You are here

U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. Foreign Policy
The Paradox of World Power

Fifth Edition
Additional resources:

January 2016 | 520 pages | CQ Press
The same aspects of American government and society that propelled the United States to global primacy have also hampered its orderly and successful conduct of foreign policy. This paradox challenges U.S. leaders to overcome threats to America's world power in the face of fast-moving global developments and political upheavals at home. This fully updated Fifth Edition of Steven W. Hook’s respected text explores this paradox, identifies its key sources and manifestations, and considers its future implications as it asks whether U.S. foreign policymakers can manage these dynamics in a manner that preserves U.S. primacy.

PART I. The Setting of U.S. Foreign Policy
Chapter 1: The United States in a Turbulent World
Snapshot: America’s World Power  
Challenges to U.S. Primacy  
The Paradox of America’s World Power  
Chapter 2: The Expansion of U.S. Power
Economic and Territorial Expansion  
Fighting Two World Wars  
Global Primacy and the Cold War  
New Challenges after the Cold War  
Chapter 3: Dynamics of Decision Making
The Global Context: Rival Perspectives  
Opening the “Black Box” of Domestic Politics  
The Impact of Civil Society  
Coping with Bureaucratic Politics  
The Human Factor  
PART II. Inside-Out: Government Sources of Foreign Policy
Chapter 4: Presidential Power
The Constitution’s Mixed Blessing  
Presidential Prerogative in the “Zone of Twilight”  
Structures of the “Presidential Branch”  
Judicial Interventions in Foreign Policy  
Chapter 5: Congress beyond the “Water’s Edge”
Trends in Legislative-Executive Relations  
Constraints on Congressional Action  
Legislating Foreign Policy  
War Powers and the Use of Force  
The Power of the Purse  
Chapter 6: The Foreign Policy Bureaucracy
Agency Dysfunctions and the Paradox of World Power  
The Diplomatic Complex  
The Security Complex  
The Intelligence Complex  
The Economic Complex  
PART III. Outside-In: External Sources of Foreign Policy
Chapter 7: Public Opinion at Home and Abroad
Democracy and the Paradox of World Power  
Public Opinion since World War II  
Group Identities and Foreign Policy Views  
Chapter 8: The Impact of Mass Communications
Functions of the News Media  
Patterns of Foreign News Coverage  
Government Efforts to Control the Message  
The Social Media Revolution  
Online News and Views from Overseas  
Chapter 9: Social Movements and Interest Groups
Group Action and the Paradox  
Dynamics of Social Movements  
Types of Foreign Policy NGOs  
Group Strategies and Tactics  
Buying Power: The Corporate Connection  
PART IV. Policy Domains
Chapter 10: National Security and Defense Policy
The Foundation of Strategy  
Justifying the Use of Force  
The Nuclear Shadow  
Waging War on Terror  
Chapter 11: Economic Statecraft
Models of Political Economy  
The Balance of Economic Power  
Trade Policy as a “Two-Level Game”  
National Interests and Foreign Aid  
Economic Sanctions as a Policy Tool  
Chapter 12: Transnational Policy Problems
Managing the Global Commons  
The Immigration Debate  
The Dangers of Weapons Proliferation  
Promoting Human Rights and Democracy  
Signs of a More Peaceful World  


Student Study Site

SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. SAGE edge content is open access and available on demand. Learning and teaching has never been easier!

SAGE edge
for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment and features elements such as:
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards which strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes that allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material
  • An online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives that reinforce the most important material
  • Carefully selected video and multimedia content that enhance exploration of key topics
Instructor Resources Site

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy to provide a diverse range of test items.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Video and multimedia content that enhance student engagement and appeal to different learning styles
  • Instructor manual which summarize key concepts by chapter to ease preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • A set of all the graphics from the text, including all of the maps, tables, and figures, is available in PowerPoint, pdf, and JPEG formats for class presentations
  • A transition guide provides a chapter-by-chapter outline of key changes to the fifth edition

 “U.S. Foreign Policy: The Paradox of World Power is one of the most complete and comprehensive introductions to U.S. foreign policy available. It is well-written for a student audience, and I am impressed with just how comprehensive it is. Students who read this book will have a superb introduction to American foreign policy and how it is studied.”

Steven Livingston
Middle Tennessee State University

“Hook’s text is one of the leading foreign policy textbooks precisely because of its overall structure, approach, and balance of detail that supports the overarching theme—the paradox of power. Each edition improves on the last, providing students with a clear introduction to U.S. foreign policy.”

Peter H. Loedel
West Chester University

“Each time I teach the U.S. foreign policy course and use Hook’s book, students really read it. The writing style is clear and accessible, and students have even commented on the helpfulness of graphics. All in all, I continue to use U.S. Foreign Policy: The Paradox of World Power because my students respond to it so well.”

Linda Adams
Baylor University

Perfect text for understanding mechanisms of U.S. foreign policy making (actually it's one of two my crucial texts for the moment). Really great companion website.

Dr Marcin Grabowski
Political Science and International Relations, Jagiellonian University
May 27, 2016
Key features


  • New international coverage includes rapid developments in the global economy, the revival of great-power rivalry, and the growing influence of non-state actors. 
  • New domestic coverage includes trends in the U.S. economy, political polarization, bureaucratic rivalries, and the effects of social media as a primary venue for news. 
  • Greater attention is paid to clashes between the executive and legislative branches, the use of drone warfare as a tool of counterterrorism, the global policy impact of social media, and the roles played by think tanks in the policy process.
  • New learning objectives provide measurable takeaways for each chapter and guide students in close, focused reading. 
  • Up-to-date coverage reflects the latest scholarly literature and recent developments in U.S. foreign policy. 


  • “Point/Counterpoint” and “In Their Own Words” boxes summarize ongoing debates and provide insightful perspectives on the policy process. 
  • Up-to-date references direct readers to the vast supporting literature on U.S. foreign policy that informs research papers and subsequent study. 
  • Two useful appendixes list U.S. administrations since World War II and provide the text of the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Preview this book

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
*180 day rental