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  • Author: Sandra Halperin
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article relates the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq to fundamental aspects of Anglo-American political economy, including the increasing integration of the British and US economies, and the largely Anglo-American-led project of global economic restructuring currently taking place. Part I discusses the political economy of UK–US relations and the evolution of an Anglo-American military–industrial conglomerate. Part II links the Anglo-American relations and interests detailed in the first part of the article to an on-going project of global reconstruction. With this as a context, Part III reviews the history of British and US foreign policies towards Iraq and the culmination of these policies in the invasion of the country. The conclusions draw implications for the overall nature and direction of current trends of change.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Tony Smith
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The secular notion of American exceptionalism divorced from explicit racial or religious expression and based on governmental institutions and civic virtue – America as 'the last, best hope of earth' (Lincoln), America as 'the ark of the liberties of the world' (Melville) – goes back to the American Revolution. Nevertheless, before Wilson the conceptual framework that could explain the rightness of American global expansion in terms of bringing democratic government to others had not been well formulated. With Wilson, by contrast, the United States for the first time could present in secular terms, concepts argued from a cultural and historical perspective that made the expansion of American influence around the globe legitimate, not only in terms of national security but to the benefit of all mankind. Here is the key, I would propose, to the self-confidence and self-righteousness, which has been the hallmark of American foreign policy for a century now. Democracy promotion (associated with open markets economically and multilateralism) reflected America's cultural superiority (inherited from racial thinking), as well as its mission to help others (descended from its religious background). In Wilson's hands, an enduring framework for American foreign policy was born, one that remains with us to this day.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Lee Marsden
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: US foreign policy owes much to a malleable religious identity, shaped by foundational myths, and that this religious dimension has, until recently, been largely neglected in the US foreign policy literature to the detriment of our understanding of how America's status as global hegemon is formed, sustained and expanded. This article explores the role of the foundational myths of manifest destiny, exceptionalism and innocent nation. These foundational myths are explored as they develop into a civil religion espoused by successive presidents from George to the present day. The article considers how Barack Obama has utilised civil religion to maximise domestic support for a foreign policy agenda, which seeks to maintain US hegemony through a more conciliatory and multilateral approach than his predecessor in the White House. Examples of the use of soft power through missionary endeavour and the evangelicalisation of military hard power beginning during the George W. Bush presidency are detailed in order to reveal an Obama presidency that continues to define itself in religious terms while providing opportunities for religious actors to continue to play a role in representing US interests beyond its shores.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Richard Jackson
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article explores the social and political construction of US counterterrorism policy since the onset of the war on terrorism. The first part of the article focuses on the period of the Bush administration. It explores the cultural grammar expressed in the language of the war on terror, as well as administration attempts to 'sell' the policy to the American public. In addition, it explores the ways in which the war on terror has been institutionalised in counterterrorism practices and institutions, and how it has been normalised and embedded in American popular culture and linked by the national identity narratives surrounding '9/11' and the negative ideograph of 'terrorism', to American identity. Section two of the article explores the discourse and practice of the war on terrorism in the initial period of the Obama administration. It questions the extent to which counterterrorism policy can be rewritten, given the degree to which it accords with the deep cultural grammar of American identity and is now a well-established ideograph, the extent to which it has been institutionalised in American political practice and embedded in American culture and the ways in which it is rooted in the political-economic interests of the American polity and empire. Finally, the article briefly reflects on questions of change and identity in the construction of US foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael J. Boyle
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Why have two successive US administrations concluded that fighting terrorism must involve democracy promotion? This assumption became prevalent in US political discourse following the events of September 11 despite the fact that the empirical evidence linking democracy and terrorism is weak or ambiguous. More strikingly, it has persisted even after the missions to establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq have led to increasing violence, including a worldwide increase in terrorist attacks. This article argues that the link between democracy and terrorism was established by the combined effect of three factors: (a) the framing of the September 11 attacks in a way that increased the receptivity to this conceptual opposition between freedom and fear; (b) the ideological influence of the Wilsonian tradition, as manifested today in an unusual consensus between modern neo-conservatives and liberal internationalists on the desirability of democratic reform as a means of changing foreign policy behaviour; and (c) a powerful bipartisan domestic constituency in favour of democracy promotion. Owing to these three factors, the contraposition of democracy and terrorism in American political discourse is effectively over-determined because it mirrors the dominant ideological and political preferences of American elites. This fixed preference for democracy promotion explains why the Obama Administration has remained wedded to the binary distinction between freedom and fear in its public statements despite its efforts to break in style and substance with the policies of its predecessor.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: Steven Hurst
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Several observers have argued that the radical transformation of American foreign policy wrought by George W. Bush is already over. They argue that the 'Bush Revolution' was merely a result of the short-term conjuncture of neoconservative influence and the impact of September 11, 2001, and that this temporary deviation has been ended by the American failure in Iraq. Yet the causes of the Bush Revolution are more fundamental and long-term than this argument implies. It is in the combination of the shift to a militarily unipolar international system and the dominance of the Republican Party by its conservative wing that the real roots of the Bush foreign policy lie, and neither condition is likely to alter in the foreseeable future. Moreover, although the Iraq War has led to some shifts in policy, the Republicans' selection of John McCain as their presidential candidate confirms the continued vitality of the Bush Revolution.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America