In This Review

Congress and the Foreign Policy Process: Modes of Legislative Behavior
Congress and the Foreign Policy Process: Modes of Legislative Behavior
By Cecil V. Crabb, Jr., Glenn J. Antizzo, and Leila E. Sarieddi
Louisiana State University Press, 2000, 247 pp
Foreign Policy and Congress: An International Relations Perspective
Foreign Policy and Congress: An International Relations Perspective
By Marie T. Henehan
University of Michigan Press, 2000, 213 pp
Friends and Foes: How Congress and the President Really Make Foreign Policy
Friends and Foes: How Congress and the President Really Make Foreign Policy
By Rebecca K.C. Hersman
Brookings Institution Press, 2000, 142 pp

Henehan tries to wrest this subfield away from those scholars who explain relations between the president and Congress just as a problem of American politics. She emphasizes the international trends that increase the pressure on U.S. institutions -- pressure that eventually surfaces in domestic upheavals. She marshals various methods and charts to make this evident and sensible insight plausible to her academic colleagues.

In her slim book, Hersman provides the most informative account of how executive-congressional interactions actually work. A former staffer in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, she outlines an "informal universe" of interaction, where personalities play a critical role, especially "issue leaders" within Congress. Interagency battles enlist congressional soldiers and the advocates, in and out of government, who cluster around particular issues. Cases on arms sales to Turkey, sanctions against Pakistan, and the battle over the Chemical Weapons Convention round out the argument, which suffers only from its inattention to the more complex world of trade and economic issues.