The Domestic Conditions for a Paradigmatic Change in US Foreign Policy
The International Spectator, Vol. 44, No. 1, March 2009, 51-66
Posted: 13 Apr 2014
Date Written: 2009
This article intends to stress the importance of domestic politics in understanding the international behaviour of the United States, as other studies have done with other state or quasi-state actors. The international system is not independent of the actors who interpret it. In particular, as is the case in the US, when those actors have the power and resources to act on that interpretation. Indeed, the domestic politics approach to international relations considers global transformations as crucial factors affecting foreign policy making, but focuses on the way political actors interpret those transformations within the constraints and opportunities of domestic politics and institutions. Here, it will be considered the outcome of the 2008 elections as the necessary, although not sufficient, condition for shifting the US from a unilateral to a (new) multilateral paradigm.
Keywords: US foreign policy, domestic structure, electoral outcomes, unilateralism, multilateralism
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