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The volume explores the role of soft power in US foreign policy – past, present, and future. Bringing together a diverse group of leading international scholars and practitioners, it combines conceptual contributions to soft power research with empirical studies examining the state and significance of US soft power. In so doing, the volume focuses on recent years as it discusses in particular the Trump presidency as well as the first year of Joseph R. Biden in the White House. While the Trump administration severely damaged US reputation abroad, President Biden has made clear his intention to drastically change the United States’ outlook on the world from an early point in his presidency. In this endeavour, attractive soft power has featured prominently from the start. The volume addresses select issue areas – including terrorism threats, foreign economic policy, and cultural diplomacy – as well as crucial foreign bilateral relations – including Sino-American, Russian-American, and transatlantic relations – from a soft power perspective. It offers an early assessment of Biden’s first year in office as well as future perspectives and recommendations regarding the role of soft power in US foreign policy. Consequently, the volume provides an essential and unique compendium – for students, scholars, and practitioners alike – on how soft power informs US foreign policy and diplomatic practice today and in years to come.

America’s abiding advantage
Hendrik W. Ohnesorge

different aspects of the overall concept, has recently been suggested. 23 In any case, Nyeian soft power has become a staple in the analysis of international affairs in general and US foreign policy in particular. In fact, while available to all countries as well as other actors on the international stage, the United States has for decades or even centuries drawn to a special degree on its powers of

in Soft power and the future of US foreign policy
Naren Chitty
and
Chenjun Wang

the same of an ‘Alternate Domination’ vector. Domination is not congruent with the ideology of the US system, that ideology being, to coin a pithy phrase, ‘freedom through republican democracy’. There are implications for US foreign policy in the mechanics of ‘Alternate Domination’ that impinge on US national security. When a party or both parties see acquiring a position of

in Soft power and the future of US foreign policy
Jeremi Suri

33 1 Jeremi Suri The strange career of nation-​building as a concept in US foreign policy The people of the South should be the last Americans to expect indefinite continuity of their institutions and social arrangements. Other Americans have less reason to be prepared for sudden change and lost causes. Apart from Southerners, Americans have enjoyed a historical continuity that is unique among modern peoples. The stream of national history, flowing down from seventeenth-​century sources, reaches a fairly level plain in the eighteenth century. There it

in American foreign policy
Lessons learned, lessons lost
Author:

This book explores the processes through which nation-building policy approaches originated and developed over the last seven decades as well as the concepts and motivations that shaped them. In the process, the book explores the question of how the US became involved in nation building overseas in the first place, and explores the persistent questions about the relationship between order, security and development in nation-building projects. At the same time, the book points out lessons that should have been retained from America's Cold War nation-building efforts in developing areas. At the cost of a great deal of treasure and no small amount of blood, the United States implemented nation building and other internal security programs in dozens of developing countries at the height of the Cold War. A generation after these policies peaked in scope and intensity, the US embarked on similar projects in a range of countries, the most ambitious in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, recent studies of America's experience with nation-building neglect these Cold War experiences in the developing world, ignoring costly lessons from efforts by which the US attempted to build functioning, cohesive state institutions in less developed contexts, including new states emerging from the decolonization process.

Exploiting the forbidden

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.

Studies in intellectual history

The middle months of 2016 in the North Atlantic world offered a distinctly depressing constellation. This book offers a nuanced and multifaceted collection of essays covering a wide range of concerns, concepts, presidential doctrines, and rationalities of government thought to have marked America's engagement with the world during this period. The spate of killings of African Americans raised acute issues about the very parameters of citizenship that predated the era of Civil Rights and revived views on race associated with the pre- Civil War republic. The book analyses an account of world politics that gives ontological priority to 'race' and assigns the state a secondary or subordinate function. Andrew Carnegie set out to explain the massive burst in productivity in the United States between 1830 and 1880, and in so doing to demonstrate the intrinsic superiority of republicanism. He called for the abolition of hereditary privilege and a written constitution. The book also offers an exegesis of the US foreign policy narrative nested in the political thought of the German jurist Carl Schmitt. Understanding the nature of this realist exceptionalism properly means rethinking the relationship between realism and liberalism. The book revisits Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, which reviews the intellectual and policy environment of the immediate post- Cold War years. Finally, it discusses Paul Dundes Wolfowitz, best known for his hawkish service to the George W. Bush administration, and his strong push for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

José Luís Fiori

the State Department, together with the Pentagon, the CIA and other security and intelligence organs of the US government, as well as the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Treasury. To grasp its importance, it is necessary to distinguish it from the eccentric and unpredictable character of Donald Trump. But it is also necessary to recognise that it would take a character like Trump to bring about such a break from the history and tradition of US foreign policy. From a strictly academic perspective, the new strategy document looks

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
US–UK relations in the era of détente, 1969–77
Author:

This is the first monograph length study that charts the coercive diplomacy of the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford as practiced against their British ally in order to persuade Edward Heath’s government to follow a more amenable course throughout the ‘Year of Europe’ and to convince Harold Wilson’s governments to lessen the severity of proposed defence cuts. Such diplomacy proved effective against Heath but rather less so against Wilson. It is argued that relations between the two sides were often strained, indeed, to the extent that the most ‘special’ elements of the relationship, that of intelligence and nuclear co-operation, were suspended. Yet, the relationship also witnessed considerable co-operation. This book offers new perspectives on US and UK policy towards British membership of the European Economic Community; demonstrates how US détente policies created strain in the ‘special relationship’; reveals the temporary shutdown of US-UK intelligence and nuclear co-operation; provides new insights in US-UK defence co-operation, and revaluates the US-UK relationship throughout the IMF Crisis.

Alister Miskimmon
,
Ben O’Loughlin
,
Laura Roselle
, and
Faith Leslie

United States’ reputation with key allies, at a point in time of significant debate on the future orientation of international order, when interests of partners are evolving to meet new challenges. 3 Central to this has been efforts to rebuild trust to re-enable cooperation. This has involved the reconstruction of US foreign policy institutions. More importantly, it has also

in Soft power and the future of US foreign policy