When engaging with other countries, the U.S. government has a number of different policy instruments at its disposal, including foreign aid, international trade and the use of military force. But what determines which policies are chosen?
A new book released by a Princeton-Harvard team focuses on how domestic U.S. politics – in particular the interactions between the president, Congress, interest groups, bureaucratic institutions and the public – have influenced foreign policy choices since World War II and shows why presidents have more control over some policy instruments than others. Presidential power matters, and it varies systematically across policy instruments.
The book, "Sailing the Water's Edge: The Domestic Politics of American Foreign Policy," was written by Helen V. Milner, B.C. Forbes Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and Dustin Tingley, professor of government at Harvard University.
In the following podcast, Milner and Tingley provide a preview of their book.