American Foreign Policy

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As the world s only superpower, America s foreignpolicy inevitably has a major impact D be it positive ornegative - on contemporary international affairs. Since theterrorist attacks of 9/11, George W. Bush s decision to moveaway from multilateral decision-making toward a more aggressive,pre-emptive style of foreign policy attracted widespread debate,and criticism, throughout the world. Reversing direction, theBarack Obama presidency is placing greater emphasis on constructiveor peaceful engagement within multilateral frameworks, relying onspecial envoys to deal with some of the thorniest problems. In this book, Paul Viotti explores American foreign policy from thefounding of the republic in the late 18th Century to the presentday. Part 1 examines the broad policy options available to the USgovernment: namely, peaceful engagement, containment throughdeterrence or coercive diplomacy, and armed intervention. Part 2looks at the American experience in foreign policy. By exploringearly precedents and elite practices, the moralism of Americanexceptionalism as well as the roots of an expansionist Americanforeign policy, the discussion draws out the continuities runningfrom the 18th century to the present. Part 3 concludes with ananalysis of the politics of interest on the Potomac with analysisof the interplay of contending policy elites, factions and partiesinfluencing foreign policy making today. Assessing alternatives, the author concludes that even thoughcontainment and armed intervention will remain part of the way theUnited States conducts its foreign policy, diplomatic engagementoptions are the most promising course of action for the comingdecades.