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Lecture Notes Second Semester

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Renan Levine

Monday, April 11, 2011 Decisionmaking Theory and U.S. Foreign Policy Obamas state of the union address... ultimately he needs to deregulate to stimulate the economy given that he cannot spend any money as they are in deficit. he wants CEOs to give list of regulations they wanna get rid of- are regulations really the problem?is competition really the problem? it was actually the deregulation of the banking system that brought us to this poor economy. regulations are absolutely required, idea of autonomous market that can function without state intervention is fiction. crisis have been solved historically by regulating industry, deregulating will just exaggerate the problems US foreign policy has rested on pillar of maintaing good relations and stability in middle east. rippling affect in arab world after collapse of Ali tunisian gvmt and obara egyptian gvmt. authoritarian gvmts seemed to be stable because all other opposition is hidden (things thus boil up under the surface) Interest Groups and the Media: interest group politics in US gvmt, extreme importance in understanding of making of policy in general, primarily in relation to domestic issues. many americans not aware of FP, most focused on domestic. interest groups are important in US because they have greater access to decision makers in US political system than in canada or western europe which are based on parliamentary models. upshot of parl model, is much more unified, thus few people worthy to persuadedlobbyinfluence. their role is to toe the party line and go with what cabinet decides US very different. congressmen do not represent parties, represent CONSTITUENTS. their vote is their own choice, can vote for or against their own party. all members of congress have influence on policy-making. committee structure of house and senate important, find out who is on relevant committee and who has most influence and thus who best to approach to make change. obviously much more important to domestic politics than foreign, but not irrelevant in FP. FP: prior to ww2 was outgrowth of foreign policy establishment, which consisted of internationally orientated officials, lawyers, academics and business men who were unified, so much so that it was a ruling class? have been some divisions in this establishment, some favored isolationism(protectionismnationalism) and those that favored internationalism of US. but after WW2 this was unified around policies of anti-communism and declared their intention for US to be moral and political leaders of the world. that consensus broke down during vietnam war, the dominant groups became fragmented and a slew of new groups entered into the policy making process. during cold war the most active groups were groups associated with militaryindustrialscientific process aka military establishment, defense contractors, congress, scientists and their views represented in council of foreign relations. they today publish Foreign Affairs. subsequent to vietnam war other groups challenged dominance of anti-commie consensus and tried to influence FP by number of different approaches which are referred to as LOBBYING. LOBBYING comes from meeting members of congress in the lobby to discuss their concerns and referred primarily to attempting to lobby congress. in regards to FP means attempting to try and influence members of congress and exec branch by means other than elections. Four different approaches to doing so: 1 access to power approach. kind of inside strategy, try to influence decision makers that they have access to. demonstrated by rise of castry, strip of lobbying firms in washington who sell their access to policy makers. most prominent of these associations are kissinger and associates. he sells his access to policy makers to those interested. created a king of revolving door system in government. 2 technocratic approach. differs from 1 as it does not target high level officials, but rather mid level gvmt officials, media and groups themselves. mostly involves providing info to these groups that may influence government decisions in one ay or another. neither of these approaches have much to do with elections. 3coalition building approach.(terms of elections) groups or individuals try and influence electoral outcomes by building coalitions around interests and trying to propel their favored candidates into office. 4grass roots mobilization approach. anti-vietnam groups successful as it was easy to mobilize groups to oppose war. civil rights movement. domestic groups that are involved in makingshaping US FP. most important are religious groups who have tried to influence fp. 1980s christian fundamentalists were opposed to populist policies to introduce birth control into 3rd world countries. were successful in convincing reagan administration to insist they would not give monetary assistance to those trying to control population in developing countries. also been involved recently in shaping AIDS policy, wearing of condoms etc. recent activity in shaping FP to uganda (gay violence) this type of lobbying is within constitutional rights. but component of lobying and interest groups politics that is more problematic if foreign lobbying...foreign governments trying to influence US FP, particular IPAC (israel lobby-not israeli gvmt but rather an enormous constituency within US itself that has strong interest in pro israeli policies) China Lobby- 1940s- controversial lobby. consisted of business interests that had stakes in S and E asia markets and wanted open markets to there. significant in aftermath of chinese rev in 1949. wanted confrontational approach to china Cuba Lobby, americans with cuban background lobby for stringent relations with cuba..their numbers are declining. mostly located in florida which is a key swing vote, crucial influence. but now not as Foreign Lobbys: much more problematic than groups in US trying to impact foreign issues, because it is groups of foreigners trying to influence US by lobbying congress and executive branch. difficult to get complete handle on how important this lobby exception to number of countries who lobby in one way or another. most lobbying by colombia, egypt and saudi arabia who are also largest receivers of us foreign aid. honduras coup...result of lobbying...2008... foreign elements can shape us fp, thus why significantly important.
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