American Foreign Policy: Cases and Choices (Foreign Affairs Books)

January 01, 2004

Book
Foreign policy analyses written by CFR fellows and published by the trade presses, academic presses, or the Council on Foreign Relations Press.

More on:

United States

Politics and Government

Pundits often treat foreign policy decision making as a simple matter of morality or politics, and academics often ignore it entirely, viewing policy as driven not by individual officials but by broad structural forces. Foreign policy professionals, in contrast, generally see the subject as an arena of constrained choice. They try to figure out just how much freedom of action they actually have in a particular situation, and debate how best to use that freedom to advance the national interest. The hallmark of the serious professional's approach to foreign policy is not certainty but doubt; they live in a world with no easy answers, only an endless series of unpleasant tradeoffs. This collection is an introduction to that world. Originally published in Foreign Affairs, the essays gathered here offer a broad array of opinions on pressing topics ranging from handling rogue states to humanitarian intervention, from designing trade policy to dealing with the UN to managing relations with China.

More on:

United States

Politics and Government

Top Stories on CFR

United States

Progress on President Biden’s climate agenda will slow with a split Congress. But with federal efforts dulled, state-level action could supply added momentum.

International Organizations

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in Qatar, and billions of fans worldwide are tuning in to the world’s most popular live event. And yet as in years past, the Qatar Cup is transpiring under the shadow of controversy.

Middle East and North Africa

The kafala system regulates the lives of tens of millions of migrant laborers in the Middle East, but growing outrage over human rights abuses, racism, and gender discrimination has fueled calls for reform.