Presidential-Congressional Relations in US Foreign Policy Decision-Making: a Theoretical Treatise

Tohid Asadi – PhD student in American Studies, Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran. 16th Azar St., Enghelab Sq., Tehran, Iran. E-mail: Email:
Marzieh Javadi Arjmand – PhD in American Studies, Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran. 16th Azar St., Enghelab Sq., Tehran, Iran.
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DOI 10.24833/2071-8160-2018-4-61-219-240 (Читать статью в PDF)

The present paper aims to offer a conceptual exploration of the Presidential-Congressional relations in the US foreign policy decision-making. The US foreign policy decision-making arguably takes place within a functional synthesization of compromised bureaucratic rationality on the one hand, and the ideological, partisan and institutional interests and tendencies of individuals in possession of power on the other. In such a setting, the argument being put forth is that the Presidency is generally situated and equipped reasonably the best to deal with foreign affairs while the gamut of the Congressional authority in foreign policy varies based on the type of decisions made, playing a key role in distribution of resources to achieve particular objectives. In other words, the process of US foreign policy decision-making occasionally lacks the essential structural efficiency to prevent the executive branch from circumventing the Constitution. An executive branch operating in secrecy without legislative accountability is undoubtedly dangerous; therefore, a host of specialized means and preventive measures are required to be taken and practiced in order to avoid such danger and help keep US political structure in checks and balances. Attempt is made to contextualize this argument within a) the domain of decision-making theoretical models presented by G. Allison, and then b) rather practical discussions on requirements of foreign policy proposed by L. Hamilton followed by, c) a brief overview on actual developments affecting power relations in US foreign policy after the Cold War.

Key words: USA, Congress, president, foreign policy, decision-making, theoretical models.

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