Congressional foreign and defense policy decision making: A comprehensive examination across three categories of policy
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There is a well-established theory pertaining to congressional behavior that tells us that congressmen engage in activities (including roll call voting) that will benefit them eleetorally. Thus, this theory tells us that congressmen pay great attention to their constituency, who will ultimately decide whether to return them to office or eject them from office in place of someone else. A large body of literature exists that has examined congressional behavior in light of this theory. This literature, however, has generally not focused on congressional behavior on foreign and defense policy because, for so long. Congress was thought to defer to the president on foreign and defense policy. Since the end of the Vietnam conflict, however. Congress seems to have taken a more active role in foreign and defense affairs. Despite this apparent increase in congressional activity on foreign and defense policy, however, little empirical work has been conducted looking at the forces that influence congressional behavior on foreign and defense policy within the context of this theory of congressional behavior. In other words, congressional scholars have not done a very good job of pulling foreign and defense policy into their analysis, and foreign policy scholars have not done a very good job of incorporating the well-established theories of congressional behavior into their studies.