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    • May 1999
    • 9780231110693
  • 368 Pages

  • Paperback
  • $40.00
  • / £27.50

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    • May 1999
    • 9780231504201
  • 368 Pages

  • E-book
  • $39.99
  • / £27.50

Counting the Public In

Presidents, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy

Douglas C. Foyle

Does the public alter American foreign policy choices, or does the government change public opinion to supports its policies? In this detailed study, Douglas Foyle demonstrates that the differing influence of public opinion is mediated in large part through each president's beliefs about the value and significance of public opinion.Using archival collections and public sources, Foyle examines the beliefs of all the post-World War II presidents in addition to the foreign policy decisions of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton. He finds that some presidents are relatively open to public opinion while others hold beliefs that cause them to ignore the public's view. Several orientations toward public opinion are posited: the delegate (Clinton) favors public input and seeks its support; the executor (Carter) believes public input is desirable, but its support is not necessary; the pragmatist (Eisenhower, Bush) does not seek public input in crafting policy, but sees public support as necessary; and finally, the guardian (Reagan) neither seeks public input nor requires public support. The book examines the public's influence through case studies regarding decisions on: the Formosa Straits crisis; intervention at Dien Bien Phu; the Sputnik launch; the New Look defense strategy; the Panama Canal Treaties; the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; the Strategic Defense Initiative; the Beirut Marine barracks bombing; German reunification; the Gulf War; intervention in Somalia; and intervention in Bosnia.

About the Author

Douglas C. Foyle is assistant professor in the government department at Wesleyan University.

"A major scholarly work that adds greatly to our knowledge of the linkages between general public opinion and foreign policy." — American Political Science Review

"This book makes a significant contribution to our knowledge concerning how presidents conceive of and use public opinion in shaping their foreign policies. In an original and creative way, the author has looked at archival materials to understand when presidents bring public opinion into the policymaking process. His finding that presidents'beliefs about the relevance of public opinion in a pluralist society affect the importance they attach to such opinion expands current thinking about what the nexus between leaders and the public in a democracy is as well as raises issues about what it should be.-" — Margaret G. Hermann,, Department of Political Science, Maxwell School, Syracuse University

"Douglas Foyle addresses the age-old tension between elite decision making and democratic input in a strikingly new way. Foyle's careful study of American foreign policy rejects the false choice that public opinion is either omnipotent or irrelevant to government decisions. Rather, Foyle argues that public opinion's influence on foreign policy making varies quite significantly based on political and policy contexts as well as officeholder's belief systems. Foyle's findings and theoretical framework define the leading edge of research on foreign policy and public opinion." — Lawrence R. Jacobs, Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota

"An impressive achievement. Counting the Public In is the finest study to date of the relationship between public opinion and the policy-making process on foreign affairs in modern U.S. history. This book is likely to be viewed as one of the few truly seminal works on the making of foreign policy in democracies published in this decade." — Ralph Levering, Department of History, Davidson College, and author of The Public and American Foreign Policy, 1918-1978

About the Author

Douglas C. Foyle is assistant professor in the government department at Wesleyan University.

Preface
1. Linking Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
2. Preserving Public Support: Eisenhower and Dulles as Pragmatists
3. The Crisis Context: Anticipating Domestic Opposition over the Offshore Islands
4. The Reflexive Context: Boxed in by Public Opinion at Dien Bien Phu
5. The Innovative Context: Standing Firm Pushing Forward, and Giving Way After Sputnik
6. The Deliberative Context: Leadership and Limitations in the Formulation of the New Look
7. Presidential Public Opinion Orientations Since World War II
8. Crises and Recent Presidents
9. Deliberative Cases and Recent Presidents
10. Conclusions and Implications for Theory and Practice

About the Author

Douglas C. Foyle is assistant professor in the government department at Wesleyan University.

About the Author

Douglas C. Foyle is assistant professor in the government department at Wesleyan University.

About the Author

Douglas C. Foyle is assistant professor in the government department at Wesleyan University.

About the Author

Douglas C. Foyle is assistant professor in the government department at Wesleyan University.