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Richard G. Lugar, Statesman of the Senate

Crafting Foreign Policy from Capitol Hill

John T. Shaw

Publication Year: 2012

Two-time chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard G. Lugar has been one of the most widely respected foreign policy experts in Congress for over three decades. In this illuminating profile, John T. Shaw examines Lugar's approach to lawmaking and diplomacy for what it reveals about the workings of the Senate and changes in that institution. Drawing on interviews with Lugar and other leading figures in foreign policy, Shaw chronicles Lugar's historic work on nuclear proliferation, arms control, energy, and global food issues, highlighting the senator's ability to influence American foreign policy in consequential ways. The book presents Lugar's career as an example of the role Congress can play in the shaping of foreign policy in an era of a strong executive branch. It demonstrates the importance of statesmanship in contemporary American political life while acknowledging the limitations of this approach to governance.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. xi-xii

Richard G. Lugar has been one of the most influential U.S. senators in the realm of foreign policy for more than a quarter of a century. While he has not always attracted as much attention as some of his Senate colleagues, Lugar’s accomplishments place him in the upper echelon...

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1 Snapshots of a Statesman

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pp. 1-20

One of the last places in the world one might expect to find a senior American senator during the waning days of summer is on the western fringe of Siberia gazing at a half-finished bridge. But for Senator Richard Lugar, the two-time chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now its top Republican, the bridge...

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2 The Senator from Indiana

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pp. 21-39

On March 18, 2009, near the end of a series of Senate votes on a controversial public lands management bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped the Senate’s proceedings to pay tribute to Richard Lugar, “the senator from Indiana.” Lugar had just cast his 12,000th vote as a U.S. senator. Only...

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3 The Tools of the Trade

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pp. 40-60

In September 2005, Richard Lugar gave a lecture at the Library of Congress sponsored by the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, a research center based at New York University. The center was beginning a lecture series to consider how Congress shapes American public policy...

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4 A World Awash in Weapons

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pp. 61-72

In May 2009, Richard Lugar attended a conference on Islam hosted by the Aspen Institute in Dubrovnik, Croatia. After the initial session concluded, Lugar left and headed for the airport, where he boarded a U.S. military plane for a 5-hour flight to Chelyabinsk, Russia, on the western edge of Siberia...

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5 Ending the American Addictionto Foreign Oil

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pp. 73-93

On a cold, windy late October day in 2006, Richard Lugar sat in a small storefront office in Fowler, Indiana, sipping coffee from a Styrofoam cup and listening to a discussion about the power of wind. Seated next to two state legislators, Lugar paid close attention as Wayne Hoffman, the president of Orion...

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6 The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

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pp. 94-120

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have dominated American foreign policy for a decade, igniting high-decibel exchanges about their importance to the nation’s security. Richard Lugar has been an active participant in these debates but has had only marginal influence on the shaping of war policy. Some analysts and even...

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7 Fixing Foreign Aid

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pp. 121-133

When Richard Lugar delivered a major foreign policy address at the National Defense University a few weeks before the 2008 presidential election, his remarks attracted attention for the balanced way he discussed the agendas of the two presidential candidates—Barack Obama and John McCain...

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8 Combatting the Global Food Crisis

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pp. 134-143

Richard Lugar is not usually one for superlatives. But when he speaks about Norman Borlaug his words are full of admiration, even awe. They reflect both the senator’s idea of what constitutes a valuable career and also the importance of bold American-supported efforts to help feed the world. In a tribute to Borlaug...

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9 Transforming America’s Relationshipwith India

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pp. 144-162

The first day of October 2008 was not a typical day in the U.S. Senate. With the global economy melting down and the U.S. presidential race heating up, the attention of most of the country and much of the world was focused on Washington and on Congress’s upper chamber. Senate leaders had scheduled a vote that evening...

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10 Sisyphus on the High Seas

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pp. 163-172

Richard Lugar’s long advocacy of the Law of the Sea Treaty has not earned him many headlines in Indiana, or any other place in the United States for that matter. But he has fought hard for the treaty because he believes it’s in the nation’s security, economic, and political interests. As a former naval officer knowledgeable about...

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11 Arms Control in the Twenty-First Century

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pp. 173-203

Richard Lugar has made a career of measuring his words carefully, of expressing even frustration and anger with restraint and understatement. But in November 2010, Lugar decided he had had enough and that it was time to speak out forcefully to his fellow Republicans. He had been consulting closely for almost a year with...

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12 Tending to the Homefront

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pp. 204-217

In the history of the U.S. Senate, about two thousand people have served in the upper chamber and less than two dozen have been elected to serve six terms. Many of those who have served this long came from states in which one party was in clear ascendancy throughout their political careers, so that once they secured a Senate seat they...

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13 The Statesman of the Senate

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pp. 218-228

The question of what constitutes excellence and statesmanship in the U.S. Senate has intrigued scholars, journalists and, not surprisingly, senators for almost as long as the upper chamber has been in existence. Senator John F. Kennedy led one notable attempt to identify the great senators of the past, an exercise that compelled him to think deeply...

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pp. 229-231

I would like to thank Senator Richard Lugar for cooperating with me on this project. The senator graciously met with me for many hours of interviews over the last 5 years. He has been willing to discuss his career, current projects, and the long-term challenges confronting the United States. While...


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pp. 233-244

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 245-247


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pp. 249-257

About the Author

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E-ISBN-13: 9780253007117
E-ISBN-10: 0253007119
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253001931

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2012

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Subject Headings

  • Lugar, Richard.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1977-1981.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- 1977-1981.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1981-1989.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- 1981-1989.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1989-.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- 1989-.
  • United States. Congress. Senate -- Biography.
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