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U.S. Politics & Policy

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Beyond Gridlock

The “golden era” of American environmental lawmaking in the 1960s and 1970s saw twenty-two pieces of major environmental legislation (including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act) passed by bipartisan majorities in Congress and signed into law by presidents of both parties. But since then partisanship, the dramatic movement of Republicans to the right, and political brinksmanship have led to legislative gridlock on environmental issues.

The idea of the interconnectedness of nature is at the heart of environmental science. By contrast, American policy making and governance are characterized by fragmentation. Separation of powers, divergent ideologies, and geographical separation all work against a unified environmental policy. Nowhere does this mismatch between problem and solution pose a greater challenge than in climate change policy, which has implications for energy use, air quality, and such related areas as agriculture and land use.

Roots, Strategies, and Responses

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, scholars and policy analysts in national security have turned their attention to terrorism, considering not only how to prevent future attacks but also the roots of the problem. This book offers some of the latest research in terrorism studies. The contributors examine the sources of contemporary terrorism, discussing the impact of globalization, the influence of religious beliefs, and the increasing dissatisfaction felt by the world’s powerless.

Preemption, Regime Change, and US Policy toward Iran, Iraq, and North Korea

In January 2002, President George W. Bush declared Iran, Iraq, and North Korea constituents of an "axis of evil." US strategy toward each of these countries has clearly varied since, yet similar issues and policy options have emerged for US relations with all three. Reshaping Rogue States seeks to improve our understanding of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as well as of current and future policy options to combat the threats these nations pose.

Using Soft Power to Undermine Terrorist Networks

Although military operations have dominated media coverage of the war on terrorism, a much broader array of policy options may hold the key to reducing the appeal of global terrorist networks, particularly in economically destitute areas. These strategies involve the use of "soft power," a term first used by political scientist Joseph Nye in a 1990 article in Foreign Policy to describe nonmilitary strategies to shape international relations and behavior.

Winning Without War

On September 11, 2001, the United States began to consider the terrorist threat in a new light. Terrorism was no longer something that happened in other countries on other continents but became a pressing domestic concern for the US government and American citizens. The nation suddenly faced a protracted struggle.

International Perspectives on US Foreign Policy

The United States is the only superpower in the world today. Although the media are filled with prescriptions for how Washington might best wield its power, rarely are other countries asked what role they would like the United States to play.

More than a decade has passed since the end of the Cold War, but the United States has yet to reach a consensus on a coherent approach to the international use of American power. The essays in this volume present contending perspectives on the future of U.S. grand strategy. U.S. policy options include primacy, cooperative security, selective engagement, and retrenchment. This revised edition includes additional and more recent analysis and advocacy of these options.

Partnerships between the public and private sectors to fulfill public functions are on the increase at every level of government. In the United States and Canada they currently operate in most policy areas, and in the U.S. trial programs are planned by the Internal Revenue Service, the Census Bureau, and the Social Security Administration.

Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Terrorism and Covert Attack


Nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons delivered covertly by terrorists or hostile governments pose a significant and growing threat to the United States and other countries. Although the threat of NBC attack is widely recognized as a central national security issue, most analysts have assumed that the primary danger is military use by states in war, with traditional military means of delivery. The threat of covert attack has been imprudently neglected.

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