Theme Panel: How Democratic is American Foreign Policy?

How Democratic is American Foreign Policy? How Democratic Should It Be?

The theme for this year’s meeting of the American Political Science Association is Democracy and its Discontents. Thus it seems an appropriate time to revisit a set of questions that have animated scholars for decades: How democratic is American foreign policy? How democratic should it be? To be more specific, to what extent does the direction of American foreign policy lie in the hands of an elite establishment versus the public at large? And what difference does it make – for better or for worse? Each of the scholars on this roundtable has engaged with these questions in their academic work, continuing a long-running debate among realists, liberals, and others. The participants cover a range of perspectives and issues, including who makes American foreign policy and how decision-makers are held accountable, the politics of national security, and the politics of trade.

Elizabeth Nathan Saunders, George Washington University (Chair)
Daniel W. Drezner, Tufts University (Presenter)
Alexandra Guisinger, Temple University (Presenter)
Sarah E. Kreps, Harvard University (Presenter)
John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago (Presenter)
John Schuessler, Bush School of Government and Public Service (Presenter)