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American Foreign Policy and Political Ambition
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American Foreign Policy and Political Ambition



August 2013 | 496 pages | CQ Press
In his eagerly-awaited second edition, Ray revisits his deceptively simple premise that the highest priority of leaders is to stay in power. Looking at how political ambition and domestic pressures impact foreign policymaking is the key to understanding how and why foreign policy decisions are made. The text begins by using this analytic approach to look at the history of foreign policymaking and then examines how various parties inside and outside government influence decision making. In a unique third section, the book takes a regional approach, not only covering trends other books tend to miss, but giving students the opportunity to think comprehensively about how issues intersect around the globe—from human security and democratization, to globalization and pollution.

Guided by input from adopters and reviewers, Ray has thoroughly re-organized the book and streamlined some coverage to better consolidate the historical, institutional, regional, and topical chapters and focus the thematic lens of the book. Ray has also brought the book fully up-to-date, addressing the latest events in American foreign policy, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the killing of Bin Laden, the WikiLeaks scandal and its aftermath, the impact of social media on foreign policy and world affairs, nuclear proliferation, developments in U.S.-Russian relations, climate change, and more.
 
Tables, Figures, and Maps
 
Regional Maps
 
Preface
 
About the Author
 
I. LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS
 
1. The Impacts of American Foreign Policy
 
2. Analyzing Modern American Foreign Policy: Competing Approaches
 
3. The Past as Prologue: American Foreign Policy from the American Evolution through World War II
 
4. The Cold War
 
II. FOREIGN POLICY PROCESSES – INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT
 
5. The President and Congress
 
6. Government Agencies, Economic Issues, and Foreign Policy
 
7. The Impact of Extra-Governmental Factors on American Foreign Policy: Political Parties, Interest Groups, the Mass Media, and Public Opinion
 
III. U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN REGIONAL CONTEXTS
 
8. The United States and Europe: A Parting of the Ways?
 
9. Inter-American Relations
 
10. The United States and Sub-Saharan Africa
 
11. The United States in Asia: The Coming Clash with China?
 
12. The United States, Israel, and Its Neighbors
 
13. The U.S. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Their Origins (and Legality)
 
14. The Evolution and Conclusion of the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
 
15. U.S. Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century
 
Bibliography
 
Glossary
 
For Further Research
 
Index

Very good introductory text for the course International Relations in the U.S., Canada and Latin America (the part about U.S. foreign policy. Chapters about policy making process should be larger, however, and theoretical chapter should refer more to the U.S. foreign policy (I do appreciate poliheuristic theory reference as well as neo-cons).

Dr Marcin Grabowski
Political Science and International Relations, Jagiellonian University
October 24, 2014

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James Lee Ray

James Ray received his B.A. from Ohio State, and PhD from the University of Michigan. He has held positions at SUNY-Fredonia, the University of New Mexico, Florida State University, and is currently at Vanderbilt University. His research and writing have focused on international conflict, and most recently on the relationship of democracy to conflict. His introductory text on international relations has been published in 8 editions since 1979. More About Author

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ISBN: 9781608716807
$102.00 

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