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

Princeton University Press

"Is Woodrow Wilson's legacy still alive in American foreign policy? Has the Iraq War discredited intervention for liberal purposes? These are key questions for the next president and they are debated here by some of our best thinkers. This book makes a fascinating read."--Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University

"Have American efforts to promote democracy and multilateralism been fatally tainted by the war of choice in Iraq? Has Wilsonianism become a poisoned chalice? In this provocative study, four leading scholars of international relations examine, with shrewd insight and passionate conviction, the benefits and perils of American global intervention in the name of its democratic principles."--Ronald Steel, University of Southern California

"Tightly argued and closely reasoned, this book is a searching and unflinching examination of the Wilsonian legacy and its influence on the Bush administration, raising questions that will haunt policymakers for years to come."--Walter Russell Mead, Council on Foreign Relations

"In this book, four leading authorities have their say on Wilson, who remains, however interpreted and contested, the father of modern American foreign policy. We are all Wilsonians, whether we like it or not, and the authors suggest what this means. The Crisis of American Foreign Policy is timely, insightful, and provocative, and will promote further discussion."--H. W. Brands, University of Texas, Austin

"The authors of this book make a lively, topical, and important contribution to the debate on the meaning and value of Wilsonianism. Whether the invasion and occupation of Iraq should be seen as a violation of the Wilsonian tradition of multilateralism, or an instance of liberal Wilsonian interventionism, is consequential for us all, including the opinion shapers who will confront similar challenges in the future."--Michael Doyle, Columbia University

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About the author

G. John Ikenberry is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. Thomas J. Knock is associate professor of history at Southern Methodist University. Anne-Marie Slaughter is director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department. Tony Smith is professor of political science at Tufts University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2009
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Pages
157
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ISBN
9780691139692
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / International
Political Science / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Democracy
Political Science / Political Process / Leadership
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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G. John Ikenberry
The end of the Cold War was a "big bang" reminiscent of earlier moments after major wars, such as the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the end of the World Wars in 1919 and 1945. Here John Ikenberry asks the question, what do states that win wars do with their newfound power and how do they use it to build order? In examining the postwar settlements in modern history, he argues that powerful countries do seek to build stable and cooperative relations, but the type of order that emerges hinges on their ability to make commitments and restrain power.

The author explains that only with the spread of democracy in the twentieth century and the innovative use of international institutions--both linked to the emergence of the United States as a world power--has order been created that goes beyond balance of power politics to exhibit "constitutional" characteristics. The open character of the American polity and a web of multilateral institutions allow the United States to exercise strategic restraint and establish stable relations among the industrial democracies despite rapid shifts and extreme disparities in power.

This volume includes a new preface reflecting on the reverberating impact of past postwar settlements and the lessons that hold contemporary relevance. Blending comparative politics with international relations, and history with theory, After Victory will be of interest to anyone concerned with the organization of world order, the role of institutions in world politics, and the lessons of past postwar settlements for today. It also speaks to today's debate over the ability of the United States to lead in an era of unipolar power.

G. John Ikenberry
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 Policy exposes 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.

G. John Ikenberry
The end of the Cold War was a "big bang" reminiscent of earlier moments after major wars, such as the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the end of the World Wars in 1919 and 1945. Here John Ikenberry asks the question, what do states that win wars do with their newfound power and how do they use it to build order? In examining the postwar settlements in modern history, he argues that powerful countries do seek to build stable and cooperative relations, but the type of order that emerges hinges on their ability to make commitments and restrain power.

The author explains that only with the spread of democracy in the twentieth century and the innovative use of international institutions--both linked to the emergence of the United States as a world power--has order been created that goes beyond balance of power politics to exhibit "constitutional" characteristics. The open character of the American polity and a web of multilateral institutions allow the United States to exercise strategic restraint and establish stable relations among the industrial democracies despite rapid shifts and extreme disparities in power.

Blending comparative politics with international relations, and history with theory, After Victory will be of interest to anyone concerned with the organization of world order, the role of institutions in world politics, and the lessons of past postwar settlements for today. It also speaks to today's debate over the ability of the United States to lead in an era of unipolar power.

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