from Politics, Power, and Preventive Action and Center for Preventive Action

Presidents and Foreign Policy: A Conversation with Elizabeth Saunders

March 29, 2016

Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

Can high-level diplomatic visits, such as President Obama’s recent trip to Cuba, fundamentally transform bilateral relations? Why do two presidents facing the same foreign conflict diagnose the nature of the underlying threat differently, and thus pursue different intervention strategies? Do American voters really care about foreign policy?  I discuss these questions—plus her current research and career advice for young scholars—with Elizabeth N. Saunders, assistant professor of political science and international affairs at the George Washington University, and currently a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at CFR.

Prof. Saunders is the author of “Leaders at War: How Presidents Shape Military Interventions” (Cornell University Press, 2011), and most recently coauthored with James H. Lebovic, “The Diplomatic Core: How the United States Employs High-Level Visits as a Scarce Resource,” a fascinating article in International Studies Quarterly, which was summarized at Monkey Cage. Follow her research on Twitter @ProfSaunders.