chapter  7
28 Pages

Liberals, Populists, Libertarians, and Conservatives: The Link between Domestic and International Affairs [1996]

Some years ago, three perceptive analysts of foreign a airs, one of whom now serves as the Clinton administration’s national security adviser, complained that, “For two decades, the making of American foreign policy has been growing far more political-or more precisely, far more partisan and ideological” (Destler, Gelb, and Lake, 1984: 13). Is their assessment valid a decade later? Alternatively, have some mitigating factors reduced the doleful impact of partisan and ideological cleavages on the conduct of American diplomacy? At least two possibilities come to mind. One involves the erosion of the sharp dividing line

between domestic and foreign policy issues, and whether, as a result, positions on domestic issues have dampened partisan-ideological divisions by creating cross-cutting rather than overlapping cleavages. As we shall see later, evidence in support of this possibility is not hard to nd in the literature on American public opinion. Second, although there are also data showing a systematic correlation between attitudes on domestic and foreign policy, most of it was derived from the Cold War period. Have the dramatic international events of the decade, since the Destler-Gelb-Lake analysis, altered political attitudes su ciently to render their verdict obsolete? is chapter addresses these questions, focusing on American opinion leaders. A er examining the relationship between domestic and foreign policy beliefs over an eight-year period encompassing elite surveys in 1984, 1988, and 1992, a more detailed investigation analyzes responses to a wider range of issues in the most recent of these surveys.