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Competency of the American Congress regarding foreign politics and safety

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  1. Une méthode particulière : l'individualisme méthodologique
    1. Le subjectivisme
    2. Le rôle de la connaissance chez l'individu et ses implications sur la logique de marché
  2. La théorie des cycles économiques et le rejet de toute intervention étatique
    1. La place centrale de la monnaie et une approche particulière du capital
    2. L'interventionnisme monétaire facteur de déséquilibre
  3. Conclusions en terme de politique économique et exemples d'application
    1. L'interventionnisme économique (dans la sphère réelle tout comme dans la sphère monétaire) n'est pas viable à long terme
    2. Application des théories autrichiennes dans le monde anglo-saxon au cours des années 1980

?Historically, there exists a cyclic correlation between the evolution of the American foreign politics and the role played by the Congress. Thus, the phases of extroversion of America always corresponded to an assertion of the executive and those of introversion to a renewal of influence of the legislature?.

In this work, Justin Vaisse makes a historical assessment of the variable influences that the executive and the legislative powers exert on the formulation and the implementation of the American foreign politics, after the American Civil War and extending until 2008. In the majority of the Western democratic regimes, it is the executive power which enjoys a form of pre-eminence with regard to foreign politics and safety.

Nevertheless, in order to preserve a certain balance of power, the philosophical debate of the American Republic made it possible to register in the Constitution of September 17, 1787, a certain number of competences which the legislative bodies of government can exert in order to control the action of the capacity of the executive and the White House in foreign politics. Which are the competences of the Congress as regards foreign politics and safety?

The U.S. Congress has two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate, upper house of the American legal system, represents the states. It consists of 100 members with two representatives per state. The House of Representatives has 435 members, each state electing a number of representatives proportional to its demographic weight. In theory, the Senate is deemed to represent the states, and the House of Representatives, the U.S. citizens.

The constitutional debate on the division of powers between the Congress and the presidency in foreign policy dates back to the philosophy of the "Founding Fathers" and has undergone constant changes. This debate is concurrent with two elements: first, it comes from the reflection on the authority of the President itself from the Congress, and, second, extending the powers of the president in foreign policy stems from the fact that the United States finds itself in the midst of greater international affairs, from the late nineteenth century in particular.

This debate and the various changes are discussed by Louis Balthazar, the latter referring to the confrontation between two theses to supervise the practice of the respective prerogatives of the executive and legislative branches left in the dark by the constitution and brought about by the international politics: the thesis of the constitutional authority of Congress and the thesis of the supremacy of President. In addition, the powers of the President in foreign policy and security have increased during the Cold War, from Harry Truman's warrant, and strengthened with the emergence in the 1970s of the practice of "Imperial Presidency" in the words of Arthur Schlesinger Jr. The formal powers of Congress in foreign policy and security, are set out in Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution.

Thus, if the President of the United States increased his prerogatives in foreign policy and security, does the Congress have the political means to act to influence the definition and monitoring of the policy?

Tags: the Senate and the House of Representatives, authority of the President

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