Charting a New Diplomatic Course
Alternative Approaches to America's Post-Cold War Foreign Policy
Now that the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the defeat of communism has made the “containment” policy—the foundation of U.S. foreign relations for almost a half century—obsolete, policymakers and political scientists alike struggle to decide what new strategy should guide the country’s involvement on the international stage. In this pathbreaking work, Cecil V. Crabb, Jr., Leila E. Sarieddine, and Glenn J. Antizzo identify and analyze six distinct approaches to America’s diplomatic course after the Cold War, addressing perhaps the most important question of our time: what should U.S. foreign policy be in the twenty-first century?
First, the authors examine the familiar doctrine of American isolationism and consider an alternative approach, conservative neo-isolationism, which encourages policymakers to use careful discrimination but decisive action in assuming commitments abroad. Liberal neo-isolationism, a third possible course, resists active interventionist strategies because of the dangers they pose to congressional power and America’s democratic system.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are conservative interventionism, the belief that America must maintain a strong military arsenal and engage in “preventative diplomacy”; liberal interventionism, the conviction that America should actively promote the cause of democracy; and pragmatic interventionism, an approach—taken by the Clinton Administration—that relies on a cost/benefit analysis of policy as problems arise.
Elegantly written and authoritatively researched, Charting a New Diplomatic Course provides a much-needed frame of reference for anyone interested in America’s future in international affairs.
Cecil V. Crabb, Jr., (1924-2003) was professor emeritus of political science at Louisiana State University, and the author of many books, including The Doctrines of American Foreign Policy: Their Meaning, Role, and Future. He also coauthored Congress and the Foreign Policy Process: Modes of Legislative Behavior.
Leila E. Sarieddine is assistant professor of political science at Southern University in Baton Rouge.
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