Presidents and Foreign Policy: A Conversation with Elizabeth Saunders

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Episode Guests
  • Micah Zenko
    Senior Fellow

Show Notes

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.

Politics and Government

I was joined this week by Daniel Drezner, professor of international politics at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and regular contributor to the Washington Post. Professor…


Senior Fellow Micah Zenko speaks with Temple University Assistant Professor of Political Science Alexandra Guisinger about her new book, American Opinion on Trade: Preferences Without Politics, and how gender and race affect support for trade protection.

Middle East and North Africa

Zenko is joined by Steven A. Cook, CFR's Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies. They discuss Cook's latest book, False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East, and U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa.

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