The first edition of Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy is one of the most successful Brookings titles of all time. This thoroughly revised version updates that classic analysis of the role played by the federal bureaucracy—civilian career officials, political appointees, and military officers—and Congress in formulating U.S. national security policy, illustrating how policy decisions are actually made. 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. A decision that looks like an orchestrated attempt to influence another country may in fact represent a shaky compromise between rival elements within the U.S. government. The authors provide numerous examples of bureaucratic maneuvering and reveal how they have influenced our international relations. The revised edition includes new 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. The second edition also includes a new analysis of Congress’s role in the politics of foreign policymaking.
Benjamin Wittes, Pietro S. Nivola
August 28, 2015
Morton H. Halperin was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and is now senior adviser to the Open Society Institute. He directed policy planning staffs at the Department of State, the National Security Council, and the Department of Defense for Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton. 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.