Strategy in US Foreign Policy After the Cold War

By Nicholas Kitchen

© 2011 – Routledge

208 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415607506
pub: 2016-02-27
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About the Book

This book studies the debates surrounding the grand strategy of the United States following the Cold War. It assesses the strategic ideas that have been advanced to conceptualise American foreign policy, grouping these thematically under the headings of primacy, neo-isolationism and liberal multilateralism. The conceptual framework is within the neoclassical realist school of international relations theory, assessing particularly how strategic ideas in a given international system context are translated by the foreign policy executive into grand strategy. In doing so it covers the central contested ideas of American strategy after the Cold War: the level and form of American power; the nature of security threats; the role of idealism in foreign policy, in particular with regard to democracy promotion; the utility of international institutions; America’s appropriate place in the world; and the priority of domestic or international interests.

The book makes the case that the ideas of each strategic school-of-thought reflect both a distinctive theoretical understanding of international relations and a particular tradition in United States foreign policy. Furthermore, it makes the more general structural claim that under conditions of limited or contested threat such as the apparent unipolarity of the post-Cold War years, great power strategies are less determined by the imperatives of international structure, and the process of grand strategy formation reflects to an unusual degree the domestic concerns and balance of ideas of the foreign policy executive.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Neoclassical Realism and Strategic Ideas Section 1 2. Ideas In the American Experience Section 2: Ideal-Type Grand Strategies 3. ‘Come Home America’: Neoisolationists, Realists and the Retreat from Globalism 4. ‘Institutionalising America’: Liberal Multilateralism 5. American Primacy: Ensuring No Rivals Develop Section 3: Post-Cold War Grand Strategies 6. Bill Clinton’s Underrated Grand Strategy 7. George W. Bush and the Embrace of Empire 8. The Obama Doctrine: Renewing American leadership. Conclusions Strategies of Empire

About the Series

Routledge Studies in US Foreign Policy

This new series sets out to publish high quality works by leading and emerging scholars critically engaging with United States Foreign Policy. The series welcomes a variety of approaches to the subject and draws on scholarship from international relations, security studies, international political economy, foreign policy analysis and contemporary international history.

Subjects covered include the role of administrations and institutions, the media, think tanks, ideologues and intellectuals, elites, transnational corporations, public opinion, and pressure groups in shaping foreign policy, US relations with individual nations, with global regions and global institutions and America’s evolving strategic and military policies.

The series aims to provide a range of books – from individual research monographs and edited collections to textbooks and supplemental reading for scholars, researchers, policy analysts, and students.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General