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.
5. The economic rise of a superpower: from Washington to Trump
Peter Ferdinand, Robert Garner, and Stephanie Lawson
Politics offers an introduction to political studies. It combines accessibility and an analytical approach, encouraging critical study and engaged debate. Alongside coverage of concepts, approaches, and ideologies, the text features chapters on all crucial elements of political studies, from institutions and states to security, political economy, civil society and the media, making it an ideal text for a broad range of modules. Current debates and key developments in contemporary politics are taken into account, with coverage of the rise of populism, Brexit, and the presidency of Donald Trump, as well as a broad range of international case studies and examples.
22. The American liberal order: from creation to crisis
G. John Ikenberry
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.
28. Threats to the Existing Global Order: Challenges from the East
This chapter considers challenges from Russia, North Korea, and China. The first section describes Vladimir Putin’s acquisition and retention of power, and his antagonistic approach towards former members of the Soviet Union. Russia’s rift with the West was exacerbated by its annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Syria. The second section discusses tensions arising from North Korea’s nuclear policy, and attempts by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un to achieve a lasting peace agreement. The third section examines the economic growth of China, the development of its international role since joining the WTO, its increasing military strength, and its foreign policy. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the opportunities and the geopolitical risks for Asia and China while the influence of the United States, European Union, and Russia wanes.
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.
12. US foreign policy in the Middle East
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.
9. Foreign Policy
This chapter examines theories and approaches involved in foreign policy analysis. Foreign policy analysis (FPA) is concerned with the study of the management of external relations and activities of nation-states, as distinguished from their domestic policies. The chapter first explains the concept of foreign policy before discussing various approaches to foreign policy analysis. It then evaluates the arguments of major theories by using a ‘level-of-analysis’ approach that addresses the international system level, the nation-state level, and the level of the individual decision maker. It also presents a case-study on the Gulf War to illustrate how insights from various approaches to foreign policy analysis can be brought together. The chapters ends with reflections on Donald Trump’s foreign policy and a discussion of how FPA theories have combined domestic and international factors.
14. The EU’s Security and Defence Policy: A New Leap Forward?
This chapter examines the ways in which, since the late 1990s, the European Union (EU) has tried to emerge as an effective security and defence actor, albeit one focused on overseas missions connected not with expeditionary warfare but with crisis management and regional stabilization. It starts off by analysing the theoretical approaches to the emergence of this new policy area. It then addresses the empirical factors which caused the EU to tackle new and significant security challenges. Next, it considers the implications for international relations of the EU’s emergence as a security actor and the significance of the EU’s forty overseas missions. Finally, it analyses the developments since the publication of the 2016 European Global Strategy document in the context of new and serious security threats in its Southern and Eastern neighbourhoods. These developments were given sharper focus by Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy, intensifying the debate on the EU’s desire to acquire ‘strategic autonomy’. Finally, the chapter examines the growing debate over the EU’s capacity to defend itself from external aggression without overt US support and suggests the contours of a new transatlantic bargain.
16. The United States in the Middle East
Michael C. Hudson
This chapter assesses the evolution of US policy towards the Middle East. It begins with a historical sketch of US involvement in the area, discussing the traditional US interests. The chapter then considers US policy in the administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. Trump. President Obama's attempt to reset relations with the region produced mixed results: he reached an agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and oversaw the successful Bin Laden raid in 2011, but failed to offset continuing regional turmoil following the Arab uprisings and the rise of IS, or to make any progress on the Israel–Palestine question. While there are some observable continuities, President Trump has already upended US Middle East policy in several significant ways, as advisors attempt to restrain his apparent desire to undo his predecessor's legacy.
8. The twenty-first century and smart power
Joseph S. Nye Jr.
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.
27. Threats to the Existing Global Order: Instability in the West
This chapter examines significant challenges to the status quo in the West. President Obama’s domestic success was the extension of health care, while the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis resulted in heavy electoral losses for the Democrats in 2010. Nevertheless, he secured a second term in 2012 after some foreign policy successes, including arms reduction with Russia and the death of Osama bin Laden. Ultimately, Obama’s preference for diplomacy over force allowed Russia and Iran to fill the vacuum in Syria. Donald Trump became the oldest US president following the 2016 election. Controversially, he challenged conventional wisdom on climate change, free trade, and NATO, while sympathising with Brexit and Vladimir Putin. The aftermath of the 2008 crash, the failure of neo-liberalism, UK austerity, and Eurozone instability are examined in the second section. The chapter concludes with the reasons for the Brexit referendum, the result, and its consequences.
13. The USA and the EU
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.
14. US foreign policy in Russia
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.
15. US foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific
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.
21. Global environment
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.