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Ethnic interest groups and American Foreign Policy: sources of influence

Erdoğan, Celil
Ethnic interest groups have historically played a role in the making of American foreign policy but their influence has increased especially following the end of the Cold War. This influence has important repercussions on American foreign policy towards the home countries of the powerful ethnic groups and the regions that these countries are located in. Within this context, this thesis examines the sources or the reasons of the influence of ethnic interest groups on American foreign policy, which has also affected Turkish-American relations significantly. It first focuses on the structural factors that make ethnic influence possible such as the characteristics of the American political system and the important role that Congress plays in the formulation of foreign policy. It then discusses the organizational factors such as organizational strength and using of successful persuasion and dissuasion methods that make it possible to influence American foreign policy. It ends with a normative discussion on the desirability of ethnic influence on American foreign policy.