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Presidents, Bureaucrats and Foreign Policy: The Politics of Organizational Reform

Presidents, Bureaucrats and Foreign Policy: The Politics of Organizational Reform

I. M. DESTLER
Copyright Date: 1974
Pages: 367
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x15zx
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  • Book Info
    Presidents, Bureaucrats and Foreign Policy: The Politics of Organizational Reform
    Book Description:

    The author has provided an epilogue which takes into account foreign policy developments since 1971. He considers the implications of the appointment of Henry Kissinger as Secretary of State and deals with some of the larger issues raised by the events of the past two years.

    Originally published in 1974.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6882-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Preface to the 1974 Edition
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    I. M. D.
  5. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-15)

    In March 1971, Senator Stuart Symington made a speech denouncing “the concentration of foreign policy decisionmaking power in the White House” which had deprived Secretary of State William P. Rogers of his rightful authority. What got the headlines was the Senator’s ad-libbed remark that Rogers was “laughed at” on the cocktail circuit as “Secretary of State in title only.”aBut what he was really attacking was “the unique and unprecedentedly authoritative role of Presidential Adviser Henry Kissinger,” who had become, said Symington, “clearly the most powerful man in the Nixon Administration next to the President himself.”¹

    Much of the press...

  6. CHAPTER TWO How Not to Reorganize the Government
    (pp. 16-51)

    Bureaucrats and academics alike have tired of the subject of foreign affairs organization. Both question the relevance of past studies to present problems. Both wonder whether organizational forms affect policy-making in anything like the intended ways. Both have doubts about the utility of “another study” to turn over ground already so amply plowed.

    Such skepticism has ample justification. Few problems have been probed as often since World War II as that of organizing our government for coherent and purposive foreign policy. At least thirteen major studies or proposals have appeared, most with some degree of official sponsorship.¹ Five Presidential Administrations...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Organization and Bureaucratic Politics
    (pp. 52-82)

    Bureaucratic politics is the process by which people inside government bargain with one another on complex public policy questions. Its existence does not connote impropriety, though such may be present. Nor is it caused by political parties and elections, though both influence the process in important ways. Rather, bureaucratic politics arises from two inescapable conditions. One is that no single official possesses either the power, or the wisdom, or the time to decide all important executive branch policy issues himself. The second is that officials who have influence inevitably differ in how they would like these issues to be resolved....

  8. CHAPTER FOUR What to Do? The Need for an Organizational Strategy
    (pp. 83-94)

    The bureaucratic politics view of government suggests considerable modesty about just how much coherence and central purpose can be brought to foreign policy. Yet it equally underscores the urgent need to try. It allows refuge neither in solutions that do not solve, nor in faith that the forces at work will produce happy policy results. A serious approach to the foreign affairs organizational problem must therefore combine the realist’s recognition of the motives that move men within the system, with the militant cry of reformers and protest movements, “Business as usual won’t do!” And it will require, in Max Weber’s...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE The Strategies of Presidents: Foreign Policy-Making under Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon
    (pp. 95-153)

    If coherence in foreign policy must be built around the President, a realistic approach to the problem requires a look at what specific Presidents have done. On what officials have they relied to control the executive branch foreign affairs agencies? Have they sought to build coherence around one subordinate, or several? To what extent have they sought enhanced influence through formal policy-making processes? Through informal personal relationships? To what extent did they pursue explicit foreign affairs organizational strategies at all?

    The decade ending in 1970 is a particularly fruitful period for seeking answers to these questions. It featured three very...

  10. CHAPTER SIX Problems with State: Presidential Dissatisfaction and Efforts at Reform
    (pp. 154-190)

    The expanded White House staff role in foreign policy did not come mainly by design. Though certainly premeditated in its Nixon-Kissinger phase, it grew earlier more as a cumulative response to State Department inadequacies as seen from the White House. Thus, any consideration of the possibility of reversing this trend, of moving away from a White House-centered foreign policy system and leaning instead on State for leadership, requires an explicit look at why Presidents have been so regularly dissatisfied with the Department.

    Dissatisfied they have been. Franklin Roosevelt enjoyed repeating the advice of one veteran FSO: “You can get to...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN Formal Approaches to Coherent Foreign Policy
    (pp. 191-213)

    One of the lessons of Chapter Five was the limited effectiveness of a system where only one official can speak for the President. One of the lessons of Chapter Six was the limited utility of a State Department reform effort attuned neither to Presidential nor Secretarial priorities. Together they reinforce the conclusion that bureaucratic actions—whether on policy or internal reform—will promote Presidentially-based policy coherence only to the extent that men possessing his confidence, attuned to his perspective, can influence them.

    Yet at best only a modest number of men will be able to speak or act for the...

  12. CHAPTER EIGHT The Uses of Staffs
    (pp. 214-253)

    On July 3, 1969, Under Secretary of State Elliot Richardson announced the creation of a new departmental unit, the Planning and Coordination Staff (S/PC). He characterized it as a “counterpart for the Seventh Floor” of the President’s NSC staff. Its approximately twenty professionals were to be divided between a “planning” group “focused on longer-range problems” and a “coordination” group concerned with “major day-to-day policy decisions.”¹

    S/PC replaced the once-renowned Policy Planning Council, whose work on the broader and longer-range aspects of policy had grown less and less relevant to top officials’ immediate priorities and preoccupations. And the lack of a...

  13. CHAPTER NINE Building Lines of Confidence: A State-Centered Organizational Strategy
    (pp. 254-294)

    To combine the realist’s caution and the reformer’s zeal has not been an easy task. This study has sought to stress the urgent need to bring greater coherence to foreign policy through organizational change. But it has found no shining solutions that others in their blindness have failed to perceive. Rather its pages tell a tale of proposals and approaches that have worked only partly when at all; of pervasive and persistent patterns of bureaucratic behavior which have prevailed over man’s efforts to rationalize the foreign policy process.

    Perhaps when more scholars have studied the foreign affairs bureaucracy and its...

  14. EPILOGUE The Nixon System—A Further Look
    (pp. 295-320)

    On August 22, 1973, President Nixon announced the resignation of William P. Rogers as Secretary of State and the choice of Henry A. Kissinger to replace him. Kissinger was to continue to hold the position of Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. The “purpose” of this new arrangement, said the President, was “to have a closer coordination” between the White House and the State Department. “Another purpose,” he added, was “to get the work out in the departments where it belongs.”¹

    Until this announcement, there had been remarkably little change in U.S. foreign policy-making since this book went...

  15. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. 321-322)
  16. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
    (pp. 323-342)
  17. Index
    (pp. 343-355)