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Dangerous democracies and partying prime ministers : domestic political contexts and foreign policy

Author: Chad Atkinson
Publisher: Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, ©2010.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"This book examines why elected leaders pursue foreign policies that are remarkably distant from their proposed policies. To investigate this pattern this book develops a model of how the foreign policy preferences of the executive and the government in the legislature interact over the electoral cycle to affect democratic leaders' foreign policy choices. The executive is cross-pressured when the foreign policy that  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Chad Atkinson
ISBN: 9780739133590 0739133594 9780739133613 0739133616
OCLC Number: 460059393
Description: xv, 133 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Ch. 1. Domestic Sources of International Behavior --
Ch. 2. Concepts --
Ch. 3. Parties in Israel --
Ch. 4. From Game Theory to Statistical Testing --
Ch. 5. Hypotheses --
Ch. 6. Summary: Where to go from here.
Responsibility: Chad Atkinson.
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Abstract:

"This book examines why elected leaders pursue foreign policies that are remarkably distant from their proposed policies. To investigate this pattern this book develops a model of how the foreign policy preferences of the executive and the government in the legislature interact over the electoral cycle to affect democratic leaders' foreign policy choices. The executive is cross-pressured when the foreign policy that the legislature wants is not the same policy that the executive's constituents want." "Getting votes is clearly more important when elections are near, so democratic leaders weigh these competing demands differently over the course of the electoral cycle. This is what can lead to trends in foreign policy: the executive first chooses policies that mollify the legislature and later reverts to the policies that please his or her constituents when elections draw near. The book pursues these ideas with a game theoretic model and a set of statistical assessment of multiple cases (Israel and the Palestinians, the US and the USSR, and others) to provide a rigorous and logical framework to the argument. The central findings are that democratic institutions and processes (i.e. the domestic context) have a predictable influence on foreign policy choices over time; some configurations of preferences, electoral systems, and election timing are not conducive to peace. Rather than the diversionary hypothesis that conflict is likely before an election - since a boost to executive popularity would be particularly valuable at that moment - a more nuanced finding is reported. Leaders rally around the party and not the flag. When elections approach, leaders pursue policies that are popular with their constituents; politicians from the left pursue more pacific policies and pollticians from rightist parties tend to be more confrontational."--Jacket.

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Professor Atkinson makes an important contribution to the literature on democracy and foreign policy orientation. The deductive theoretical work is top-notch and supported by empirical analysis. -- Read more...

 
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