Foreign Policy Advocacy and Entrepreneurship

How a New Generation in Congress Is Shaping U.S. Engagement with the World
Jeffrey S. Lantis
Junior foreign policy entrepreneurs in Congress are reshaping the United States’ foreign policy landscape


Foreign Policy Advocacy and Entrepreneurship shows how new and dynamic leaders in Congress are becoming highly influential in policymaking. Capturing the spirit of change in Washington, DC, it explores original case studies of eight US policymakers who challenged authority during the Obama administration—from war veterans and fundamentalist Christian activists to former spies and minority legislators. Newly elected representatives in both parties dove into issues that sometimes seemed well beyond the interests of their constituents and that defied their own party leadership. Setting the course for a new generation of lawmakers, junior entrepreneurs studied here employed a combination of formal legislative strategies for successful influence and informal networking, policy narratives, and communication strategies. While some congressional initiatives have succeeded in changing US foreign policy and others have failed, committed entrepreneurs appear to be gaining greater influence over US foreign policy in the polarized atmosphere of Washington, DC.
            Cases of entrepreneurship by junior members of Congress represent a puzzle for traditional foreign policy studies that focus on seniority, party discipline, and rigid institutional systems on Capitol Hill. By melding entrepreneurship and policy advocacy literature, this book advances a new typology of foreign policy entrepreneurship, recognizing the impact of multidimensional strategies of influence. The arrival of new members of the 116th Congress, the most diverse in history, provides an exciting laboratory to further test these propositions.

“In this well-crafted analysis, Lantis extends the study of congressional foreign policy entrepreneurs into the 21st century, demonstrating that a new generation of junior policymakers employ inside/outside strategies to overcome their lack of seniority to advocate for policy changes they desire.  This work extends the congressional foreign policy literature significantly.”
—Ralph G. Carter, Texas Christian University
Foreign Policy Advocacy and Entrepreneurship advances our understanding of congressional activity and entrepreneurship in foreign affairs. It is extremely well-written and researched, builds on the literature in this area, and will be widely read and cited in foreign policy analysis and the study of U.S. Foreign Policy.”
—Patrick J. Haney, Miami University
“This is an innovative and comprehensive study. . . It will be an important part of a renewed attention in Foreign Policy Analysis to parties and legislatures.”
—Juliet Kaarbo, University of Edinburgh
Cover: Architect of the Capitol
Jeffrey S. Lantis is Professor of Political Science at the College of Wooster.

Praise / Awards

  • "This book represents an important addition to our knowledge about the foreign policy role of Congress."
    Political Science Quarterly
  • "Foreign Policy Advocacy and Entrepreneurship has redirected our thinking about the manner in which Congress operates and influences foreign policy away from hierarchical structures and seniority to the personal experiences and views that junior members bring with them, along with the inside/outside strategies they employ to advance their foreign policy positions."
    Congress & the Presidency

Look Inside

News, Reviews, Interviews

Listen: Jeffrey Lantis interview for New Books Network Link | 7/2/2019
Read: Jeffrey Lantis piece on Monkey Cage for the Washington Post Link | 7/26/2019

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 318pp.
  • 3 tables, 15 charts.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2019
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-13131-0

Add to Cart
  • $89.95 U.S.

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  • Congress; foreign policy; entrepreneurship; strategy; advocacy; change; U.S.; advocacy coalition framework; Issue framing; Social media; Policy narratives; Senator; Elizabeth Warren; Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement; Representative; Carlos Curbelo; climate change; Will Hurd; cybersecurity; legislation; Tom Cotton; Iran nuclear deal; Tammy Duckworth; women in combat; Michele Bachmann; comprehensive immigration reform; Joe Manchin; UN Arms Trade Treaty; Chris Coons; Ebola; Zika virus; response