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Testing Structural Explanations for U.S. Military Intervention: Do Support for the President and Conservatives in Congress Embolden the President?

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DOI: 10.4236/ojps.2019.92014    203 Downloads   337 Views

ABSTRACT

In this research, we use insights drawn from Institutional Theory to explore and test the ability of Congress to check presidential foreign policy decision-making. Specifically, we test structural explanations, which tap aggregate presidential support in Congress and legislator ideology. Our concern is whether these institutional dynamics associate with a president’s decision to conduct military operations. We analyze relationships in each chamber of Congress, independently, to test whether support or ideology is more or less significant in one chamber versus the other. We find, in the time period 1954 to 2013, a statistically and substantively important relationship between both presidential support in Congress and aggregate legislator ideology and the use of force decision. Moreover, this is the case in both chambers. In the testing, we control for the partisanship of the president, the political party which holds a majority of seats in each chamber, and a host of other considerations scholars argue will influence the likelihood of a show of force.

Cite this paper

Afrimadona,  . and Schraufnagel, S. (2019) Testing Structural Explanations for U.S. Military Intervention: Do Support for the President and Conservatives in Congress Embolden the President?. Open Journal of Political Science, 9, 253-275. doi: 10.4236/ojps.2019.92014.

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