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Title: Discretion and Constraint in Post-9/11 U.S. Foreign Policy
Authors: Hsu, David T.
Advisors: Milner, Helen V.
Keohane, Robert O.
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: 9/11
Foreign Policy
Subjects: Political Science
International relations
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks catalyzed powerful pressures for strategic reorientation across many channels of U.S. foreign policy. This dissertation explains why non-military policy patterns alternately withstood or conformed to post-9/11 demands for change. I argue that policies were a function of varied security rationales. The president pushed for increasingly discretionary authority in order to link foreign economic issues with shifting bilateral security goals. With respect to regulatory issues, the president wanted to impose constraints on prior discretion so that cross-border flows of funds, goods, and people might be more rigidly scrutinized. These security motivations interacted with existing political coalitions and economic interests, producing differential lines of resistance. I apply this argument to four issue-areas: (1) U.S. foreign aid allocation and (2) the administration of trade preferences for developing countries, both areas that involved status quo legislative constraints on executive authority; (3) visa issuance, in which organizational processes inhibited change from above; and (4) international anti-money laundering, in which organizations outside of the U.S. government wielded considerable authority. The empirical analysis employs new datasets, statistical methods, and in-depth case studies. Mirroring other periods of heightened security concern, the evidence cumulatively shows that increased presidential foreign policy authority reached well beyond conventional areas of security policy. Even so, a diverse range of state and private stakeholders contested issue linkages forged on the basis of national security priorities. The politics of responding optimally to terrorism have been tightly related to the political economy of globalization. My conclusion therefore stresses the enduring importance of synthesizing security-oriented and political economy perspectives for studying critical foreign policy junctures.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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