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9780130909879

Eagle Rules? Foreign Policy and American Primacy in the Twenty-First Century
Eagle Rules? Foreign Policy and American Primacy in the Twenty-First Century
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  • ISBN-13: 9780130909879
  • ISBN: 0130909874
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall

AUTHOR

Lieber, Robert J.

SUMMARY

Eagle Rules'embodies a double meaning. The words suggest both that the United States enjoys a remarkable degree of international primacy and that it possesses a unique ability to shape the terms by which international relations take place. Rarely has any country held such a position. Yet the question mark in the title of this book should not be overlooked, for it reflects a recognition that the exercise of this power can be inconsistent and cumbersome, and that power itself does not always translate into effective influence. How, then, can we account for American primacy? Is it likely to persist? How do domestic politics impact on America's world role? And what are the longer-term implications for foreign policy? Eagle Rules'is an entirely new work that follows in the footsteps of five previousEaglebooks, for which I have been the editor or coeditor. This book assesses what we now know about world politics and American foreign policy after more than a decade of the post-Cold War era and the wider implications of this experience both for the U.S. role in the twenty-first century and for international relations more broadly. In contrast to predictions of decline that were common less than fifteen years ago, America's international primacy has become remarkably robust. Other powerful states have yet to challenge its preeminence, and international institutions have for the most part failed to take on more decisive roles in "global governance." Although we differ to some extent among ourselves over, for example, specific regional problems, defense policy, and the balance between unilateral and multilateral strategies, we share a common purpose in making sense of the changed international landscape, the indispensability of America's role, and the problems in its exercise. The authors who have joined together for this inquiry thus approach their subjects in light of three broad tendencies. Though there are countervailing tendencies, each of these can be stated as a proposition.First,America's remarkable international primacy is likely to continue for some time.Second,American leadership remains the necessary catalyst for action on the most pressing international problems.Third,the absence of foreign threats on the scale of World War Two or the Cold War complicates the task of policy-makers in gaining international agreement as well as domestic support for key policies and collective action. As a result, a disparity between power and influence often emerges. That is, despite the extraordinary primacy that America now enjoys, this power by no means translates automatically into the kind of influence or outcomes that policy-makers seek. PreviousEaglebooks have been widely cited in both policy and scholarly debates about American foreign policy. The contributors to this volume are once again leading authorities in their fields, and half of them have policy-making experience as well. Our inquiry is thus positioned at the intersection between the world of affairs and the world of ideas. We seek to assess the most important lessons from recent experience, consider the effects of American predominance, weigh the influence of domestic politics on foreign policy, and then set out the implications for the role of the United States in the twenty-first century. The introductory chapter develops the framework forEagle Rules,advances the theme of primacy, and elaborates upon the three propositions noted before. I find that although there is evidence of international resentment at America's power and wealth, the greater long-term peril is less likely to be America's over extension or of its galvanizing an international coalition against itself than of the consequences were the United States to opt for withdrawal and abdication. Though improbable, the latter course would be more likely to prove harmful not only to the development of a more benign international political andLieber, Robert J. is the author of 'Eagle Rules? Foreign Policy and American Primacy in the Twenty-First Century', published 2001 under ISBN 9780130909879 and ISBN 0130909874.

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