The Personality of the President as a Factor in Shaping the Foreign Policy Agenda of the United States (the Case of Obama)

The Personality of the President as a Factor in Shaping the Foreign Policy Agenda of the United States (the Case of Obama)

Kasatkin P.I.,

Dr. Sci. (Philos,), Professor, Department of World Political Process, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University), MFA of Russia, Moscow, Russia,

elibrary_id: 624018 |

Ivkina N.V.,

post-graduate student, Department of Theory and History of International Relations, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia,

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.01.11

For citation:

Kasatkin P.I., Ivkina N.V. The Personality of the President as a Factor in Shaping the Foreign Policy Agenda of the United States (the Case of Obama). – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No. 1. P. 125-135. (In Russ.).


The article is devoted to consideration of the role of Barack Obama’s personality in making foreign policy decisions in the US. It provides analysis of the key mechanisms of leader’s influence on the formation of US foreign policy and the consequences of such influence. The analysis of public speeches of the US president helps to reveal his attitude towards the main issues of the political agenda. The authors analyze the statements in his speeches, such as Christian values, exceptional role of the American state, the basic steps of the first and second election campaigns of Obama and their distinguishing characteristics from other US president elections. There are parallels between the personality of Barack Obama with persons who have left their mark in American history, such as Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. The authors analyze the major mistakes made by Obama during the events of the Arab spring, which is the reason for selection of the time frame for the research (from the presidential election in 2008 to the events of the Arab Spring in 2011). The double standards used by the president since his first appearance, in which he commented on the events in the Middle East and North Africa, forced us to look for ulterior motives in the actions of the USA on the world stage. The goals Obama outlined during the presidential election race weren’t achieved during the Arab spring. Consideration of his role as an individual in yet another Middle East issue, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, led to the conclusion that it was another failure of the US president to pursue a balanced foreign policy. The attempt to assume the role of a mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict failed. Moreover, there was an important background of all the events in the Middle East, namely contradictions between the US president and his administration. As a result, the conclusion is made about the role of Obama in shaping of the US foreign policy, as well as about the extent of its influence on the formation of the international agenda. 

USA; Barack Obama; presidential elections; the Arab Spring; the Middle East and North Africa; the American dream.


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Content No. 1, 2017

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