Poster or Presentation Title

The Relationship Between President Obama's Foreign Policy Decision Making, Public Opinion, and International Pressure: Guantanamo Bay, Intervention in Libya, and the Drone Program

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2017

End Date

April 2017

Department

Political Science

Abstract

Focusing on President Obama’s first term, this research analyzes what influenced President Obama's administration’s foreign policy decisions. Robert Putnam’s “Two Level game theory” is utilized in this study to understand what caused the administration to act, and how domestic or international influences persuaded these decisions. It is hypothesized that public opinion was not a factor in this process. This study evaluates three separate cases: the “closing” of Guantanamo Bay, the United States’ intervention in Libya, and the continuation of the drone program. Throughout each case, variables are examined including: arguments made by President Obama as to why the policies were implemented, arguments for the United States’ involvement from other countries, arguments made by political opponents as to why the policies were potentially a mistake, and statistics gathered from public opinion polls. Findings support the hypothesis that public opinion did not play any major role in President Obama’s foreign policy decision-making process. The idea that the United States plays the role as the “anchor of global security” makes the U.S. government feel compelled to uphold and remain dominant in international policy; therefore, international pressures are responsible for the United States’ action in international events.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. David Richards, Dr. Marek Payerhin

Rights Statement

The right to download or print any portion of this material is granted by the copyright owner only for personal or educational use. The author/creator retains all proprietary rights, including copyright ownership. Any editing, other reproduction or other use of this material by any means requires the express written permission of the copyright owner. Except as provided above, or for any other use that is allowed by fair use (Title 17, §107 U.S.C.), you may not reproduce, republish, post, transmit or distribute any material from this web site in any physical or digital form without the permission of the copyright owner of the material.

 
Apr 5th, 9:00 AM Apr 5th, 9:15 AM

The Relationship Between President Obama's Foreign Policy Decision Making, Public Opinion, and International Pressure: Guantanamo Bay, Intervention in Libya, and the Drone Program

Focusing on President Obama’s first term, this research analyzes what influenced President Obama's administration’s foreign policy decisions. Robert Putnam’s “Two Level game theory” is utilized in this study to understand what caused the administration to act, and how domestic or international influences persuaded these decisions. It is hypothesized that public opinion was not a factor in this process. This study evaluates three separate cases: the “closing” of Guantanamo Bay, the United States’ intervention in Libya, and the continuation of the drone program. Throughout each case, variables are examined including: arguments made by President Obama as to why the policies were implemented, arguments for the United States’ involvement from other countries, arguments made by political opponents as to why the policies were potentially a mistake, and statistics gathered from public opinion polls. Findings support the hypothesis that public opinion did not play any major role in President Obama’s foreign policy decision-making process. The idea that the United States plays the role as the “anchor of global security” makes the U.S. government feel compelled to uphold and remain dominant in international policy; therefore, international pressures are responsible for the United States’ action in international events.