Presidential Personality and Foreign Policy Formulation: A Case Study of John F. Kennedy

Hi, everyone! My name is Hillary Webb and I’m a senior political science major at Denison University. I’m excited to meet all of you next month and start talking about our work!

For my research, I will be focusing on the driving force behind presidential leadership on the world stage. I use Jack Kennedy’s foreign policy endeavors as case studies to reinforce my claim that, while other factors do contribute to the foreign policy decisions of the president, the main factor at play in these choices is the president’s personality type according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (or MBTI).

Using the MBTI, I will lay out my reasoning for labeling Kennedy’s personality type as ISTP (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving) and show how those traits ultimately formulated his foreign policy. I’m intrigued by Jack Kennedy and excited to use him as a case study because of his record as a “Cold Warrior,” his quiet strength as a leader, and his intricacy as a person. By looking at the choices Kennedy made in the realm of international strategy, I hope that my study will facilitate a closer look at the integral role personality plays in a president’s understanding of the office and of the U.S. in a global context.

I look forward to hearing what you all think – see you soon!

Hillary

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