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Why American Grand Strategy Has Changed: International Constraint, Generational Shift, and the Return of Realism

Kitchen, Nicholas Why American Grand Strategy Has Changed: International Constraint, Generational Shift, and the Return of Realism Global Affairs.

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Abstract

From Clinton to Bush to Obama to Trump: the personalities, rhetoric, and policies of Presidents charged with defining US foreign policy in the post-Cold War era could hardly appear more different. Yet recent treatments of American grand strategy have sought to highlight a lack of debate about grand strategy, and to emphasise groupthink and ‘habit’ within the US foreign policy establishment. This article argues that US grand strategy has changed, and suggests that those who prioritise continuities rely on an overly restrictive definition of grand strategy. Employing policy paradigms as an analytical framework, this paper finds significant variation in US grand strategy across the four post-Cold War presidencies. Where the variation between Clinton and George W. Bush’s presidencies can be explained by differing strategic ideas among American foreign policymaking elites, a trend towards less active hegemonic management running through the Obama and Trump presidencies is more structural in nature, reflecting both international constraints and generational change.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Politics
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Kitchen, Nicholasn.kitchen@surrey.ac.uk
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 27 Feb 2020 11:47
Last Modified : 27 Feb 2020 16:42
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/853842

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