Think Tanks and Their Impact on US Foreign Policy in the MENA Area: Do They Matter?

Fouad Touzani


This paper examines the impact of US think tanks on US foreign policy in the MENA area using the Multiple-Streams theory with a focus on three Presidents. First, while Clinton and Obama heavily relied on foreign policy experts from many types of think tanks, Bush predominantly relied on advocacy think tanks, which had an impact on the Presidents’ foreign policies. Second, we found strong connections between policy recommendations of think tanks and foreign policies of the three Presidents; however, these connections cannot be causal relationships for two reasons. First, the alignment between the Presidents’ foreign policies and think tanks’ policy recommendations cannot always be attributed to the reputation of a particular think tank which aims at influencing policies.  Second, it is unclear whether the shift in a president’s foreign policy in the region is due to the political constraint of the opposition party in Congress or it is because of the strong pressure from think tanks.

Keywords: USA, think tanks, Middle East, foreign policy

DOI: 10.7176/IAGS/100-03

Publication date:July 31st 2023

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ISSN (Paper)2224-574X ISSN (Online)2224-8951

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