Separation of Powers: Competition, Conflict, and Cooperation

Louis Henkin

in Foreign Affairs and the United States Constitution

Published in print November 1996 | ISBN: 9780198260981
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682193 | DOI:
Separation of Powers: Competition, Conflict, and Cooperation

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Both the president and Congress command vast powers in foreign affairs, but the distribution of constitutional authority between them, even as originally conceived, as surely is now realised, is not what it is in domestic affairs. The classic separation of powers between executive and legislative obtains in some measure in foreign affairs as well, but also a division of the power to ‘legislate’ foreign policy between the two political branches, and some concurrent authority. The president makes foreign policy by his conduct of foreign relations generally; by international acts as sole organ or as Commander in Chief (including some deployments of U.S. forces); Congress makes foreign policy by regulating foreign commerce and intercourse, and by other legislation that impinges on U.S. foreign relations; by spending for the common defense and by some of its spending for the general welfare; by declaring and making war; by adopting statutes or resolutions defining executive authority.

Keywords: president; Congress; separation of powers; executive; legislative; foreign relations; foreign policy

Chapter.  20063 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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