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U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. Foreign Policy
The Paradox of World Power

Fifth Edition

520 pages | CQ Press
The same aspects of American government and society that propelled the United States to global primacy have also hampered its orderly and successful conduct of foreign policy. This paradox challenges U.S. leaders to overcome threats to America's world power in the face of fast-moving global developments and political upheavals at home. This fully updated Fifth Edition of Steven W. Hook’s respected text explores this paradox, identifies its key sources and manifestations, and considers its future implications as it asks whether U.S. foreign policymakers can manage these dynamics in a manner that preserves U.S. primacy.
PART I. The Setting of U.S. Foreign Policy
Chapter 1: The United States in a Turbulent World
Snapshot: America’s World Power

Challenges to U.S. Primacy

The Paradox of America’s World Power


Chapter 2: The Expansion of U.S. Power
Economic and Territorial Expansion

Fighting Two World Wars

Global Primacy and the Cold War

New Challenges after the Cold War


Chapter 3: Dynamics of Decision Making
The Global Context: Rival Perspectives

Opening the “Black Box” of Domestic Politics

The Impact of Civil Society

Coping with Bureaucratic Politics

The Human Factor


PART II. Inside-Out: Government Sources of Foreign Policy
Chapter 4: Presidential Power
The Constitution’s Mixed Blessing

Presidential Prerogative in the “Zone of Twilight”

Structures of the “Presidential Branch”

Judicial Interventions in Foreign Policy


Chapter 5: Congress beyond the “Water’s Edge”
Trends in Legislative-Executive Relations

Constraints on Congressional Action

Legislating Foreign Policy

War Powers and the Use of Force

The Power of the Purse


Chapter 6: The Foreign Policy Bureaucracy
Agency Dysfunctions and the Paradox of World Power

The Diplomatic Complex

The Security Complex

The Intelligence Complex

The Economic Complex


PART III. Outside-In: External Sources of Foreign Policy
Chapter 7: Public Opinion at Home and Abroad
Democracy and the Paradox of World Power

Public Opinion since World War II

Group Identities and Foreign Policy Views


Chapter 8: The Impact of Mass Communications
Functions of the News Media

Patterns of Foreign News Coverage

Government Efforts to Control the Message

The Social Media Revolution

Online News and Views from Overseas


Chapter 9: Social Movements and Interest Groups
Group Action and the Paradox

Dynamics of Social Movements

Types of Foreign Policy NGOs

Group Strategies and Tactics

Buying Power: The Corporate Connection


PART IV. Policy Domains
Chapter 10: National Security and Defense Policy
The Foundation of Strategy

Justifying the Use of Force

The Nuclear Shadow

Waging War on Terror


Chapter 11: Economic Statecraft
Models of Political Economy

The Balance of Economic Power

Trade Policy as a “Two-Level Game”

National Interests and Foreign Aid

Economic Sanctions as a Policy Tool


Chapter 12: Transnational Policy Problems
Managing the Global Commons

The Immigration Debate

The Dangers of Weapons Proliferation

Promoting Human Rights and Democracy

Signs of a More Peaceful World




Student Study Site

SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. SAGE edge content is open access and available on demand. Learning and teaching has never been easier!

SAGE edge
for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment and features elements such as:
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards which strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes that allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material
  • An online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives that reinforce the most important material
  • Carefully selected video and multimedia content that enhance exploration of key topics
Instructor Resources Site

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy to provide a diverse range of test items.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Video and multimedia content that enhance student engagement and appeal to different learning styles
  • Instructor manual which summarize key concepts by chapter to ease preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • A set of all the graphics from the text, including all of the maps, tables, and figures, is available in PowerPoint, pdf, and JPEG formats for class presentations
  • A transition guide provides a chapter-by-chapter outline of key changes to the fifth edition

 “U.S. Foreign Policy: The Paradox of World Power is one of the most complete and comprehensive introductions to U.S. foreign policy available. It is well-written for a student audience, and I am impressed with just how comprehensive it is. Students who read this book will have a superb introduction to American foreign policy and how it is studied.”

Steven Livingston
Middle Tennessee State University

“Hook’s text is one of the leading foreign policy textbooks precisely because of its overall structure, approach, and balance of detail that supports the overarching theme—the paradox of power. Each edition improves on the last, providing students with a clear introduction to U.S. foreign policy.”

Peter H. Loedel
West Chester University

“Each time I teach the U.S. foreign policy course and use Hook’s book, students really read it. The writing style is clear and accessible, and students have even commented on the helpfulness of graphics. All in all, I continue to use U.S. Foreign Policy: The Paradox of World Power because my students respond to it so well.”

Linda Adams
Baylor University

Perfect text for understanding mechanisms of U.S. foreign policy making (actually it's one of two my crucial texts for the moment). Really great companion website.

Dr Marcin Grabowski
Political Science and International Relations, Jagiellonian University
March 17, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Steven Wallace Hook

Steven W. Hook (1959-2022) was professor of political science at Kent State University. In addition to this book, he was co-author of American Foreign Policy Since World War II (CQ Press, 2019, 21st ed., with John Spanier) and author of National Interest and Foreign Aid (Lynne Rienner, 1995). His edited books include U.S. Foreign Policy Today: American Renewal? (CQ Press, 2012, with James M. Scott), the Routledge Handbook of American Foreign Policy (Routledge Press, 2012, with Christopher M. Jones), and Democratic Peace in Theory and Practice (Kent State University Press, 2010). His journal articles have appeared in World... More About Author

Also available as a South Asia Edition.