1st Edition

The Obama Doctrine A Legacy of Continuity in US Foreign Policy?

Edited By Michelle Bentley, Jack Holland Copyright 2017
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    President Obama’s first term in office was subject to intense criticism; not only did many feel that he had failed to live up to his leadership potential, but that he had actually continued the foreign policy framework of the George W. Bush era he was supposed to have abandoned. This edited volume examines whether these issues of continuity have been equally as prevalent during the president’s second term as his first. 

    Is Obama still acting within the foreign policy shadow of Bush, or has he been able to establish his own approach towards international affairs, distinct from his predecessor? Within this context, the volume also addresses the idea of legacy and whether Obama has succeeded in establishing his own distinct foreign policy doctrine. In addressing these questions, the chapters explore continuity and change from a range of perspectives in International Relations and Foreign Policy Analysis, which are broadly representative of a spectrum of theoretical positions.

    With contributions from a range of US foreign policy experts, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of US foreign policy, Foreign Policy Analysis and American politics.



    [Jack Holland and Michelle Bentley]

    Section 1: Power and tradition: Situating Obama’s Foreign Policy

    1 Ending 'permanent war': Security and economy under Obama

    [Nicholas Kitchen]

    2 Restraint and constraint: A cautious president in a time of limits

    [Adam Quinn]

    3 Obama as modern Jeffersonian

    [Jack Holland]

    Section 2: The language and culture of the War on Terror

    4 Ending the Unendable: The rhetorical legacy of the War on Terror

    [Michelle Bentley]

    5 War on Terror II: Obama and the adaptive evolution of US counterterrorism

    [Richard Jackson and Chin-Kuei Tsui]

    6 Shifting binaries: The colonial legacy of Obama’s War on Terror

    [Ben Fermor]

    7 Identity, affective attachments, and US-Iranian nuclear posture

    [Ty Solomon]

    Section 3: Obama’s major challenges

    8 Plus ça change? Reflecting on Obama’s nuclear agenda and legacy

    [Jason Douglas and Andrew Futter]

    9 The assassin in chief: Obama’s drone legacy

    [Christopher Fuller]

    10 Hard choices in democracy promotion: Obama and Egypt

    [Nicolas Bouchet]

    11 US-Russia relations in Obama’s second term: A damage limitation exercise

    [Maxine David]

    12 The US and China: Obama’s cautious engagement

    [Oliver Turner]

    13 Energy security under Obama: Some hope, but not much change

    [Jonna Nyman]

    Section 4: The Obama Doctrine: Its place in history

    14 For the record: (Re)constructing Obama’s foreign policy legacy

    [Lee Jarvis and Michael Lister]


    Michelle Bentley is Lecturer in International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

    Jack Holland is Associate Professor in International Security at the University of Leeds, UK