Jordan Tama, an awardee of a Negotiating Agreement in Congress grant (a component of the SSRC’s Anxieties of Democracy program) identifies an intriguing anomaly: greater bipartisanship in the US Congress on foreign policy than domestic issues. Tama examines the different forms this aisle-crossing may take—sometimes in broad opposition to the president’s policy preferences, and at other times when intraparty factions unite across party lines. He sees ideology, interest group politics, and institutional incentives as the key sources for foreign policy bipartisanship, and concludes with how these dynamics are playing out in the Trump administration.
Jordan Tama is associate professor in the School of International Service at American University and codirector of the Bridging the Gap Project. His research examines the politics and processes of US foreign and national security policy. His books include Rivals for Power: Presidential-Congressional Relations, 6th edition (coedited with James Thurber; Rowman & Littlefield, 2017); Terrorism and National Security Reform: How Commissions Can Drive Change During Crises (Cambridge University Press, 2011); and A Creative Tension: The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress (coauthored with Lee Hamilton; Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2002). He has also published articles based on his research in a variety of scholarly journals and outlets with broad readerships. He is currently writing a book about bipartisanship in US foreign policy. Tama received a Social Science Research Council Negotiating Agreement in Congress research grant in 2016–2017 for a project titled “Contributors to US Foreign Policy Bipartisanship.” His work on bipartisanship has also been supported by a Woodrow Wilson Center Fellowship, and informed by an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship.