Introduction: Ronald Reagan’s Foreign Policy

  • Chae-Jin LeeEmail author
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency book series (EAP)


This chapter presents a thesis that Reagan’s foreign policy was not irresponsible or dangerous, but was rather sophisticated, nuanced, and effective. Reagan’s foreign policy was based on a dynamic interplay of three theoretical tendencies—realism, moralism, and pragmatism, which may at times confuse both supporters and detractors of his policy. Lee defines the concept of alliance politics and discusses its application to the Korean case. In dealing with an authoritarian ally of the United States, Lee compares and contrasts three approaches: “benign neglect” by Nixon, “public voice” by Carter, and “quiet diplomacy” by Reagan. Advocates and critics of quiet diplomacy are presented. The structure of Reagan’s foreign and security policy personnel and his diplomatic and managerial styles are discussed.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentClaremont McKenna CollegeClaremontUSA

Personalised recommendations