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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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Wilson and a World Safe for Democracy

Wilson and a World Safe for Democracy

(p.84) Chapter Four Wilson and a World Safe for Democracy
America's Mission

Tony Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Woodrow Wilson's comprehensive program for world order that came to constitute the foundation of liberal democratic internationalism, also known as Wilsonianism. Wilson's policy, designed “to make the world safe for democracy,” was not a radical departure from traditional American national security policy. His proposals to restructure world politics on the basis of a liberal world order were consistent with basic propositions of past American foreign policy. The chapter first considers the theory and practice underlying Wilsonianism before discussing the dilemma of Wilson's policy in Europe. It also explores the virtues of Wilsonianism for the postwar world, such as its acknowledgment of the fundamental political importance of nationalism. Finally, it emphasizes the resurgence of Wilsonianism in American foreign policy in the aftermath of World War II.

Keywords:   liberal democratic internationalism, Woodrow Wilson, liberal world order, Wilsonianism, democracy, national security, world politics, American foreign policy, Europe, nationalism

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