The Study of American Foreign Policy

Authored by: Margaret G. Hermann

Routledge Handbook of American Foreign Policy

Print publication date:  August  2011
Online publication date:  April  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415800884
eBook ISBN: 9780203878637
Adobe ISBN: 9781135967352


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An analysis of scholarship on American foreign policy presents a study in contrasts revolving around a set of questions that remain both historically significant and contemporarily relevant despite two centuries of discussion. Consider: (1) Is American foreign policy characterized by continuity or change? (2) Who is in charge of making U.S. foreign policy? (3) What is the “correct” approach for the country to take to the world? (4) What are the appropriate instruments of statecraft? (5) How should American foreign policy be studied? This chapter will examine these core questions and the contrasts found in the literature. Its focus is on indicating the nature of the discourse surrounding these issues and the optional answers to these questions that have been posed. The authors encourage readers to continue to seek answers as they peruse the rest of this handbook and to consider their own positions regarding these queries, what scholars who are expert in these domains propose, and the suggestions for further research that are generated.

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