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Best Foreign Policy Books To Read

Until you’ve consumed all of the best Foreign Policy books, can you even claim to be a true fan?

1. A Concise History of U.S. Foreign Policy (2017)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadNow in a fully updated edition that goes through the Obama administration and the election of Donald Trump, this compact and accessible introduction offers a historical perspective on the evolution of U.S. foreign policy from the founding to the present. Joyce P. Kaufman provides students with a clear and concise understanding of key decisions and why they were made. She identifies the major themes that have guided foreign policy and the reasons that the United States pursued the policies that it did in the context of specific periods in the…
Author(s): Joyce P. Kaufman

2. Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938 (2010)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadSince it first appeared in 1971, Rise to Globalism has sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The ninth edition of this classic survey, now updated through the administration of George W. Bush, offers a concise and informative overview of the evolution of American foreign policy from 1938 to the present, focusing on such pivotal events as World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, and 9/11. Examining everything from the Iran-Contra scandal to the rise of international terrorism, the authors analyze-in light of the enormous global power of the United States-how American economic aggressiveness,…
Author(s): Stephen E. Ambrose, Douglas G. Brinkley

3. Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors, Cases (2016)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadThis ground breaking text provides the ideal introduction to the ever-changing field of foreign policy. With a unique combination of theories, actors and cases in a single volume, the expert contributors provide students with a valuable and accessible introduction to what foreign policy is and how it is conducted. With an emphasis throughout on grounding theory in empirical examples, the textbook features a section dedicated to relevant and topical case studies where foreign policy analysis approaches and theories are applied. The expert team of contributors clearly conveys the connection between international relations theory, political…
Author(s): Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield, et al.

4. A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order (2018)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadThings fall apart; the center cannot hold. The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. Respect for sovereignty alone cannot uphold order in an age defined by global challenges from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons to climate change and cyberspace. Meanwhile, great power rivalry is returning. Weak states pose problems just as confounding as strong ones. The United States remains the world’s strongest country, but American foreign policy has at times made matters worse,…
Author(s): Richard Haass

5. US Foreign Policy 3e (2018)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadGiving students a perspective on US foreign policy that is critical and connected, US Foreign Policy, Third Edition, is the student toolkit for navigating the ever-changing dynamics of the subject area.Using the book, students learn how to critically assess US foreign policy, as they are presented with diverse political perspectives and given the tools to come to their own conclusions.Carefully developed “major debates” and “controversies” features help students to connect theory with the real-world politics. As policy continues to change before our eyes, US Foreign Policy, Third Edition, brings together the world’s leading…
Author(s): Michael Cox, Doug Stokes

6. American Foreign Policy Since World War II (2018)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadThe Gold Standard for Textbooks on American Foreign Policy American Foreign Policy Since World War II provides you with an understanding of America’s current challenges by exploring its historical experience as the world’s predominant power since World War II. Through this process of historical reflection and insight, you become better equipped to place the current problems of the nation’s foreign policy agenda into modern policy context. With each new edition, authors Steven W. Hook and John Spanier find that new developments in foreign policy…
Author(s): Steven W. Hook, John W. Spanier

7. American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st Century (Fifth Edition) (2013)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadA balanced and contemporary introduction to U.S. foreign policy, with a built-in reader. Written by one of the leading scholars in the field, American Foreign Policy focuses on foreign policy strategy as well as foreign policy politics. The heavily revised Fifth Edition offers greater emphasis on the role that domestic politics and institutions (both formal and informal) play in shaping American foreign policy. A consistent strategic framework (the four Ps: Power, Peace, Prosperity, and Principles) keeps students thinking analytically about policy decisions. And new chapters on key geopolitical regions apply the core concepts from both…
Author(s): Bruce W. Jentleson

8. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (2013)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadIs it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are? Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence? Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably…
Author(s): Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson

9. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (2008)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadThe Israel Lobby,” by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory. Originally published in the London Review of Books in March 2006, it provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy. Now in a work of major importance, Mearsheimer and Walt deepen and expand their argument and confront recent developments in Lebanon and Iran. They describe the…
Author(s): John J. Mearsheimer, Stephen M. Walt

10. U.S. Foreign Policy: The Paradox of World Power (2016)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadThe same aspects of American government and society that propelled the United States to global primacy have also hampered its orderly and successful conduct of foreign policy. This paradox challenges U.S. leaders to overcome threats to America′s world power in the face of fast-moving global developments and political upheavals at home. The fully updated Fifth Edition of Steven W. Hook’s U.S. Foreign Policy: The Paradox of World Power explores this paradox, identifies its key sources and manifestations, and considers its future implications as it asks whether U.S. foreign policymakers can manage these…
Author(s): Steven W. Hook

11. America’s Foreign Policy Toolkit: Key Institutions and Processes (2012)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadHow is foreign policy in the United States really crafted? In America′s Foreign Policy Toolkit, Charles A. Stevenson identifies what the key foreign policy tools are, which are best for which tasks, and what factors constrain or push how they′re used, bringing fresh insight into the challenges facing national security decisionmakers. Engagingly written with examples drawn from “behind the scenes,” Stevenson brings depth and dimension to the institutions and processes of foreign policy. This brief text looks first at the historical context and then in turn at the tools available to the president and congress, and to the…
Author(s): Charles A. Stevenson

12. US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy: The Evolution of an Incidental Superpower (2014)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadSafe from the battlefields of Europe and Asia, the United States led the post–World War II global economic recovery through international assistance and foreign direct investment. With an ardent decolonization agenda and a postwar legitimacy, the United States attempted to construct a world characterized by cooperation. When American optimism clashed with Soviet expansionism, the United States started on a path to global hegemony.In US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy, the authors analyze the strategic underpinnings of hegemony, assess the national security establishment…
Author(s): Derek S. Reveron , Nikolas K. Gvosdev , et al.

13. American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future (2017)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadGlenn Hastedt’s clear and succinct introduction to the field prepares students to think about America’s changing role in the world and to develop the critical thinking skills needed to participate in the debate about the conduct and content of American foreign policy. He begins by asking “What do we mean by foreign policy and what is the national interest?” Next, Hastedt looks to the past and examines the defining experiences that have helped to shape American foreign policy today. Third, he looks at how American foreign policy is made in the current hyperpartisan political climate. Here Hastedt…
Author(s): Hastedt Professor, Glenn P.

14. Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy (2006)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To ReadThe first edition of Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy is one of the most successful Brookings titles of all time. This thoroughly revised version updates that classic analysis of the role played by the federal bureaucracy—civilian career officials, political appointees, and military officers—and Congress in formulating U.S. national security policy, illustrating how policy decisions are actually made. Government agencies, departments, and individuals all have certain interests to preserve and promote. Those priorities, and the conflicts they…
Author(s): Priscilla Clapp, Morton Halperin, et al.

15. Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World (2002)

 Best Foreign Policy Books To Read“God has a special providence for fools, drunks and the United States of America.”–Otto von BismarckAmerica’s response to the September 11 attacks spotlighted many of the country’s longstanding goals on the world stage: to protect liberty at home, to secure America’s economic interests, to spread democracy in totalitarian regimes and to vanquish the enemy utterly.One of America’s leading foreign policy thinkers, Walter Russell Mead, argues that these diverse, conflicting impulses have in fact been the key to the U.S.’s success in the world. In a sweeping new synthesis, Mead uncovers four distinct…
Author(s): Walter Russell Mead, Richard C. Leone

Best Foreign Policy Books to Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some foreign policy books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Australian Public Opinion, Defence and Foreign Policy: Attitudes and Trends Since 1945

Author(s): Danielle Chubb, Ian McAllister
ID: 2883260, Publisher: Springer Singapore;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2021, Size: 3 Mb, Format: pdf

Indian Foreign Policy and Cultural Values

Author(s): Kadira Pethiyagoda
ID: 2889120, Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2021, Size: 4 Mb, Format: pdf

Explaining Foreign Policy in Post-Colonial Africa

Author(s): Stephen M. Magu
ID: 2895770, Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2021, Size: 3 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are absolutely chart-busters according to Washington Post, others are composed by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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