Date of Graduation
This study argued that the U.S. Senate will play a larger role in foreign policy for two fundamental reasons. First, the foreign policy landscape in the U.S. has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. The Vietnam War and Watergate have called into question the wisdom of an "unchecked" executive branch, and the end of the cold war has removed the threat that justified executive dominance in the first place. Second, Senators are now more likely to view foreign policy issues as electorally beneficial. Economic concerns are causing Senators to look abroad in order to attract foreign corporations, and the diminishing importance of party loyalty among voters results in Senators having to work harder for votes. Modern Senators are therefore more likely to be active in foreign policy because they can no longer afford to leave any political stone unturned. This study, more specifically, found that the U.S. Senate, as an institution, is sponsoring more foreign policy bills in the early 1990s, than it did in the late 1970s and 1980s, and that more Senators are sponsoring these foreign policy bills. lt then examined which political variables appear to motivate Senate foreign policy bill sponsorship, and whether these same variables appear to influence Senate foreign policy voting behavior on the issue of arms sales to Saudi Arabia between the years 1978-1986. This study found that the ideology and level of urbanization variables best explain Senate foreign policy bill sponsorship, but that reelection variables best explain Senate foreign policy voting behavior. The presidential variable proved weak in both tests.
Patten, Joseph N., "Foreign policy Senators versus domestic policy Senators and the impact of a resurgent Congress on United States foreign policy: The case of arms sales to Saudi Arabia." (1996). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9562.