Government » American Foreign Policy » Institutional Relations in Foreign Policy

Institutional Relations in Foreign Policy

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Describe the use of shared power in U.S. foreign policymaking
  • Explain why presidents lead more in foreign policy than in domestic policy
  • Discuss why individual House and Senate members rarely venture into foreign policy
  • List the actors who engage in foreign policy

Institutional relationships in foreign policy constitute a paradox. On the one hand, there are aspects of foreign policymaking that necessarily engage multiple branches of government and a multiplicity of actors. Indeed, there is a complexity to foreign policy that is bewildering, in terms of both substance and process. On the other hand, foreign policymaking can sometimes call for nothing more than for the president to make a formal decision, quickly endorsed by the legislative branch. This section will explore the institutional relationships present in U.S. foreign policymaking.

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