Presidential Saber Rattling: Causes and Consequences

Presidential Saber Rattling: Causes and Consequences

by B. Dan Wood


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The founders of the American republic believed presidents should be wise and virtuous statesmen consistently advocating community interests when conducting American foreign policy. Yet the most common theoretical model used today for explaining the behavior of politicians is grounded in self-interest, rather than community interest. This book investigates whether past presidents acted as noble statesmen or were driven by such self-interested motivations as reelection, passion, partisanship, media frenzy, and increasing domestic support. The book also examines the consequences for the nation of presidential behavior driven by self-interest. Between 1945 and 2008, presidents issued 4,269 threats to 19 different countries. Professor B. Dan Wood evaluates the causes and consequences of these threats, revealing the nature of presidential foreign policy representation and its consistency with the founding fathers' intentions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107661905
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/06/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

B. Dan Wood is Professor and Director of the American Politics Program at Texas A&M University. He is the author of The Myth of Presidential Representation (Cambridge University Press, 2009), The Politics of Economic Leadership: The Causes and Consequences of Presidential Rhetoric (2007) and co-author of Bureaucratic Dynamics: The Role of Bureaucracy in a Democracy (1994).

Table of Contents

1. Presidential saber rattling in the early American republic; 2. Presidential saber rattling and presidential representation; 3. Measuring presidential saber rattling; 4. The causes of presidential saber rattling; 5. The domestic consequences of presidential saber rattling; 6. The foreign policy consequences of presidential saber rattling; 7. The Bush war on terror and presidential foreign policy representation; 8. Wisdom, virtue, and presidential foreign policy representation.

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