HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 5 no. 2 (2005)

Asia-Pacific Policies of the Kennedy, Johnson and Reagan Administrations: Accessing Secret US Executive Branch Documents

Vincent Kelly Pollard



Success and failure in foreign policymaking can be understood by tracing narrative case studies focused on power sharing. The key is to focus on the extent and manner in which executive policymakers share power-willingly and unwillingly, inside and outside their governments, inside and outside their societies. Developing appropriately documented, well-focused analytic narratives or case studies requires that the policy researcher locate, access, evaluate and synthesize a range of sources. In my experience, documents useful in answering these questions may be found in Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (especially the White House Central Files) and at the Department of State.