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A comparison of the conventional arms transfer policies and practices of the Carter and Reagan administrations 1977-1985

A comparison of the conventional arms transfer policies and practices of the Carter and Reagan administrations 1977-1985
A comparison of the conventional arms transfer policies and practices of the Carter and Reagan administrations 1977-1985

This thesis compares and contrasts the declaratory and operational conventional arms transfer policies of the Carter and Regan Administrations. It investigates why the two President's declaratory policies were so different, but their operational policies so similar. Several factors account for this similarity in operation, key amongst which is the role of the bureaucracy as the implementor of arms transfer policy. Within the Carter Administration there were political appointees and bureaucrats opposed to the policy of arms transfer restraint (PD 13) introduced in May 1977. These two groups eroded the PD 13 policy from above and below. Political appointees had an important role in judging significant arms transfer requests and from the outset, these seuqential decisions undermined the PD 13 policy. The role of bureaucrats was particularly important in dealing with the day-to-day operation of the policy. The Reagan Administration's arms transfer policy was very different to its predecessors and stressed the positive role that such transfers could play. This led to expectations of increased sales. However, transfer levels did not increase dramatically. Once again the role of the bureaucracy was important, in particular a group of officials charged with protecting against loss of sensitive technology to the Soviet Union. This group vetoed certain arms sales and acted as an inhibitor on transfers. The theoretical thrust of this thesis concerns implementation theory. Through the case studies outlined above the applicability of implementation theory as an explanation of foreign policy outcomes is examined.

University of Southampton
Spear, Joanna
Spear, Joanna

Spear, Joanna (1989) A comparison of the conventional arms transfer policies and practices of the Carter and Reagan administrations 1977-1985. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis compares and contrasts the declaratory and operational conventional arms transfer policies of the Carter and Regan Administrations. It investigates why the two President's declaratory policies were so different, but their operational policies so similar. Several factors account for this similarity in operation, key amongst which is the role of the bureaucracy as the implementor of arms transfer policy. Within the Carter Administration there were political appointees and bureaucrats opposed to the policy of arms transfer restraint (PD 13) introduced in May 1977. These two groups eroded the PD 13 policy from above and below. Political appointees had an important role in judging significant arms transfer requests and from the outset, these seuqential decisions undermined the PD 13 policy. The role of bureaucrats was particularly important in dealing with the day-to-day operation of the policy. The Reagan Administration's arms transfer policy was very different to its predecessors and stressed the positive role that such transfers could play. This led to expectations of increased sales. However, transfer levels did not increase dramatically. Once again the role of the bureaucracy was important, in particular a group of officials charged with protecting against loss of sensitive technology to the Soviet Union. This group vetoed certain arms sales and acted as an inhibitor on transfers. The theoretical thrust of this thesis concerns implementation theory. Through the case studies outlined above the applicability of implementation theory as an explanation of foreign policy outcomes is examined.

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Published date: 1989

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Local EPrints ID: 461222
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/461222
PURE UUID: a00f58d2-e7d3-4ccf-8c0e-817bfcac8417

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 18:40
Last modified: 04 Jul 2022 19:57

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Author: Joanna Spear

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