Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Earl Conteh-Morgan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Peter Funke, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lawrence Morehouse, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marco Rimanelli, Ph.D.


presidency, post-cold war, news media, interest groups, public opinion


Domestic politics steered The 1994 Clinton Administration's response to the violence in Rwanda and Haiti. This dissertation takes a novel approach by employing a case study method to gauge the political capital of domestic variables such as the news media, interest groups, and public opinion. This dissertation argues that domestic variables' presence and absence can explain foreign policy outcomes in a post-Cold War era. The fear of another version of a "Black Hawk Down" forced the Clinton Administration to streamlined its support in foreign policy decisions requiring domestic input. The 1994 crises in Rwanda and Haiti offer two case studies where policymakers can examine the power of the news media, interest groups, and public opinion to influence foreign policy decisions. The narrative of the news coverage, interest groups, and public opinion provided the Clinton Administration with the political support it needed to use ground troops to restore "democracy" in Haiti. At the same time, the Clinton Administration echoed the public reluctance to get involved in Rwanda. The Clinton Administration's support of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 940 to provide troops to Haiti resulted in eliminating the military Junta. In contrast, the Clinton Administration did not support American troops on the ground in Rwanda, and the violence escalated into genocide.