US Foreign Policy (us + foreign_policy)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Selected Abstracts

A Rogue is a Rogue is a Rogue: US Foreign Policy and the Korean Nuclear Crisis

Roland Bleiker
Two nuclear crises recently haunted the Korean peninsula, one in 1993/4, the other in 2002/3. In each case the events were strikingly similar: North Korea made public its ambition to acquire nuclear weapons and withdrew from the Nonproliferation Treaty. Then the situation rapidly deteriorated until the peninsular was literally on the verge of war. The dangers of North Korea's actions, often interpreted as nuclear brinkmanship, are evident and much discussed, but not so the underlying patterns that have shaped the conflict in the first place. This article sheds light on some of them. It examines the role of the United States in the crisis, arguing that Washington's inability to see North Korea as anything but a threatening ,rogue state' seriously hinders both an adequate understanding and possible resolution of the conflict. Particularly significant is the current policy of pre-emptive strikes against rogue states, for it reinforces half a century of American nuclear threats towards North Korea. The problematic role of these threats has been largely obscured, not least because the highly technical discourse of security analysis has managed to present the strategic situation on the peninsula in a manner that attributes responsibility for the crisis solely to North Korea's actions, even if the situation is in reality far more complex and interactive. [source]

The Limits of ,Securitization': Power, Politics and Process in US Foreign Economic Policy

Nicola Phillips
The concept of ,securitization' has become particularly influential in the post-9/11 world. This paper aims to scrutinize and, ultimately, reject an emerging set of claims about political economy which draw upon this framework. The contention that US foreign economic policy is increasingly subject to a process of securitization misrepresents the substance of contemporary US foreign policy, the political environment in which it is articulated and the process by which it is made. Pursuing this argument, the paper sets out a framework within which to understand the evolution of contemporary US policy, paying attention to distinctive forms of the economic,security nexus; the form of ,ad hoc reactivism' that has consistently characterized US foreign economic policy; the set of commercial and wider economic goals to which policy responds; and the dynamics of competition for leadership in key regions. [source]

George W. Bush, Idealist

Michael J. Mazarr
There is much anger and confused grumbling these days outside the United States,and in Europe in particular,about the character of the Bush administration's foreign policy. Perceived American unilateralism is raising hackles and questions. This article contends that current trends in US foreign policy can be better understood by realizing that many senior Bush administration officials are not ,realists', at least as that philosophy of world politics is classically understood. Many of the resulting views,that, for example, threats to security often originate in ideology rather than material strength,are demonstrably correct and even hopeful in their faith in long-term historical trends. But there may be no getting around the essential contradictions required of US foreign policy in an age when America is the leading power, when a new global community of trading democracies is emerging, and yet when a number of distinctly old-style threats to the peace remain very much in evidence. Washington could do more to smooth the edges of those contradictions in order to point up the idealism and hopefulness of US policy. [source]

Commerce and Imagination: The Sources of Concern about International Human Rights in the US Congress

Ellen A. Cutrone
Do members of Congress put human rights concerns on the agenda in response to their constituents' demands for trade protection? Humanitarian concern may be an important motive, but the normative weight of these issues also makes them a potentially powerful tool for politicians with less elevated agendas. They may criticize the behavior of countries with whom their constituents must compete economically, while overlooking the actions of countries with which their constituents have more harmonious economic relations. This paper tests several hypotheses about the salience of human rights concerns in the politics of US foreign policy using data on congressional speeches during the late 1990s gathered from the Congressional Record. We find evidence that, while humanitarian interests remain an important motive for raising human rights issues, the economic interests of their constituents influence which members of Congress speak out on these questions, and the countries on which they focus their concern. [source]

On The Frontlines or Sidelines of Knowledge and Power?

Feminist Practices of Responsible Scholarship
This presidential address challenges IR scholars to reflect on their scholarly responsibility in what some have termed a new age of empire and in which critics of US foreign policy,academics and otherwise,are increasingly under attack. Using the metaphor of frontlines and sidelines, the question is raised as to whether we can or should engage directly in the policy world or remain at a critical distance from it. This essay focuses on some ways in which feminist scholarship is responding to these questions and challenges. Claiming that knowledge and practice cannot be separated, feminists argue that the foundations of modern knowledge, built during an earlier age of empire, are implicated, often unconsciously, in the ways in which scholars and policymakers construct and respond to global events today. The divisive gendered dimensions of the clash of civilizations and the gendered workings of the global economy and the way we analyze it are presented to illustrate this claim. The essay presents some feminist reformulations that could contribute to more inclusionary theory and practice. [source]

Transaction Cost Estimation and International Regimes: Of Crystal Balls and Sheriff's Posses

Michael Lipson
In the aftermath of the 2003 war in Iraq, there is growing concern over the durability of international institutions and their capacity to withstand international change. Transaction costs are a central factor in theoretical explanations of the conditions under which international institutions will persist or be replaced. Rational institutionalists expect regimes to persist after conditions underlying their creation have changed because of the transaction costs of negotiating a replacement regime. Andrew Moravcsik has recently challenged this view, arguing that such costs are generally low and, in any case, arise from domestic and transnational sources rather than interstate bargaining. Others have argued that transaction costs shape the structure of security institutions. All these approaches assume that states can accurately forecast the transaction costs of maintaining or replacing an international regime. However, as an examination of the replacement of the Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom) by the Wassenaar Arrangement demonstrates, this assumption is not necessarily warranted. This essay reviews transaction-cost-based theories of international cooperation and proposes that incorporation of a variable concerned with states' capacity to estimate transaction costs would improve our theoretical understanding of institutional persistence and change. Moreover, it considers problems of defining and measuring transaction costs, assesses factors limiting states' accurate estimation of transaction costs, and presents some propositions regarding transaction cost estimation and regime persistence. The essay also examines the implications of inaccurate transaction cost estimation for recent US foreign policy and international order. [source]

International political marketing: a case study of United States soft power and public diplomacy

Henry H. Sun
Political marketing can be categorized with three aspects: the election campaign as the origin of political marketing, the permanent campaign as a governing tool and international political marketing (IPM) which covers the areas of public diplomacy, marketing of nations, international political communication, national image, soft power and the cross-cultural studies of political marketing. IPM and the application of soft power have been practiced by nation-states throughout the modern history of international relations starting with the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. Nation-states promote the image of their country worldwide through public diplomacy, exchange mutual interests in their bilateral or multilateral relation with other countries, lobby for their national interests in international organizations and apply cultural and political communication strategies internationally to build up their soft power. In modern international relations, nation-states achieve their foreign policy goals by applying both hard power and soft power. Public diplomacy as part of IPM is a method in the creation of soft power, as well as, in the application of soft power. This paper starts with the definitional and conceptual review of political marketing. For the first time in publication, it establishes a theoretical model which provides a framework of the three aspects of political marketing, that is electoral political marketing (EPM), governmental political marketing (GPM) and IPM. This model covers all the main political exchanges among six inter-related components in the three pairs of political exchange process, that is candidates and party versus voters and interest groups in EPM ; governments, leaders and public servants versus citizens and interest groups in GPM, including political public relations and lobbying which have been categorized as the third aspect of political marketing in some related studies; and governments, interest group and activists versus international organizations and foreign subjects in IPM. This study further develops a model of IPM, which covers its strategy and marketing mix on the secondary level of the general political marketing model, and then, the third level model of international political choice behaviour based the theory of political choice behaviour in EPM. This paper continues to review the concepts of soft power and public diplomacy and defines their relation with IPM. It then reports a case study on the soft power and public diplomacy of the United States from the perspectives of applying IPM and soft power. Under the framework of IPM, it looks at the traditional principles of US foreign policy, that is Hamiltonians, Wilsonians, Jeffersonians and Jacksonians, and the application of US soft power in the Iraq War since 2003. The paper advances the argument that generally all nation states apply IPM to increase their soft power. The decline of US soft power is caused mainly by its foreign policy. The unilateralism Jacksonians and realism Hamiltonians have a historical trend to emphasize hard power while neglecting soft power. Numerous reports and studies have been conducted on the pros and cons of US foreign policy in the Iraq War, which are not the focus of this paper. From the aspect of IPM, this paper studies the case of US soft power and public diplomacy, and their effects in the Iraq War. It attempts to exam the application of US public diplomacy with the key concept of political exchange, political choice behaviour, the long-term approach and the non-government operation principles of public diplomacy which is a part of IPM. The case study confirms the relations among IPM, soft power and public diplomacy and finds that lessons can be learned from these practices of IPM. The paper concludes that there is a great demand for research both at a theoretical as well as practical level for IPM and soft power. It calls for further study on this subject. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Geopolitics and the Making of Regions: The Fall and Rise of East Asia

Mark Beeson
There is a good deal of scepticism about the prospects for regionalism in East Asia. There are, however, grounds for supposing that the outlook for regional integration in East Asia is brighter than it has ever been, partly as a consequence of the rise of China. This article explains why an earlier attempt to integrate the region under Japanese imperialism failed, why US foreign policy has effectively foreclosed any possibility of East Asian integration up to now and why it may be accelerating as a consequence of China's growing economic and political impact on the region. To explain these different historical experiences I draw on a form of critical geopolitics which has recently emerged in economic and political geography and which can usefully be incorporated into international relations scholarship. [source]