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Title: After interventionism: a typology of U.S. strategies
Authors: Macmillan, J
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Diplomacy and Statecraft, 2019, 30 (3)
Abstract: Intervention has been a vital instrument of statecraft for the United States yet following Iraq and Afghanistan the projection of ‘troops on the ground’ has become a toxic political issue. Accordingly, what strategies does the United States pursue when this form of intervention is no longer perceived as politically viable or desirable but the problems or issues for which it was formerly undertaken remain? Drawing upon the conceptual work of Peter Hall, this article develops a typology of strategies according to the magnitude of change embraced. These range from adjustment in the levels or settings of interventionism (persistence); the substitution of alternative instruments of foreign policy, typically diplomacy (ameliorism); through to the principled rejection of interventionism in conjunction with a more systematic critique of the assumptions upon which foreign policy is based (transformationalism). These ideal-types are then applied to the three crises of interventionism faced by the United States since becoming a world power, occurring in the 1920s-30s, 1960s-mid ‘80s, and in the present age. The fate of these three strategies, when considered across the three periods, is shown to be beset with certain path-dependent tensions and contradictions arising from the domestic institutional and cultural context of foreign policy. Understanding these does not in and of itself resolve them, but can enable a fuller appreciation of the nature of the challenges – and the opportunities – each presents.
ISSN: 1557-301X
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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