Is Trump a Normal Foreign-Policy President?

What We Know After One Year

President Trump on Capitol HIll, January 2018. Joshua Roberts / Reuters

For scholars studying the effects of presidential leadership on U.S. foreign policy, Donald Trump’s surprise victory in 2016 has offered quite the test. What does it mean for the United States to elect a leader with no experience in government, little knowledge of foreign policy, and an explicit disdain for expertise?

After a year in office, Trump has confirmed a lot of what we knew about how leaders matter: he has held firm to the few beliefs he brought with him to office, demonstrated the importance of substantive knowledge (or lack thereof) for decision-making, and shown why advisers cannot substitute for experienced leadership. In other ways, he has proven a surprise, principally by failing to appoint people who could help him get what he wants. And as the world faces at least another three years of Trump, there are few reasons to think his behavior will change in the

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