Authors' note: We would like to thank the Dirksen Congressional Center and the Research Services Council at the University of Nebraska-Kearney for their financial support of this project. We also thank Carie Steele for her research assistance and Marijke Breuning, Marie Henehan, John Vasquez, Mark Boyer, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions. Unfortunately, any errors are solely our responsibility.
Setting a Course: Congressional Foreign Policy Entrepreneurs In Post-World War II U.S. Foreign Policy
Version of Record online: 8 JUL 2004
International Studies Perspectives
Volume 5, Issue 3, pages 278–299, August 2004
How to Cite
Carter, R. G., Scott, J. M. and Rowling, C. M. (2004), Setting a Course: Congressional Foreign Policy Entrepreneurs In Post-World War II U.S. Foreign Policy. International Studies Perspectives, 5: 278–299. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-3577.2004.00174.x
- Issue online: 8 JUL 2004
- Version of Record online: 8 JUL 2004
- foreign policy;
“Congressional foreign policy entrepreneurs” are those legislators who initiate their own foreign policy agendas. These individuals seek to frame policy discussions and mobilize public and interest group interest; to direct congressional agendas toward specific foreign policy issues; to structure and influence the formulation of foreign policies by the executive branch; to revise, refocus, or reformulate foreign policies; to generate alternative and replacement foreign policies; and to fill policy vacuums with their own preferred foreign policies. This paper examines the evolution and impact of such entrepreneurs across the periods of the Cold War Consensus (1946–1967), the Cold War Dissensus (1968–1989), and the Post-Cold War (1990–2000). The paper first provides an overview of the concept of foreign policy entrepreneurs. It then turns to case studies of entrepreneurial initiatives from three prolific entrepreneurs whose careers span the post-World War II era: Senators Jacob Javits, Edward Kennedy, and Christopher Dodd. Together, the overview and cases shed light on the different avenues and activities that entrepreneurs use to address their preferred issues and the impact entrepreneurs have on policy, as well as highlight changes in both over time.