Scholarly Horizons: University of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate Journal


This comparative case study examines which factors lead the United States to reexamine its policies toward countries with which it has severed diplomatic ties. I theorize that two particular factors are instrumental in foreign policy decision-making when it comes to reversing US foreign policy to improve bilateral relations: perception of economic benefit for the US and perception of international pressure on the US to change its policy. I evaluate the presence and importance of these factors in the cases of US rapprochement with Iran, Libya, Vietnam, and Cuba, as they represent recent, major changes in the course of US foreign policy which cannot be explained by Cold War politics. I conclude that both perception of economic benefit for the US and international pressure are necessary for successful pursuit of rapprochement with the US.