Toward a better union: improving the effectiveness of foreign policies
Bradshaw, Daniel J.
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A fundamental characteristic of state-state interaction in a globalized system is the explicitness with which states communicate their foreign policies to each other. In order to understand the role and the importance of foreign policy explicitness in the global foreign policy system, I first created a simple mesh model of the actors and institutions that form the U.S. foreign policy system. By optimizing this model with various systems engineering concepts, I discovered that foreign policy explicitness plays an important role in improving the effectiveness of the foreign policy system as a whole. I then applied this result to an analysis of U.S-China foreign policy relations since 1949 in order to determine how foreign policy explicitness has affected real-world state-state relations. By following the development of U.S.-China relations, I found that increases in foreign policy explicitness have been the precursor to many of the most important bilaterally beneficial developments in the U.S.-China relationship. Finally, I examined the U.S. foreign policy system in order to better understand the current state of U.S. foreign policy explicitness. I discovered that the U.S. is actively undertaking many initiatives that are increasing U.S. foreign policy explicitness; however, more can be done to focus this process.
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