Trends in U.S. Foreign Policy Prioritizations, 2000 – 2019

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Lestina, Frederic
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Abstract
This paper examines trends in U.S. foreign policy priorities by recent U.S. presidents, using transcripts from Congressional foreign appropriations committees from 2000 to 2019. Textual analysis of the transcripts shows a divergence in distribution of key phrases, suggesting a possible shift in foreign policy focus by president. Differences in key phrases were also found during the two terms of the Bush and Obama presidencies, suggesting a shift in foreign policy priorities even under the same president. Although the limitations of this paper’s methodology preclude finding any conclusive shift in foreign policy priorities by president, this paper demonstrates the feasibility of applying basic text-mining techniques in answering social science questions where data can be found in text-based sources.
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Text Analytics, congress, foreign policy, international, president, text mining
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