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The Crisis of American Foreign Policy

The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the Twenty-first Century

G. John Ikenberry
Thomas J. Knock
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Tony Smith
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 168
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  • Book Info
    The Crisis of American Foreign Policy
    Book Description:

    Was George W. Bush the true heir of Woodrow Wilson, the architect of liberal internationalism? Was the Iraq War a result of liberal ideas about America's right to promote democracy abroad? In this timely book, four distinguished scholars of American foreign policy discuss the relationship between the ideals of Woodrow Wilson and those of George W. Bush.The Crisis of American Foreign Policyexposes the challenges resulting from Bush's foreign policy and ponders America's place in the international arena.

    Led by John Ikenberry, one of today's foremost foreign policy thinkers, this provocative collection examines the traditions of liberal internationalism that have dominated American foreign policy since the end of World War II. Tony Smith argues that Bush and the neoconservatives followed Wilson in their commitment to promoting democracy abroad. Thomas Knock and Anne-Marie Slaughter disagree and contend that Wilson focused on the building of a collaborative and rule-centered world order, an idea the Bush administration actively resisted. The authors ask if the United States is still capable of leading a cooperative effort to handle the pressing issues of the new century, or if the country will have to go it alone, pursuing policies without regard to the interests of other governments.

    Addressing current events in the context of historical policies, this book considers America's position on the global stage and what future directions might be possible for the nation in the post-Bush era.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-2977-4
    Subjects: Political Science, Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
  3. Introduction Woodrow Wilson, the Bush Administration, and the Future of Liberal Internationalism
    (pp. 1-24)
    G. John Ikenberry

    Was George Bush the heir of Woodrow Wilson? This is a question of some importance. In the years since September 11, the Bush administration pursued one of the most controversial foreign policies in American history. It articulated a sweeping new doctrine of national security based on provocative ideas about American global dominance, the preventive use of force, coalitions of the willing, and the struggle between liberty and evil. In the spring of 2003, this doctrine provided the intellectual backdrop for the invasion of Iraq—a costly and contested war that has now gone on longer than America’s military involvement in...

  4. 1. “Playing for a Hundred Years Hence” Woodrow Wilson’s Internationalism and His Would-Be Heirs
    (pp. 25-52)
    Thomas J. Knock

    In early 1919, just as the leaders of the victorious nations gathered in Paris at the end of the Great War, George Bernard Shaw wrote a little book titledPeace Conference Hints. Midway into the treatise he observed that Europeans were so deeply impressed by the president of the United States that they regarded him as their own, as “our Wilson,” at least for the moment. “All Europe hails him as a godsend; half America groans under him as an affliction.” Alas, the playwright added, “American democracy . . . has accidentally produced a greater individual success than it is...

  5. 2. Wilsonianism after Iraq The End of Liberal Internationalism?
    (pp. 53-88)
    Tony Smith

    The repeated assertions by President George W. Bush since 2002 that the national security of the United States depends on the spread of democratic government to the Middle East qualify to make the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 a Wilsonian undertaking. While definitions of what constitutes Wilsonianism, or liberal internationalism, most certainly vary, and while the implementation of Wilsonian foreign policies by American presidents have shown greater variance still, it nonetheless remains the bedrock conviction of this framework for American foreign policy that wherever democratic government appears, American security interests are likely to be served. By contrast, corrupt and...

  6. 3. Wilsonianism in the Twenty-first Century
    (pp. 89-118)
    Anne-Marie Slaughter

    Woodrow Wilson brought America the progressive doctrine of “the new freedom.” That included tariff reform, a federal income tax, the Federal Reserve System, federal antitrust laws, child labor laws, federal aid to farmers, and an eight-hour day for railroad workers. Who today would not want to claim the mantle of being his heir? It is worth remembering his domestic accomplishments because they provide an important context for interpreting his international legacy. There too, Wilson was a president who sought to avoid war at all costs; who ran for reelection on a platform of keeping America out of war; and who...

  7. Notes
    (pp. 119-140)
  8. Contributors
    (pp. 141-142)
  9. Index
    (pp. 143-157)