How do presidents matter in foreign policy?

posted by
February 9, 2011
The Monkey Cage
by Elizabeth Saunders  
Posted in Commentary

"As regular readers of The Monkey Cage know, the news media tends to put the sitting president at the center of its narratives, attributing decisions to the particular views, idiosyncrasies, and choices of each leader. Political scientists frequently take the opposite view, usually leaving leaders out of the equation on the grounds that it is difficult to determine how individuals shape political events. But this debate is unsatisfying. We don't have to believe that leaders matter in the 'great man' sense of one individual affecting the course of events in order to investigate how leaders matter, and if they do so in a regular pattern." (02/09/11)  

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