Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Bischof, Gunter

Second Advisor

Brown, Nikki

Third Advisor

Mokhiber, James


The distribution of power between the executive branch and the legislative branch in the realm of foreign policy is a delicate balance and one that has been debated since the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. The debate has gotten no less intense and no less crucial in the modern, nuclear age, and it remains unresolved. The Reagan administration's foray into Nicaragua during the 1980's and its confrontations with Congress during that time period illuminate the complexities of the power-sharing arrangement in foreign policy and offer the ideal case study of executive-legislative war power. The lessons to be drawn from America's involvement in Nicaragua are that the expanded Presidential power in the realm of foreign policy are necessary for the safety of the country in today's world, but dangerous without the vigorous oversight and ultimate check by Congress.


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