The Center Still Holds: The Potential for Liberal Internationalism Survives

International Security, Forthcoming

24 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2010

See all articles by Stephen Chaudoin

Stephen Chaudoin

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Helen V. Milner

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs; Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Dustin Tingley

Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: February 12, 2010

Abstract

Recent research including a prominent article in this journal has argued that America’s longstanding foreign policy orientation of liberal internationalism has been in serious decline because of rising domestic partisan divisions. We question the theoretical logic and empirical evidence driving this argument. We reanalyze extant evidence on congressional roll call voting and public opinion surveys, which is often used to support the claim that liberal internationalism has declined. We also analyze new evidence about partisan divisions in Congress using policy gridlock and co-sponsorship data from other studies of American politics. We do not observe the decline in bipartisanship in foreign policy that conventional wisdom suggests. We also find no evidence of a Vietnam War or a post Cold War effect on domestic partisan divisions on foreign policy. Unlike much of the recent literature, we argue that growing domestic political divisions over foreign policy have not made liberal internationalism impossible. It persists as a possible grand strategy for the US in part because of globalization pressures.

Keywords: liberal internationalism, bipartisanship, Congress, roll call voting

Suggested Citation

Chaudoin, Stephen and Milner, Helen V. and Tingley, Dustin, The Center Still Holds: The Potential for Liberal Internationalism Survives (February 12, 2010). International Security, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1552096

Stephen Chaudoin

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

702 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

Helen V. Milner

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1013
United States
609-258-0181 (Phone)

Dustin Tingley (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States

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