Ethnic Identity Groups and U.S. Foreign Policy

By Thomas Ambrosio | Go to book overview

NOTES
1.
Quoted in Frank Greve, “Ethnic Lobby Powers Up, ” The Armenian Reporter 28, no. 50 (1995): 16.
2.
Very often, ethnic identities themselves are based on religious differences (Jewish- or Muslim-Americans) or racial categories (African-Americans). Consequently, it is difficult to separate ethnic, religious, and racial identities because they often overlap. In order to capture the widest possible range of groups, this definition is purposefully broad. Thus, it captures identities such as “whiteness” and “Anglo-Saxon Protestant.”
3.
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Disuniting of America (New York: Norton, 1992).
4.
Samuel P. Huntington, “The Erosion of American National Interests, ” Foreign Affairs 76, no. 5 (1997): 28-49; James Schlesinger, “Hyphenating Foreign Policy, ” National Interest 62 (Winter 2000-2001): 110-13.
5.
James Nathan and James Oliver, Foreign Policy Making and the American Political System (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), 197-215.
6.
Stephen A. Garrett, “Eastern European Ethnic Groups and American Foreign Policy, ” Political Science Quarterly 93, no. 2 (1978): 305.
7.
John W. Dietrich, “Interest Groups and Foreign Policy: Clinton and the China MFN Debates, ” Presidential Studies Quarterly 29, no. 2 (1999): 280-96.
8.
Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, eds., introduction to Ethnicity: Theory and Practice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1975), 23.
9.
For an overview of the terminological chaos that too often plagues discussions of the relationship between state, nation, and ethnicity, see Walker Connor, “A Nation Is a Nation, Is a State, Is an Ethnic Group, Is a … , ” in Ethnonationalism: The Question for Understanding (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994), 90-117.
10.
It is important to note that in some cases, ethnic identity groups can reinforce policies that are deemed in U.S. national interests, independent of any ethnic lobby influence. For example, American support for Israel, its opposition to the Castro regime in Cuba, and American resistance to Soviet control over Eastern Europe, though supported by ethnic lobbies, were by almost any objective standard in line with U.S. national interests. The role of ethnic lobbies was to augment the legitimacy of these policies and strengthen U.S. commitments abroad. The close correspondence between ethnic lobby support and U.S. interests could be a potential problem if changes in America's international environment call for new policies and a particular ethnic lobby prevents these changes. For example, the end of the Cold War and the collapse of worldwide communism has not resulted in the removal of U.S. trade sanctions against Cuba, largely because of the strength of the Cuban-American lobby.
11.
Louis L. Gerson, The Hyphenate in Recent American Politics and Diplomacy (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1964). Some writers have dropped the hyphen when designating American ethnic groups such as African American, Asian American, or Serb American. However, in the context of this book, the hyphen has been kept, not to designate disloyalty to the United States (at no time is that implied by the contributors of this volume) but rather to recognize the importance of ethnic identities when formulating foreign policy. If ethnicity were irrelevant to one's “American” identity, the entire notion of a multicultural foreign policy would be moot.

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