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Democratic Commitments
Author: Lisa L. Martin

ISBN: 9780691009247
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 17 March 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.2
Description:


From the refusal of the U.S. Congress to approve fast-track trade authority and certain foreign aid packages to the obstacles placed by Western European parliaments in the path of economic integration, legislatures often interfere with national leaders' efforts to reach and implement predictable international agreements. This seems to give an advantage to dictators, who can bluff with confidence and make decisions without consultation, and many assume that even democratic governments would do better to minimize political dissent and speak foreign policy from a single mouth. In this thoughtful, empirically grounded challenge to the assumption that messy domestic politics undermine democracies' ability to conduct international relations, Lisa Martin argues that legislatures--and particularly the apparently problematic openness of their proceedings--actually serve foreign policy well by giving credibility to the international commitments that are made.

Examining the American cases of economic sanctions, the use of executive agreements versus treaties, and food assistance, in addition to the establishment of the European Union, Martin concludes that--if insti...

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