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America's MissionThe United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy$
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Tony Smith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154923

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154923.001.0001

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The Irony of American Liberal Internationalism

The Irony of American Liberal Internationalism

Chapter:
(p.385) Epilogue The Irony of American Liberal Internationalism
Source:
America's Mission
Author(s):

Tony Smith

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691154923.003.0014

This epilogue discusses the irony of American liberal democratic internationalism that became apparent by late 2011: it has been instrumental in establishing the United States' preeminence in international affairs between 1945 and 2001, but has also contributed much to its decline thereafter. If containment had been the primary basis of American foreign policy during the Cold War, there was also a secondary track, which consolidated the political and economic unity of the liberal democratic regimes through multilateral organizations under U.S. leadership. Under the auspices of neoconservatism and neoliberalism, democracy was envisioned as having a “universal” appeal capable of promoting international peace. The epilogue considers some of the negative consequences of Wilsonianism as well as some of the forces challenging the future role of liberalism. It argues that the fate of liberal democratic internationalism depends in large part on the behavior of those who guide the policies of the democratic world.

Keywords:   liberal democratic internationalism, international affairs, American foreign policy, multilateral organizations, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, democracy, international peace, Wilsonianism, liberalism

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