Master of Arts (MA)
Semester of Degree Completion
Lilian A. Barria
This thesis analyzes U.S. foreign policy and presidential decision-making during an international crisis. I use a case study analysis of the 1994 Rwandan genocide to determine the impact of Congress, public opinion, and the media on President Bill Clinton's foreign policies during the crisis. To accurately analyze these relationships, I present data on Clinton's behavior and policies during the Rwandan crisis. I argue that in the initial stages of an international crisis Congress, the public, and the media will be more likely to approve of the president's polices while in the latter stages Congress, the public, and the media will be more likely to disapprove of the president's policies. I define the initial stages of an international crisis as the first half of the crisis and I define the latter stages of an international crisis as the second half of the crisis. Using Congressional data, public opinion polls, and media reporting through the New York Times my research finds that Congress, the public, and the media were supportive and uncritical towards the president during the initial stages of the international crisis in Rwanda. However, during the latter stages of the crisis, I find that Congress and the media opposed and criticized the president's policies, while public opinion was more likely to approve and support the policies pursued by the president.
Bergbower, Matthew, "The Impact of Congress, Public Opinion, and the Media on United States Foreign Policy: The Case of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide" (2004). Masters Theses. 1323.