Politics and Strategy: Partisan Ambition and American by Peter Trubowitz

By Peter Trubowitz

Why perform a little nationwide leaders pursue formidable grand options and adventuresome overseas rules whereas others don't? while do leaders boldly confront overseas threats and while are they much less assertive? Politics and Strategy indicates that grand ideas are Janus-faced: their formula has as a lot to do with a leader's skill to manipulate at domestic because it does with retaining the nation's safeguard out of the country. Drawing at the American political event, Peter Trubowitz finds how diversifications in family get together politics and foreign strength have led presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama to pursue techniques that vary greatly in overseas ambition and price. He considers why a few presidents overreach in international affairs whereas others fail to do enough.

Trubowitz pushes the knowledge of grand procedure past conventional ways that tension in basic terms overseas forces or family pursuits. He presents insights into how prior leaders answered to cross-pressures among geopolitics and celebration politics, and the way related matters proceed to bedevil American statecraft at the present time. He means that the trade-offs shaping American leaders' international coverage offerings will not be unique--analogous trade-offs confront chinese language and Russian leaders as well.

Combining cutting edge thought and historic research, Politics and Strategy solutions vintage questions of statecraft and gives new rules for puzzling over grand ideas and the leaders who make them.

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Extra resources for Politics and Strategy: Partisan Ambition and American Statecraft

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Yet leaders also can derive other types of domestic benefits from foreign policy. Political leaders who find their hold on power threatened by internal crises or by domestic challengers can sometimes use foreign policy to improve their situation. The classic version of this idea is diversionary war or “scapegoat” theory (Levy, 1989). It argues that leaders use foreign crises, international threats, and nationalist appeals to deflect popular attention from their domestic failures Grand Strategy’s Microfoundations • 27 to sustain their government’s legitimacy.

Whether a leader in this situation will prefer active balancing to defensive or preemptive war cannot be deduced from geopolitical slack and partisan preference alone. 29 Historical context is thus crucial in explaining whether leaders will prefer active balancing to defensive war. The theory of executive choice predicts what type of grand strategy leaders will favor, not which specific strategy he or she will choose. The theory does predict that leaders facing these geopolitical and partisan incentives are unlikely to rely on cheaper, less reliable, “second-best” grand strategies.

Their partisan supporters prefer butter to guns. These leaders have no partisan incentive to emphasize security at the expense of domestic needs. And because security is plentiful, they have little pressure or reason to do otherwise. Isolationism is one possible response to this combination of geopolitical and partisan incentives. But there are others. , coastal defense, military fortifications) over more expensive, offensive power projection. In general, these leaders will be preoccupied with internal matters and reluctant to seize opportunities to extend their country’s geopolitical reach.

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