Today's Foreign Policy Issues
Democrats and Republicans
by Trevor Rubenzer
June 2017, 400pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4366-2
$107, £80, 93€, A145
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4367-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In 1945, Republican Senator Vandenberg delivered a key speech in which he argued that partisan politics “must stop at the water’s edge.” Is this still the case in U.S. politics?

Examines the perspectives of Democrats and Republicans on dozens of major foreign policy issues of the 21st century, illuminating both areas of consensus and issues where partisan divisions are wide.

From the earliest days of the republic through the Cold War and to the present day, American foreign policy has been colored by the beliefs and values of America’s major political parties. Surveying the breadth and depth of partisan divisions on a variety of key foreign policy issues yields a better understanding of how partisanship has helped define U.S. leadership in the modern era.

This book treats 38 individual foreign policy issues, each chosen for its timeliness and importance to American interests in the 21st century. For example, readers will learn about the partisan feelings regarding U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba that surfaced in the wake of President Obama’s visit to Cuba in 2016 and his decision to resume diplomatic relations. These feelings serve as an excellent example of both partisan and intergovernmental divisions on a key U.S. foreign policy issue.

Each entry contains an historical overview that will quickly bring readers “up to speed” on the issue, followed by an authoritative survey of positions and statements held by presidents, key leaders of Congress, and other important voices in both the Republican and Democratic parties. The book will serve as a vital and highly accessible reference for anyone—undergraduate university students, advanced high school students, and general readers—who needs a one-stop source for information about partisanship and U.S. foreign policy.


  • Presents both historical and contemporary examples of partisan divisions on key foreign policy issues that clarify the impact of partisanship on politics and foreign policy
  • Examines a wide variety of partisan actors and sources—including the party platform, unelected party elites and advisors, members of Congress, U.S. presidents, and presidential candidates—for their unique perspectives on foreign policy issues
  • Supplies cross-referenced coverage of related foreign policy topics, such as ISIS, Syria, Iraq, and terrorism
Trevor Rubenzer, PhD, is associate professor of political science at the University of South Carolina Upstate. His research specializes in the impact of ethnic identity groups on U.S. foreign policy. Rubenzer's work has appeared in several journals, including American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, and Foreign Policy Analysis.


"The third volume in the publisher’s Across the Aisle series, after economic and social issues were explored, follows the same format of presenting in a clear, balanced, and succinct way the key positions of the major parties through the 2016 campaign. . . . .The sections convey the mix of internal viewpoints objectively and how rhetorical positions often differ from voting and priorities. The glossary, bibliography, and accurate index add to the work’s value."—Booklist, September 1, 2017

"This volume treats the differences on 37 present foreign policy issues. . . Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels."—Choice, December 1, 2017

"[D]oes a good job describing Republican and Democratic political stances on a multifaceted array of foreign policy issues confronting the United States during the Trump Administration. . . . Recommended for undergraduate students."—ARBAonline, May 1, 2018
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