UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

A rogue consensus : a limit to US foreign policy polarization? Kotb, Shereen


The leading prognosis of US foreign policymaking since the Vietnam War has been that ideology and partisanship have driven a wedge between American policymakers, causing them to have increasingly polarized foreign policy views and positions. The purpose of this study is to conduct a unique investigation of the effect of these factors in shaping foreign policymaking towards rogue states. In an attempt to test the limits of US polarization, this paper aims to investigate the patterns of legislative behavior towards rogue states in the US Senate from 1991 to 2017. This paper uses logistic and zero-inflated Poisson estimations on an original dataset to test the impact of ideology and partisanship on two areas of legislative behaviour: voting on legislation targeting rogue states and the sponsorship and cosponsorship of these bills. The former tests whether there exist differences in policy preferences towards rogues, while the latter tests whether there are differences in the level of engagement on the issue. The results of the paper reveal a surprisingly high degree of consensus among policymakers in their voting behaviour; most bills brought to a vote are passed with unanimous or almost-unanimous consensus. Meanwhile, an examination of the sponsorship and cosponsorship of these bills indicates that Republicans and conservatives are more active in proposing rogue-related legislation than Democrats and liberals. The results suggest that while partisanship and ideology may create differences in policy preferences on issues relating to rogue states, Republicans and conservatives are more active in crafting legislation. At the same time, their Democratic and liberal counterparts face few incentives to vote against them.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International