American Exceptionalism and US Foreign Policy: Public by S. McEvoy-Levy

By S. McEvoy-Levy

The ebook examines a serious time and position in contemporary global heritage (the finish of the chilly conflict) and the concepts and values hired within the public international relations of the Bush and Clinton Administrations to construct household and overseas consensus. It offers perception into the makes use of of Presidential strength and gives a version and a demonstration of ways the function of rhetoric can be utilized to check the overseas coverage of the USA.

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88 William Pfaff argued that the United States was only a partial `superpower'. 89 The rationale for remaining a superpower, according to William Safire, was to prevent another country from becoming `number one'. 90 Self-flagellation and self-renewal The decline versus revival debate did not just focus on the United States' relative wealth and productivity. It also addressed the more philosophical issue of the United States' health as a nation. 92 It was reported that they saw American and Soviet problems as similar and caused by a `moral collapse'.

These themes were not window-dressing; they defined presidencies and to a significant extent created these Administrations' historical legacies. From the moment of their utterance they became publicly accessible, official documents of the Administration's posture and policies. Efforts to `spin' ill-received pronouncements or diplomatic faux-pas also became part of the historical record, as Bush's `chicken Kiev' speech and Brent Scowcroft's retraction demonstrated (see Chapter 4). The dynamic mutual shaping relationship between rhetoric and cultural practice or organization also helps explain the finding of this study that the place of `American exceptionalism' in the US foreign policy process is as a value-strategy syncretization with broad community-building functions.

The end of the Cold War provided both a challenge to and a vindication of American exceptionalism. Adjoining the paradigm-shattering shift in international affairs was the routine necessity of agenda-setting and governance. The Bush and Clinton Administrations competed with numerous members of the communication elite for control over how the end of the Cold War would be interpreted. 46 An examination of their discourse on the end of the Cold War finds different elements of the American exceptionalism idea represented and several recurring concerns emerge: concern over the desirability and ability of the United States to maintain a `missionary' role in the world; disagreement about the proper balance between military and domestic economic issues; agreement about the importance of Presidential leadership and consensus-building; fear of US inadequacy in the global economy; confusion about foreign policy postures and enemies; nostalgia represented by criticism of Bush but rehabilitation of Carter and Nixon; philosophical pseudo-millennialism exemplified by Fukuyama's `end of history' thesis.

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