The Department of State

Authored by: Jerel Rosati , Scott DeWitt

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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The Department of State is one of the most important organizations in the executive branch involved in the making of U.S. foreign policy. It is one of four original cabinet departments created as part of the fledgling government of the United States in 1789—a founding institution as old as the Constitution itself. For more than 150 years the State Department was the lead organization responsible for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. However, its influence declined with the onset of the Cold War, containment and deterrent strategies, and presidential efforts to manage foreign policy.

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