Interaction: Foreign Policy and Public Policy

Interaction: Foreign Policy and Public Policy

Interaction: Foreign Policy and Public Policy

Interaction: Foreign Policy and Public Policy

Excerpt

Public policy can conveniently be divided into a domestic component and a foreign component. Accordingly, each component should be expected to possess characteristics common to public policy and each to possess its own distinctive properties as well. Domestic policies are those that are implemented primarily within the territorial and jurisdictional boundaries of the state. In contrast, foreign policy is implemented primarily outside the country and is directed toward the governing authorities or nationals of other states and international organizations. The basic constituencies of foreign and domestic policy have also traditionally been different, although for some issues, domestic groups may be quite active on behalf of foreign policy issues that affect the domestic well-being of their members or foreign groups with which they have a strong affiliation. In the same manner and for the same reasons foreign constituencies may be quite active in domestic issues. The policy processes also show some marked differences between the making of domestic policy and the making of foreign policy. Domestic policy has generally been more involved in public debate, political controversy, and group conflict than foreign policy, which frequently has been the province of a specialized elite operating against a background of public indifference or deference.

It is, however, inappropriate to conclude from these differences that foreign policy is distinct from or not a part of public policy in the United States. Foreign policy is public policy in the same way that domestic policy is public policy. Both constitute public policy because they involve the authoritative allocation of resources and the promotion or protection of values through governmental institutions and processes.

Foreign and domestic policy frequently present different aspects of the same issue, whether political, economic, or social. Although . . .

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