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Three Approaches to Presidential Foreign Policy-Making in the Twenty-First Century

The Executive, the Magistrate, and the Maverick

Luis da Vinha and Anthony Dutton

Political scientists have long determined that a president’s relationships with his advisors is crucial in determining an administration’s policies. Over the last several decades, scholars of the presidency have paid particular attention to the advisory structures and processes involved in foreign policy decision-making. Their work has contributed to the development and refinement of three presidential management models to help frame the analysis of foreign policy-making: (1) formalistic model, (2) collegial model, and (3) competitive model. This book analyzes the management models employed by presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump throughout their presidencies by employing a structured-focus comparison method that is framed on a set of general and standardized questions used to analyze a series of case studies involving their Middle East policies. The book offers the first systematic comparative analysis of presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump’s management of foreign policy crises.

Luis da Vinha is Lecturer in International Relations at Flinders University. He received his Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Coimbra. His research has been published in Presidential Studies Quarterly, Journal of Policy History, Portuguese Journal of Political Science, and the Brown Journal of World Affairs, among others.

Anthony Dutton is Professor of History and Chair of the Social Science Department at Valley City State University. He earned his Ph.D. in North American history from North Dakota State University.