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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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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Reviving Liberal Internationalism

Reviving Liberal Internationalism

Chapter:
(p.276) Conclusion Reviving Liberal Internationalism
Source:
Why Wilson Matters
Author(s):

Tony Smith

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691183480.003.0009

This concluding chapter argues that from early 2002 until today, American foreign policy has been premised on convictions that are both utopian and imperialist in a fashion quite foreign to the liberal internationalist tradition as it existed prior to 1990s. With its confidence in the ease of a transition from authoritarian to democratic order, its insistence on a “just war” doctrine that overthrew the Westphalian system of states by legitimizing the armed intervention of democracies against autocratic states, and its redefinition of American exceptionalism from a defense of the democratic world to a world-order project that knew no limits, neo-Wilsonianism sabotaged the very tradition from which it had emerged. The question, then, is whether the liberal internationalist tradition can be resuscitated in such a way that it contributes positively to world affairs.

Keywords:   American foreign policy, liberal internationalist tradition, democratic order, just war doctrine, American exceptionalism, democratic world, neo-Wilsonianism

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