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Conclusion: Conceptualising Change and Continuity in US Foreign Policy

Holland, J and Bentley, M (2013) Conclusion: Conceptualising Change and Continuity in US Foreign Policy In: Obama's Foreign Policy: Ending the War on Terror. Routledge Studies in US Foreign Policy . Routledge, Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-66260-4

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Abstract

Barack Obama’s foreign policy is characterised by both change and continuity. He has not ended the War on Terror, but he has reshaped the conflict, in ways that fit with his personal views on war, the use of force and the American national interest. At times, his values have run up against the realities of occupying the Oval Office (e.g. the failure to close Guantanamo) and, at others, he has adapted his thinking on seeing firsthand the threats the American nation continues to face (e.g. after the Christmas Day bomb plot). The interplay of choice and constraint has featured in many of the chapters in this book. Here, we begin by laying out some of the considerable areas of agreement that they share, despite competing theoretical approaches. Second, we consider how appeals to volition and structural limitation might be reconciled through a structural-relational understanding of structure and agency. Third, we outline one, potentially fruitful, way of conceptualising change and continuity in American foreign policy, which helps to account for Obama’s apparently prolonged period of stasis. Fourth, and finally, we turn to consider where Obama’s foreign policy will head during his second term in office, based both on the contributions to this volume and the issues his presidency is likely to face in the next four years.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Holland, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Bentley, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 23 September 2013
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 13:26
Last Modified : 28 Mar 2017 13:26
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/804671

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