This edited volume explores the political, economic and security legacies former US President Barack Obama leaves across Asia and the Pacific, following two terms in office between 2009 and 2017. The aim is to advance our understanding of Obama’s style, influence and impact by interrogating the nature and contours of US engagement throughout the region, and the footprint he leaves behind. Moreover, it is to inform upon the endurance of, and prospects for, the legacies Obama leaves in a region increasingly reimaged in Washington as the Indo-Pacific. Contributors to the volume examine these questions in early 2019, at around the halfway point of the 2017–2021 Presidency of Donald Trump, as his administration opens a new and potentially divergent chapter of American internationalism. The volume uniquely explores the contours and dimensions of US relations and interactions with key Indo-Pacific states including China, India, Japan, North Korea and Australia; multilateral institutions and organisations such the East Asia Summit and ASEAN; and salient issue areas such as regional security, politics and diplomacy, and the economy. It does so with contributions from high-profile scholars and policy practitioners, including Michael Mastanduno, Bruce Cumings, Maryanne Kelton, Robert Sutter and Sumit Ganguly. The volume will be of interest to students and scholars of the international relations of Asia and the Pacific, broadly defined; US foreign policy and global engagement; the record and legacies of former President Barack Obama; and the foreign policies of the administration of President Donald Trump.
The emergence of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela has revived analysis of one of Latin America's most enduring political traditions: populism. Yet Latin America has changed since the heyday of Perón and Evita. Globalisation, implemented through harsh IMF-inspired Structural Adjustment Programmes, has taken hold throughout the region, and democracy is supposedly the ‘only game in town’. This book examines the phenomenon that is Chávez within these contexts, assessing to what extent his government fits into established ideas on populism in Latin America. It also provides a comprehensive and critical analysis of Chávez's emergence, his government's social and economic policies, its foreign policy, as well as assessing the charges of authoritarianism brought against him. The book carries debate beyond current polarised views on the Venezuelan president, to consider the prospects of the new Bolivarian model surviving beyond its leader and progenitor, Chávez.
This book analyses the Syria crisis and the role of chemical weapons, in relation to US foreign policy. The Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons and their subsequent elimination would dominate the US’ response to the conflict, where these are viewed as particularly horrific arms – a repulsion known as the chemical taboo. On the surface, this would seem an appropriate reaction: these are vile and intolerable weapons, and eradicating them would ostensibly comprise a ‘good’ move. But this book reveals two new aspects of the taboo that challenge this view. First, actors employ the taboo strategically to advance their own self-interested policy objectives. This is in contrast to the highly static and constructivist approaches that have informed conceptualisation of the taboo until now. Far from a situation of normative adherence, this is a case in which the taboo exists as a strategic political resource, used to achieve aims that may have nothing to do with preventing chemical warfare. Second, it is argued that applying the taboo to Syria has exacerbated the crisis. While many expound the benefits of the taboo, it is demonstrated here that the exact opposite is true. The taboo has actually made the conflict significantly worse. As such, this book not only provides a timely analysis of Syria, but also a major and original rethink of the chemical taboo, as well as international norms more widely.
This book offers a new way of looking at Irish foreign policy, linking its development with changes in Irish national identity. Many debates within contemporary international relations focus on the relative benefits of taking a traditional interest-based approach to the study of foreign policy as opposed to the more recently developed identity-based approach. This book takes the latter and, instead of looking at Irish foreign policy through the lens of individual, geo-strategic or political interests, is linked to deeper identity changes. As one Minister of Foreign Affairs put it; ‘Irish foreign policy is about much more than self-interest. The elaboration of our foreign policy is also a matter of self-definition—simply put, it is for many of us a statement of the kind of people that we are’. Using this approach, four grand narratives are identified which, it is argued, have served to shape the course of Irish foreign policy and which have, in turn, been impacted by the course of Ireland's international experience. The roots and significance of each of these narratives; Ireland as a European Republic, as a Global Citizen, as an Anglo-American State and as an Irish Nation are then outlined and their significance assessed. The shape of Irish foreign-policy-making structures is then drawn out and the usefulness of this book's approach to Irish foreign policy is then considered in three brief case studies: Ireland's European experience, its neutrality and Irish policy towards the 2003 Iraq War.
This is the first book in a two-volume set that traces the evolution of the Labour Party's foreign policy throughout the twentieth century and into the early years of the new millennium. It is a comprehensive study of the political ideology and history of the Labour Party's world-view and foreign policy. The set argues that the development of Labour's foreign policy perspective should be seen not as the development of a socialist foreign policy, but as an application of the ideas of liberal internationalism. The first volume outlines and assesses the early development and evolution of Labour's world-view. It then follows the course of the Labour Party's foreign policy during a tumultuous period on the international stage, including the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the build-up to and violent reality of the Second World War, and the start of the Cold War. The book provides an analysis of Labour's foreign policy during this period, in which Labour experienced power for the first time.
Africa was a key focus of Britain's foreign policy under Tony Blair. Military intervention in Sierra Leone, increases in aid and debt relief, and grand initiatives such as the Commission for Africa established the continent as a place in which Britain could ‘do good’. This book critically explores Britain's fascination with Africa. It argues that, under New Labour, Africa represented an area of policy which appeared to transcend politics. Gradually, it came to embody an ideal state activity around which politicians, officials and the wider public could coalesce, leaving behind more contentious domestic and international issues. Building on the story of Britain and Africa under Blair, the book draws wider conclusions about the role of ‘good’ and idealism in foreign policy. In particular, it discusses how international relations provide opportunities to create and pursue ideals, and why they are essential for the wellbeing of political communities. The book argues that state actors project the idea of ‘good’ onto idealised, distant objects, in order to restore a sense of the ‘good state’.
This book examines how intangible aspects of international relations – including identity, memory, representation, and symbolic perception – have helped to stimulate and sustain the Anglo-American special relationship. Drawing together world-leading and emergent scholars, this volume breaks new ground by applying the theories and methodologies of the ‘cultural turn’ in diplomatic history to the study of Anglo-American relations. It contends that matters of culture have been far more important to the special relationship than previously allowed in a field hitherto dominated by interest-based interpretations of American and British foreign policies. Fresh analyses of cultural symbols, discourses, and ideologies fill important gaps in our collective understanding of the special relationship’s operation and expose new analytical spaces in which we can re-evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Designed to breathe new life into old debates about the relationship’s purported specialness, this book offers a multidisciplinary exploration of literary representations, screen representations, political representations, representations in memory, and the roles of cultural connections and constructs that have historically influenced elite decision-making and sculpted popular attitudes toward and expectations of the special relationship. This book will be of particular interest to students and informed readers of Anglo-American relations, foreign policy, and diplomatic history, as well as all those who are interested in the power of culture to impact international relations.
matters is how you deal with threats to human rights, what type of action you take, what is your method. In other words, whether you do things through threats and punishment or through cooperation. JF: You’ve often referred to a ‘dialectic’ between national interest and solidarity. The innovation of Brazilian foreign policy during Lula’s Workers’ Party government is perhaps most notable in the practice of balancing these motivations. Nonetheless, other governments had previously promoted the idea of compatibility between interests and values, most
once authored, not because of his own idiosyncratic way of doing politics but because of the strategic realignment that his presidency represents. According to Trump, his administration’s security strategy is guided by ‘principled realism’. The apparent incoherence of his foreign policy is as indicative of what this entails as his specific interactions with other governments. With every diplomatic encounter imagined as a stand-alone opportunity to strike a winning ‘deal’, the norms-based, multilateral system of global governance becomes
that the major Western powers have been complicit in creating (think Vietnam, Congo, Cambodia, Iraq, Syria, to name just a few). All of which confronts humanitarians with an existential choice. How might they function in a world which doesn’t have liberal institutions at its core? Human rights activists struggle given they rely on broad international agreement – treaties, customary law, courts, Western foreign-policy support – to do their work. Is humanitarianism any different? The version of global humanitarianism with which we are familiar might