Democracy and American Foreign Policy: Reflections on the Legacy of Tocqueville

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Since World War I, the United States has pursued the defense of Western civilization as a critical element of its own national interest. In his provocative reconsideration of that goal, Robert Strausz-Hupe asks whether the American people can still agree upon and adopt foreign policies consistently devoted to that end. He specifically examines popular and paradoxical attitudes that often undermine Washington's ability to defend American and Western interests, attitudes towards society and the state, politics and ...

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Overview

Since World War I, the United States has pursued the defense of Western civilization as a critical element of its own national interest. In his provocative reconsideration of that goal, Robert Strausz-Hupe asks whether the American people can still agree upon and adopt foreign policies consistently devoted to that end. He specifically examines popular and paradoxical attitudes that often undermine Washington's ability to defend American and Western interests, attitudes towards society and the state, politics and government, instruments of foreign policy and the people who wield them.

As the backdrop for his analysis, Strausz-Hupe employs the wisdom of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, reiterating Tocqueville's finding that the driving force of American life is its passion for equality and democracy. To this insight, Strausz-Hupe adds another: When one realizes that domestic politics is the driving force behind foreign policy, one understands why "the foreign policy of the United States cannot be other than the defense of democracy everywhere." Unlike some analysts, however, Strausz-Hupe believes that this proposition states only the problem for American statesmen not the answer. The answer, Strausz-Hupe concludes, lies in a universal federation of democratic states.

In an appreciative foreword that examines the evolution of Strausz-Hupe thought, Walter A. McDougall demonstrates that this idealistic vision of a democratic world-state has been the unifying thread in Strausz-Hupe's intellectual career, not the calculating Realpolitik so often attributed to him.

Democracy and American Foreign Policy will be of central importance to international relations specialists, policymakers, political scientists, and students of political philosophy. Its chapters include "Tocqueville and Nationalism"; "Tocqueville and Marx"; "The Hypocrisies of Egalitarianism"; "Foreign Policy and Interest Groups"; and "Isolationism and the New World Order."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This book brings together 27 short essays by an author who is both a noted student of international affairs and an experienced diplomat.”

—D. J. Maletz, Choice

"For the fourth time in a century, America after the Cold War finds herself the most powerful and influential nation on earth. The distinguished diplomat and scholar, Robert Strausz-Hup, who played so important a part in determining that outcome, has traced the sources of American influence first identified by de Tocqueville to the appropriate foreign policy for the post-Cold War United States. After diplomatic assignments as diverse as Ambassador to NATO, Sri Lanka, and three countries in between, his practitioner's insight informs this volume which joins his others as a standard reference for students of American foreign policy."

Edwin J. Feulner, The Heritage Foundation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560001751
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1995
  • Pages: 183

Meet the Author

Robert Strausz-Hupe is Distinguished Diplomat-in-Residence at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, and a professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of Geopolitics: The Struggle for Space and Power, The Balance of Tomorrow: Power and Foreign Policy in the United States, and Protracted Conflict: A Challenging Study of Communist Strategy. Strausz-Hupe is former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, NATO, Sweden, Belgium, and Sri Lanka.

Walter A. McDougall is the Alloy-Ansin Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania and editor of Orbis, FPRI's journal of world affairs. In 1986, he won a Pulitzer Prize for The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age. His latest book is Let the Sea Make a Noise: A History of the North Pacific from Magellan to MacArthur.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Author's Preface
Introduction 1
1 Alexis de Tocqueville 7
2 Tocqueville and Nationalism 13
3 Tocqueville and Hedonism 19
4 Tocqueville and World Conflict 25
5 Tocqueville and Equality 31
6 Tocqueville and Marx 37
7 Equality and Egalitarianism 43
8 The Hypocrisies of Egalitarianism 47
9 Meritocracy 55
10 Democracy and Discipline 61
11 Bureaucracy 65
12 Foreign Policy and Interest Groups 75
13 Idealism versus Realism 83
14 The American Diplomatic Establishment 89
15 American Attitudes towards Diplomacy 97
16 The Military-Industrial Complex 103
17 Isolationism and the New World Order 109
18 The End of History 113
19 The Power of Nationalism 119
20 The American National Interest 125
21 Why the Soviet Union Fell 131
22 The Former Soviet Union Today 139
23 The Primacy of Europe 147
24 NATO 151
25 The Middle East 157
26 India, China, and the Demographic Revolution 161
27 Towards a Union of the Democracies 171
Postscript: Democracy and Statesmanship 175
Index 179
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