Analysis of the Appointment of the First African American Ambassador to Apartheid-Era South Africa
Wills, Mary Jo
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This study applies the metaphor of two-level games to generate explanations of how and why President Reagan chose to appoint Edward J. Perkins ambassador to South Africa. It explored the relationship between national and international factors that may have influenced Reagan's decision, as well as his policy preferences, beliefs and values. International factors included U.S.-South Africa relations, alliances, international organizations, and transnational movements for human rights and racial equality. Among the domestic factors were the dynamics between the executive and legislative branches of government, interest groups, and activism. National and international politics and policies overlapped in four areas' "strategic interests, race, morality, and national values. Analysis of the evidence suggests that while international events were an important part of the context of the decision, domestic politics and the President's own views had the most influence on the decision. The Perkins appointment exemplified how a personnel selection might reaffirm national reconciliation of opposing views on race, ethnicity, democratic values and national interests.
- Doctoral Dissertations