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Watchdogs on the hill : the decline of congressional oversight of U.S. foreign relations

Author: Linda L Fowler
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2015.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"An essential responsibility of the U.S. Congress is holding the president accountable for the conduct of foreign policy. In this in-depth look at formal oversight hearings by the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, Linda Fowler evaluates how the legislature's most visible and important watchdogs performed from the mid-twentieth century to the present. She finds a noticeable reduction in public  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Fowler, Linda L., 1945-
Watchdogs on the hill
(DLC) 2014044323
(OCoLC)894625153
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Linda L Fowler
ISBN: 9781400866465 1400866464
OCLC Number: 903900764
Description: 1 online resource.
Contents: List of Illustrations ix List of Tables xi Preface xiii Acknowledgments xvii PART I Information, Regular Order, and Democratic Accountability in International Affairs Introduction Oversight Hearings and U.S. Foreign Policy 3 Chapter 1 Guarding the Guardians through Oversight 21 Chapter 2 Committee Motivations for Oversight 47 PART II Oversight Hearings and Regular Order in U.S. Foreign Relations Chapter 3 Institutional Change and Senate Committee Hearings 71 Chapter 4 Committee Goals and Oversight Strategies 98 Chapter 5 Police Patrols and Fire Alarms in U.S. Foreign Policy 132 PART III Reclaiming Congressional War Powers Chapter 6 Return to the Rule of Law in International Affairs 171 Chapter 7 Reforming National Security Oversight in the Senate 186 Appendix A Coding Congressional Committee Hearings 203 Appendix B Description of Dependent and Independent Variables 209 Appendix C Methodological Appendix to Chapter 3 212 Appendix D Methodological Appendix to Chapter 4 218 Appendix E Methodological Appendix to Chapter 5 225 References 235 Index 251
Responsibility: Linda L. Fowler.

Abstract:

"An essential responsibility of the U.S. Congress is holding the president accountable for the conduct of foreign policy. In this in-depth look at formal oversight hearings by the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, Linda Fowler evaluates how the legislature's most visible and important watchdogs performed from the mid-twentieth century to the present. She finds a noticeable reduction in public and secret hearings since the mid-1990s and establishes that American foreign policy frequently violated basic conditions for democratic accountability. Committee scrutiny of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, she notes, fell below levels of oversight in prior major conflicts.Fowler attributes the drop in watchdog activity to growing disinterest among senators in committee work, biases among members who join the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, and motives that shield presidents, particularly Republicans, from public inquiry. Her detailed case studies of the Truman Doctrine, Vietnam War, Panama Canal Treaty, humanitarian mission in Somalia, and Iraq War illustrate the importance of oversight in generating the information citizens need to judge the president's national security policies. She argues for a reassessment of congressional war powers and proposes reforms to encourage Senate watchdogs to improve public deliberation about decisions of war and peace.Watchdogs on the Hill investigates America's national security oversight and its critical place in the review of congressional and presidential powers in foreign policy"--

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"[T]his book is an important contribution to the debate on the role of Congress in making foreign policy and, perhaps, even provides a guide for a way out."--Choice

 
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