instead, he makes a cogent and convincing case for the systematic study of all three and explains why privileging any one dimension over another leads to oversimplification and faulty decision making. Once students are shown how these value orientations work together in complex and interesting ways, they in turn can bring richer, more insightful analysis to the field.

Chittick applies the book’s cohesive analytical framework throughout, covering the history of U.S. foreign policy as well as such contemporary issues as humanitarian interventions, global environmental problems, and international terrorism. He carefully weighs the criteria for different policy options and explores their utility: how effective are trade sanctions? What is the best way to pursue economic development in underdeveloped nations? This comprehensive overview of the policymaking process considers the many policy inputs--the foreign and domestic political, economic, and cultural factors that shape U.S. foreign policy outputs--from the perspective of the three dimensions.

Special features worth noting:

  • Part openers provide useful and comprehensive overviews of each section of the book.
  • Unique tables and figures help students understand and apply the framework. Maps and photos further enhance student comprehension.
  • Key terms are bolded throughout the book and listed at the end of each chapter to enable students to identify core concepts.
  • Suggested reading lists at the end of chapters provide rich sources for further study.

A very extensive and complete book. Essential for students of American foreign policy.

Ms Emilia Mantadakis
Department of Political Science, Maastricht University
March 2, 2016

This is a very informative, comprehensive, and accessible textbook for undergraduate students who are interested in the theoretical underpinnings of US foreign policy. It is a must-have book for students of foreign policy.

Mr Salvador Santino Jr. Regilme
J F Kennedy-Inst f Nordamerikastudien, Free University of Berlin
April 21, 2013

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