AFP- Ch 8.docx

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International Affairs
INTL 4250
Loch K Johnson

Chapter 8 - Foreign Policy and the American People • Public Opinion andAmerican Foreign Policy o  elections rarely are about foreign policy issues  most of the time they focus on domestic politics and things like the economy o Democracy v. Demoscopy  demoscopy - the scientific analysis of public opinion polls  democracy - true democracy puts its faith in the people o The President and Public Opinion  theAmerican people are ignorant to international affairs (only 35% of people have a passport)  2 things will stir Public Opinion inAmerica soon  prolonged military conflict with no victory  weakened economic status  rally-around-the-flag hypothesis - a perceived threat to the US and its citizens will result in a display by theAmerican public of strong patriotic support for the president, sending the standing chief executive sharply upward in opinion rations on job performance  only certain kind of events warrant this: international events, directly involved in the US, the President, "specific, dramatic, sharply focused"  Six types of international events meet this criteria  rapid military intervention - Korea (1950), Grenada (1983), Afghanistan (2001)  significant military developments in ongoing war - Gulf of Tonkin incident (1964)  major diplomatic initiatives - Truman Doctrine (1947)  startling new technological developments abroad threaten the US - USSR launching Sputnik (1957)  a summit conference among leading nations because of wide media coverage such high-level meetings attract  a major terrorist attack againstAmericans at home or abroad  Presidential options have boosted their likeability in many cases, but has caused later criticism  Bush invasion of Iraq, 2-1 for in 2003, after it hurt him  Pueblo incident, North Korea captured US spy ship off its coastline, has some similarity to the Mayaguez case in which Ford invaded Grenada, did not gather the same public rallying response o Opinion Leadership  opinion-leadership hypothesis - without reliable information, individuals who might be critical of the president--say congressional leaders in the opposition party--are in a weak position to offer persuasive critique, therefore, they are inclined to be supportive or at least they remain quiscent  of 65 rally events between 1957 and 1986  42 - increased presidential popularity  23 - did not  6 were major wars  17 others? --> opinion-leadership hypothesis says it is the leaders lack of information that could call into question the merits of a decision  "at your fingertips news" like Twitter, CNN, and Facebook has helped digitize democracy o Congress and Public Opinion  Congress has been more involved in FP decisions since Vietnam  can be a "trustee" (reach decisions on basis of own judgment) or a "instructed delegate" (reach decisions based on constituents)  instructed delegate model of representation - reaches decisions based on opinions of constituents  Burkean Model of Representation - the independent stance of a Congressman that rises above Public opinion  Presidential deference model of representation - in the case of FP, lawmakers are freed from constituent pressures because on such matters, the public is ill informed and inattentive. Yet, rather than exercise their own fashion, as with the Burkean model, lawmakers were inclined to defer to presidential leadership  "Father knows best" approach  has remained intact (as with NSAspying scandal), but has also been skewed by several Presidential mishaps  Party Loyalty Model of Representation - people vote along party lines o Vax Populi  vax populi - "voice of the people"  Lippmann school of thought on public opinion - coined by Journalist Walter Lippmann, US FP deliberations should be left to the pros -- the professional diplomats and the national security experts  when an executive takes an FP issues too far, he can screw himself in public opinion  Ex: LBJ and Vietnam • Interest Groups andAmerican Foreign Policy o  1st amendment grants interest groups the ability to assemble, petition  there is a huge amount of public interest groups serving just about every possible interest  many bring the government useful information to help their policy decisions
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