All Japan Program Multimedia

Ballots, Bullets, and Bargains: American Foreign Policy and Presidential Elections

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  • David Kennedy ,

Audio and transcript from "Ballots, Bullets, and Bargains: American Foreign Policy and Presidential Elections," a book event for the publication that carries the same name. Author and Stanford researcher Michael Armacost presented insights from his book in conversation with Stanford emertius professor David Kennedy, moderated by Daniel Sneider.

Drawing on twenty-four years of experience in government, Michael Armacost explores how the contours of the U.S. presidential election system influence the content and conduct of American foreign policy. He examines how the nomination battle impels candidates to express deference to the foreign policy DNA of their party and may force an incumbent to make wholesale policy adjustments to fend off an intra-party challenge for the nomination. He describes the way reelection campaigns can prod a chief executive to fix long-neglected problems, kick intractable policy dilemmas down the road, settle for modest course corrections, or scapegoat others for policies gone awry.