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Chapter

This chapter focuses on the American political economy from the colonial period to Donald Trump. In particular, it examines how the United States emerged from being a predominantly agricultural country to the wealthiest economic power in the world. The chapter first considers America’s economic rise before independence before discussing the role played by economic factors in sparking war between Great Britain and American colonists. It then looks at America’s dramatic economic growth between formal independence and World War I, as well as through the post-war period. It also analyses the American political economy under Bill Clinton and how his economic policies — and those of his successor George W. Bush — contributed to the great economic crash of 2008. It also explores the major economic reasons that accounted for Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election and concludes with an overview of how the American economy has been impacted by globalization.

Chapter

This chapter examines the rise and evolution of the liberal order that was created by the United States and and other liberal democratic states in the decades after World War II, along with the modern challenges to it. The liberal order that emerged after World War II paved the way for a rapid expansion in world trade, the successful integration of former enemies such as Japan and Germany, and the transition to liberal democracy in formerly authoritarian states. Furthermore, the collapse of communism was considered a triumph of liberalism. The chapter first explains how the American liberal order was constructed after World War II before discussing the successes of that order and the end of the ‘socialist’ project in the 1980s. It also analyzes some of the major threats to this liberal order today, particularly those from within, as a result of Donald Trump’s rejection of the American liberal tradition.

Chapter

This chapter examines the main dynamics that have transformed US foreign policy towards the Middle East since World War I from the time of Woodrow Wilson to that of Donald Trump. It first considers the applicability of realist, Marxist, and constructivist theories of international relations before discussing the ways in which the Cold War, oil, and Israel have shaped American foreign policy. In particular, it shows how the United States’ tactical approach to the Middle East has increased resentment towards the Americans, destabilized the region, and undermined the USA’s long-term strategic goals. The chapter also explores the Bush Doctrine, launched after 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, and President Barack Obama’s attempts to deal with the Middle East during and after the Arab Spring. Finally, it asks whether the Trump administration’s policy toward the Middle East represents a radical change or a continuity with previous presidents.

Chapter

This chapter examines US foreign policy as ‘smart power’, a combnation of hard and soft power, in the twenty-first century. The beginning of the twenty-first century saw George W. Bush place a strong emphasis on hard power, as exemplifed by the invasion and occupation of Iraq. This was evident after 9/11. While the war in Iraq showcased America’s hard military power that removed a tyrant, it failed to resolve US vulnerability to terrorism; on the contrary, it may have increased it. The chapter first considers the Obama administration’s reference to its foreign policy as ‘smart power’ before discussing Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy, the role of power in a global information age, soft power in US foreign policy, and how public diplomacy has been incorporated into US foreign policy.

Chapter

Robyn Eckersley

This chapter examines how US foreign policy on environmental issues has evolved over a period of nearly five decades, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. It first considers the United States’ environmental multilateralism as well as environmental initiatives under Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama, and Donald Trump before discussing key trends and puzzles in US foreign environmental policy. It shows the United States as an environmental leader during the Cold War, but an environmental laggard in the post–Cold War period, with the Obama administration’s re-engagement in climate diplomacy as a significant exception. The chapter also explains how the larger trend of waning environmental leadership from the United States has occurred at the same time as international environmental problems, especially climate change, have increasingly moved from the periphery towards the centre of world politics.

Chapter

This chapter examines US foreign policy in Russia. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 raised a number of questions that have profound implications for American foreign policy; for example, whether the Russian Federation, which inherited half the population and 70 per cent of the territory of the former Soviet Union, would become a friend and partner of the United States, a full and equal member of the community of democratic nations, or whether it would return to a hostile, expansionary communist or nationalist power. The chapter considers US–Russia relations at various times under Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, Dmitry Medvedev, and Donald Trump. It also discusses a host of issues affecting the US–Russia relations, including the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the crisis in Kosovo and Ukraine, and the civil war in Syria.

Chapter

This chapter examines US foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region. It first considers America’s rise as an major power and the introduction of the Open Door policy that became a major component of US policy during the period 1899–1941. It then shows how, with the conclusion of World War II, the United States achieved maritime hegemony in the Asia-Pacific and the historic policy of Open Door was rendered irrelevant by American preponderance. It also discusses the Korean War of 1950 and how it prompted the United States aggressively to apply the containment doctrine in Asia by establishing the so-called ‘hub-and-spokes’ bilateral alliance system; the outbreak of the Vietnam War; the Richard Nixon–Henry Kissinger opening to China in the early 1970s; and American foreign policy under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

Chapter

Michael Smith

This chapter examines the United States’ transatlantic relationship with the European integration project and its implications for US foreign policy. In particular, it considers the ways in which US policy makers have developed images of the European Community (EC) and later the European Union (EU) on the challenges posed by European integration for US policy processes and the uses of US power. The chapter first explores key factors in the evolution of the relationship within US foreign policy up to the end of the Cold War before discussing trends and tensions in the period between 1990 and 2016 covering the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. It also analyzes the impact of Donald Trump’s policies on US relations with the EU before concluding with an assessment of a number of wider questions about the future of the US–EU relations.

Book

Edited by Michael Cox and Doug Stokes

US Foreign Policy provides a perspective on US foreign policy that is critical and connected. This text aims to help with the critically assessment of US foreign policy, presenting the reader with diverse political perspectives and giving them the tools to come to their own conclusions. Carefully developed ‘major debates’ and ‘controversies’ features help readers to connect theory with the real-world politics. As policy continues to change before our eyes, the text provides an overview of America’s ever-changing role in international politics. This new edition reflects the legacy of the Obama administration, the unfurling impacts of President Donald Trump, and the American role in world affairs. It includes new chapters on gender, religion, East Asia, and the Liberal International Order.