Does Politics Stop at the Water's Edge? Domestic Political Factors and Foreign Policy Restructuring in the Cases of Great Britain, France, and West Germany

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Few scholars have attempted to uncover the constraints and stimuli underlying the ability of nations to engage in fundamental changes to the direction of their foreign policies. In this effort, we probe the dynamics of the elections and other domestic stimuli involved with the political calculus in democracies which may likely motivate foreign policymakers to engage in fundamental foreign policy restructurings in democratic polities. We apply the theoretical frame work to 20 years of foreign policy direction in West Germany, France, and Great Britain. Eight other western European democracies are also examined to illustrate the difference between the capabilities of “small” versus “large” states in effectuating changes to their foreign policy directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-643
Number of pages29
JournalThe Journal of Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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