International Relations

International Relations

The Failure of Foreign Policy Entrepreneurs in the Trump Administration

Roberta Haar Maastricht University
,
Lutz F. Krebs Author ORCID home | opens in new tab Maastricht University

Abstract

The relationship a president has with the heads of his departments is a defining characteristic of a presidency. Policy entrepreneurs require presidential support and political capital to increase the chances of policy success. This paper argues that Donald J. Trump has established a contractor presidency that is encumbered by a number of scenarios originally identified in Laffin’s (1996) study of the policy failures of George H.W. Bush’s administration. This investigation begins by first presenting the contractor model as a possible presidential strategy, and then establishes that Trump has embraced the contractor presidency as his approach towards foreign policy. We then identify alternate scenarios for a failed contractor presidency and consider whether these explanations apply to Trump’s version. We find that two of the five scenarios apply to Trump’s unsuccessful foreign policy: lack of support for his appointed officials and the appointment of inexperienced loyalists.

Content

Thumbnail image of content item

Comments

Log in using your APSA account or Register to comment open_in_new
Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy open_in_new – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here open_in_new .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy open_in_new and Terms of Service open_in_new apply.