How can students best understand the ideas that animate U.S. foreign policy decisions and the processes that facilitate them? In American Foreign Policy: A Framework for Analysis, William O. Chittick, UGA professor emeritus of political science, identifies three value orientations—security, economic and community—that shape U.S. foreign policy. Chittick argues that it’s not enough to look at only one of these dimensions—security, in the case of most traditional texts—or even one at a time. Instead, he makes a cogent and convincing case for the systematic study of all three and explains why favoring any one dimension over another leads to oversimplification and faulty decision making.
Chittick applies a cohesive analytical framework throughout, covering the history of U.S. foreign policy as well and contemporary issues such as humanitarian interventions, global environmental problems and international terrorism.
This overview of the policy-making process considers the many policy inputs—the foreign and domestic political, economic and cultural factors that shape U.S. foreign policy outputs—from the perspective of the three dimensions.