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Why Wilson MattersThe Origin of American Liberal Internationalism and Its Crisis Today$
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Tony Smith Jr.

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183480

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183480.001.0001

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From Theory to Practice: Neo-Wilsonianism in the White House, 2001–2017

From Theory to Practice: Neo-Wilsonianism in the White House, 2001–2017

(p.235) Chapter Seven From Theory to Practice: Neo-Wilsonianism in the White House, 2001–2017
Why Wilson Matters

Tony Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines neo-Wilsonianism in the White House, considering the Bush Doctrine—often referred to as the National Security Strategy of the United States, September 2002, or NSS-2002. In the annals of American foreign policy there had never been anything even remotely like NSS-2002, its façade of Wilsonianism covering a far more aggressive imperialist claim for American exceptionalism than Woodrow Wilson had ever espoused, which in due course threatened to destroy altogether the credentials of good stewardship for world affairs that American liberal internationalism had enjoyed from the 1940s through the 1980s. One month after NSS-2002 appeared, the Iraq Resolution passed Congress with strong majorities in both chambers. Neo-Wilsonianism, born in theory during the 1990s, entered into practice five months after this historic vote with the invasion of Iraq that started on March 20, 2003. The chapter then looks at neo-Wilsonianism during the Obama presidency.

Keywords:   neo-Wilsonianism, Bush Doctrine, NSS-2002, American foreign policy, American exceptionalism, American liberal internationalism, Iraq Resolution, invasion of Iraq, Obama presidency

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