Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Michelle Angrist




foreign policy, interventionism, ethnic lobbies, power


This thesis explores is aimed at understanding the domestic influences on American foreign policy. More specifically, this thesis focuses on the role of ethnic lobbies and their ability to influence the crafting of American foreign policy. This thesis will take an in-depth look at two of the most prominent ethnic lobbies operating in the American political arena today: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF). The goal of this thesis is to establish an understanding of the structure and root power of these groups in order to understand their influence on American foreign policy. Specific foreign policies of the United States will also be thoroughly explored in order to diagnose the influence of these lobbies on such policies. The two foreign policy positions that will be examined are the Cuban Embargo and the United States aid package to Israel. This thesis will explore the reasons for the perpetuation of these policies considering their fundamental failures at achieving their stated objectives. The basic conclusions unearthed in this thesis is that these two ethnic lobbies have achieved levels of power and influence that is unrivaled in their respective spheres of influence and it is this unbalanced power that has helped these organizations garner support for illogical policies. Finally, this thesis will offer some brief insights into what can be done to curb the power of overzealous ethnic lobbies.