The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the Twenty-first Century

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Overview

Was George W. Bush the true heir of Woodrow Wilson, the architect of liberal internationalism? Was the Iraq War a result of liberal ideas about America's right to promote democracy abroad? In this timely book, four distinguished scholars of American foreign policy discuss the relationship between the ideals of Woodrow Wilson and those of George W. Bush. The Crisis of American Foreign Policy exposes the challenges resulting from Bush's foreign policy and ponders America's place in the international arena.
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Editorial Reviews

The Nation
The Crisis of American Foreign Policy examines Wilson's resonance today. Four noted scholars—three Wilson sympathizers and one caustic critic—offer thoughtful essays on what Wilsons historical example might offer twenty-first-century leaders. . . . It is the combatitive essays by Tony Smith and Anne-Marie Slaughter that invigorate the collection. . . . For Smith, Wilsonianism is a distracting Kantian echo in an increasingly Hobbesian world. Slaughter offers a spirited defense of Woodrow Wilson. . . . This academic clash will resonate with progressives, for Smith's skepticism and Slaughter's optimism reside in many of us. And this same battle of ideas—the pragmatic versus the internationalist—will likely be repeated during high-level debates in the Obama administration.
— David Milne
The American Conservative
This short book warrants close attention by anyone concerned about Obama's foreign policy and the meaning of his Inaugural Address. . . . [Slaughter] offers nothing less than a blueprint for 21st-century Wilsonianism.
— Richard M. Gamble
International Affairs
I recommend this book wholeheartedly on a number of levels: it provides an articulate account of Wilsonianism; the opportunity to see a substantive and expertly argued discourse among intellectual heavyweights is very much welcomed; and the added relevance—perhaps—of Slaughter's new position as director of policy planning at the State Department in the new Obama administration means US foreign policy could have a distinct Wilsonian flavour in the run-up to the centenary of Wilson's arrival in the White House.
— J. Simon Rofe
Perspectives on Politics
This slender volume by fout prominent foreign policy analysts offers a provocative and informative analysis of the impact of Woodrow Wilson's global vision on American foreign policy over the past century and its potential implications for the twenty-first century.
— James M. McCormick
Political Studies Review
This collection of essays allows the reader to transcend simplistic notions of Wilsonianism, for which the authors should be applauded.
— Mark J. L. McClelland
European Legacy
This collection makes a definite contribution. . . . [The essays] present comprehensive interpretations of Wilson's thought and of the approach of the Bush administration [as well as] analyzing the substance of the Bush policies and suggesting directions for the future of American policy.
— Max J. Skidmore
The Nation - David Milne
The Crisis of American Foreign Policy examines Wilson's resonance today. Four noted scholars—three Wilson sympathizers and one caustic critic—offer thoughtful essays on what Wilsons historical example might offer twenty-first-century leaders. . . . It is the combatitive essays by Tony Smith and Anne-Marie Slaughter that invigorate the collection. . . . For Smith, Wilsonianism is a distracting Kantian echo in an increasingly Hobbesian world. Slaughter offers a spirited defense of Woodrow Wilson. . . . This academic clash will resonate with progressives, for Smith's skepticism and Slaughter's optimism reside in many of us. And this same battle of ideas—the pragmatic versus the internationalist—will likely be repeated during high-level debates in the Obama administration.
Perspectives on Politics - James M. McCormick
This slender volume by fout prominent foreign policy analysts offers a provocative and informative analysis of the impact of Woodrow Wilson's global vision on American foreign policy over the past century and its potential implications for the twenty-first century.
International Affairs - J. Simon Rofe
I recommend this book wholeheartedly on a number of levels: it provides an articulate account of Wilsonianism; the opportunity to see a substantive and expertly argued discourse among intellectual heavyweights is very much welcomed; and the added relevance—perhaps—of Slaughter's new position as director of policy planning at the State Department in the new Obama administration means US foreign policy could have a distinct Wilsonian flavour in the run-up to the centenary of Wilson's arrival in the White House.
Financial Times - Daniel Dombey
Particularly timely. . . . The question the book addresses in four short essays is whether Mr Bush's policies—most notably the Iraq invasion—were 'Wilsonian' in inspiration and whether the reverses have weakened or doomed the tradition.
Civilian Reader - Stefan Fergus
This is not a j'accuse account of the Bush presidency. Rather, its focus is a discussion of the tradition of Wilsonianism in American foreign policy, and whether or not George W. Bush's presidency ought to be described as being part of this tradition. While the authors come to different conclusions, using different criteria, the debate is interesting and intelligent, offering plenty for students, historians and enthusiasts alike. The Crisis of American Foreign Policy is the most readable, balanced and lucid theory-based publication I've read in quite some time. Very highly recommended.
The American Conservative - Richard M. Gamble
This short book warrants close attention by anyone concerned about Obama's foreign policy and the meaning of his Inaugural Address. . . . [Slaughter] offers nothing less than a blueprint for 21st-century Wilsonianism.
Foreign Affairs - Walter Russell Mead
Was George W. Bush the heir of Woodrow Wilson? That is the important question addressed by the four authors who created this short but lucid contribution to the U.S. foreign policy debate. The liberal Wilsonians Ikenberry and Slaughter want to answer with a resounding no but are serious and fair-minded enough to give a full airing to the contrary view. The resulting debate does not settle the issue, but it clarifies some of the conflicting and contradictory elements in the legacy that Wilson left.
Australian Review of Public Affairs - Dennis Phillips
In The Crisis of American Foreign Policy . . . G. John Ikenberry, Thomas J. Knock, Tony Smith and Anne-Marie Slaughter debate whether George W. Bush channelled Woodrow Wilson or buried him. . . . [If] the American empire is still in its infancy, the debate articulated in The Crisis in American Foreign Policy is not only highly relevant but will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Spiked Review of Books - Tara McCormack
Debates both the Bush legacy and the prospects for reinvigorating American foreign policy and consequently American international leadership.
International Spectator - Emiliano Alessandri
Engages with the debate on the future of democratisation after the Bush era. . . . The various authors engage in a rather lively exchange on the Bush presidency's legacy.
International Journal - Sergio Fabbrini
[A] formidable contribution to the understanding of the differences between these two internationalisms. . . . Whatever one's views on the issues developed in this short book, the authors have done a wonderful job in demarcating their disagreements. Indeed, this book should be compulsory reading for students and practitioners of American foreign policy. Listening to Obama's UN speech, one might think that he also found it useful reading.
Political Studies Review - Mark J.L. McClelland
This collection of essays allows the reader to transcend simplistic notions of Wilsonianism, for which the authors should be applauded.
Prairie Fire - Jerry Petr
This slim volume (117 pages plus notes) is interesting on a couple of levels, and to at least two audiences. . . . Foreign policy specialists can salivate over the contest between the academic titans; the rest of us get a front-row seat at a sharp but civil and provocative exchange on foundational concepts underlying U.S. foreign policy.
European Legacy - Max J. Skidmore
This collection makes a definite contribution. . . . [The essays] present comprehensive interpretations of Wilson's thought and of the approach of the Bush administration [as well as] analyzing the substance of the Bush policies and suggesting directions for the future of American policy.
Political Studies Review - Mark J. L. McClelland
This collection of essays allows the reader to transcend simplistic notions of Wilsonianism, for which the authors should be applauded.
From the Publisher
On the list for The People's Choice: Carnegie Council Top Ten for 2009

"The Crisis of American Foreign Policy examines Wilson's resonance today. Four noted scholars—three Wilson sympathizers and one caustic critic—offer thoughtful essays on what Wilsons historical example might offer twenty-first-century leaders. . . . It is the combatitive essays by Tony Smith and Anne-Marie Slaughter that invigorate the collection. . . . For Smith, Wilsonianism is a distracting Kantian echo in an increasingly Hobbesian world. Slaughter offers a spirited defense of Woodrow Wilson. . . . This academic clash will resonate with progressives, for Smith's skepticism and Slaughter's optimism reside in many of us. And this same battle of ideas—the pragmatic versus the internationalist—will likely be repeated during high-level debates in the Obama administration."—David Milne, The Nation

"This slender volume by fout prominent foreign policy analysts offers a provocative and informative analysis of the impact of Woodrow Wilson's global vision on American foreign policy over the past century and its potential implications for the twenty-first century."—James M. McCormick, Perspectives on Politics

"I recommend this book wholeheartedly on a number of levels: it provides an articulate account of Wilsonianism; the opportunity to see a substantive and expertly argued discourse among intellectual heavyweights is very much welcomed; and the added relevance—perhaps—of Slaughter's new position as director of policy planning at the State Department in the new Obama administration means US foreign policy could have a distinct Wilsonian flavour in the run-up to the centenary of Wilson's arrival in the White House."—J. Simon Rofe, International Affairs

"Particularly timely. . . . The question the book addresses in four short essays is whether Mr Bush's policies—most notably the Iraq invasion—were 'Wilsonian' in inspiration and whether the reverses have weakened or doomed the tradition."—Daniel Dombey, Financial Times

"This is not a j'accuse account of the Bush presidency. Rather, its focus is a discussion of the tradition of Wilsonianism in American foreign policy, and whether or not George W. Bush's presidency ought to be described as being part of this tradition. While the authors come to different conclusions, using different criteria, the debate is interesting and intelligent, offering plenty for students, historians and enthusiasts alike. The Crisis of American Foreign Policy is the most readable, balanced and lucid theory-based publication I've read in quite some time. Very highly recommended."—Stefan Fergus, Civilian Reader

"This short book warrants close attention by anyone concerned about Obama's foreign policy and the meaning of his Inaugural Address. . . . [Slaughter] offers nothing less than a blueprint for 21st-century Wilsonianism."—Richard M. Gamble, The American Conservative

"Was George W. Bush the heir of Woodrow Wilson? That is the important question addressed by the four authors who created this short but lucid contribution to the U.S. foreign policy debate. The liberal Wilsonians Ikenberry and Slaughter want to answer with a resounding no but are serious and fair-minded enough to give a full airing to the contrary view. The resulting debate does not settle the issue, but it clarifies some of the conflicting and contradictory elements in the legacy that Wilson left."—Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs

"In The Crisis of American Foreign Policy . . . G. John Ikenberry, Thomas J. Knock, Tony Smith and Anne-Marie Slaughter debate whether George W. Bush channelled Woodrow Wilson or buried him. . . . [If] the American empire is still in its infancy, the debate articulated in The Crisis in American Foreign Policy is not only highly relevant but will remain so for the foreseeable future."—Dennis Phillips, Australian Review of Public Affairs

"Debates both the Bush legacy and the prospects for reinvigorating American foreign policy and consequently American international leadership."—Tara McCormack, Spiked Review of Books
"Engages with the debate on the future of democratisation after the Bush era. . . . The various authors engage in a rather lively exchange on the Bush presidency's legacy."—Emiliano Alessandri, International Spectator

"[A] formidable contribution to the understanding of the differences between these two internationalisms. . . . Whatever one's views on the issues developed in this short book, the authors have done a wonderful job in demarcating their disagreements. Indeed, this book should be compulsory reading for students and practitioners of American foreign policy. Listening to Obama's UN speech, one might think that he also found it useful reading."—Sergio Fabbrini, International Journal

"This collection of essays allows the reader to transcend simplistic notions of Wilsonianism, for which the authors should be applauded."—Mark J. L. McClelland, Political Studies Review

"This slim volume (117 pages plus notes) is interesting on a couple of levels, and to at least two audiences. . . . Foreign policy specialists can salivate over the contest between the academic titans; the rest of us get a front-row seat at a sharp but civil and provocative exchange on foundational concepts underlying U.S. foreign policy."—Jerry Petr, Prairie Fire

"This collection makes a definite contribution. . . . [The essays] present comprehensive interpretations of Wilson's thought and of the approach of the Bush administration [as well as] analyzing the substance of the Bush policies and suggesting directions for the future of American policy."—Max J. Skidmore, European Legacy

Financial Times
Particularly timely. . . . The question the book addresses in four short essays is whether Mr Bush's policies—most notably the Iraq invasion—were 'Wilsonian' in inspiration and whether the reverses have weakened or doomed the tradition.
— Daniel Dombey
Civilian Reader
This is not a j'accuse account of the Bush presidency. Rather, its focus is a discussion of the tradition of Wilsonianism in American foreign policy, and whether or not George W. Bush's presidency ought to be described as being part of this tradition. While the authors come to different conclusions, using different criteria, the debate is interesting and intelligent, offering plenty for students, historians and enthusiasts alike. The Crisis of American Foreign Policy is the most readable, balanced and lucid theory-based publication I've read in quite some time. Very highly recommended.
— Stefan Fergus
Foreign Affairs
Was George W. Bush the heir of Woodrow Wilson? That is the important question addressed by the four authors who created this short but lucid contribution to the U.S. foreign policy debate. The liberal Wilsonians Ikenberry and Slaughter want to answer with a resounding no but are serious and fair-minded enough to give a full airing to the contrary view. The resulting debate does not settle the issue, but it clarifies some of the conflicting and contradictory elements in the legacy that Wilson left.
— Walter Russell Mead
Australian Review of Public Affairs
In The Crisis of American Foreign Policy . . . G. John Ikenberry, Thomas J. Knock, Tony Smith and Anne-Marie Slaughter debate whether George W. Bush channelled Woodrow Wilson or buried him. . . . [If] the American empire is still in its infancy, the debate articulated in The Crisis in American Foreign Policy is not only highly relevant but will remain so for the foreseeable future.
— Dennis Phillips
Spiked Review of Books
Debates both the Bush legacy and the prospects for reinvigorating American foreign policy and consequently American international leadership.
— Tara McCormack
International Spectator
Engages with the debate on the future of democratisation after the Bush era. . . . The various authors engage in a rather lively exchange on the Bush presidency's legacy.
— Emiliano Alessandri
International Journal
[A] formidable contribution to the understanding of the differences between these two internationalisms. . . . Whatever one's views on the issues developed in this short book, the authors have done a wonderful job in demarcating their disagreements. Indeed, this book should be compulsory reading for students and practitioners of American foreign policy. Listening to Obama's UN speech, one might think that he also found it useful reading.
— Sergio Fabbrini
Prairie Fire
This slim volume (117 pages plus notes) is interesting on a couple of levels, and to at least two audiences. . . . Foreign policy specialists can salivate over the contest between the academic titans; the rest of us get a front-row seat at a sharp but civil and provocative exchange on foundational concepts underlying U.S. foreign policy.
— Jerry Petr
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691150048
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/21/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,320,681
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

G. John Ikenberry is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. Thomas J. Knock is associate professor of history at Southern Methodist University. Anne-Marie Slaughter is director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department. Tony Smith is professor of political science at Tufts University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Woodrow Wilson, the Bush Administration, and the Future of Liberal Internationalism G. John Ikenberry Ikenberry, G. John 1

1 "Playing for a Hundred Years Hence": Woodrow Wilson's Internationalism and His Would-Be Heirs Thomas J. Knock Knock, Thomas J. 25

2 Wilsonianism after Iraq: The End of Liberal Internationalism? Tony Smith Smith, Tony 53

3 Wilsonianism in the Twenty-first Century Anne-Marie Slaughter Slaughter, Anne-Marie 89

Notes 119

Contributors 141

Index 143

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