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A Creative Tension

, 108 pages
October 2002



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A Creative Tension

The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress

A Creative Tension is a fresh look at the foreign policy roles of Congress and the president by one of the most astute congressional practitioners of foreign policy of recent decades, former U.S. representative and chairman of the House International Relations Committee Lee H. Hamilton. With an insider's perspective based on thirty-four years in Congress, Hamilton elucidates current domestic and international pressures influencing U.S. foreign policy, strengths and weaknesses in the foreign policy process, and ways to improve the performance of the president and Congress. A Creative Tension argues persuasively and elegantly that better consultation between the executive and legislative branches is the most effective way to strengthen American foreign policy.

A Creative Tension is the most extensive analysis of the congressional and presidential roles in foreign policy by a former member of Congress. Hamilton explores the topic in an original, stimulating, and accessible manner by deftly mixing incisive commentary with illuminating personal reflections. The book includes timely and important recommendations for improving the ability of Congress and the president to develop a foreign policy that meets the challenges and opportunities of a post-September 11 world. It should be of interest to foreign policy makers, scholars and students of American politics, and the general public.Wilson Forum

Lee H. Hamilton was U.S. Representative from Indiana from 1965 to 1999, a member of the House's Committee on International Relations for his entire tenure, ranking Democrat on that committee for ten years, and chairman of the committee for two. He is now director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. Jordan Tama, until recently special assistant to the director at the Woodrow Wilson Center, is a graduate student at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University

"This is the best participant/practitioner work on the topic by far. There is a need for it, and the best feature is that it is by a highly respected participant in the congressional-executive relationship, Lee Hamilton."

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