American Exceptionalism and U.S. Foreign Policy: Public - download pdf or read online

By S. McEvoy-Levy

This ebook examines a severe time and position in contemporary international history--the finish of the chilly War--and the recommendations and values hired within the public dipomacy of the Bush and Clinton Administrations to construct household and overseas consensus. It offers perception into the makes use of of presidential energy and offers a version and a demonstration for the way rhetoric can be used within the examine of usa international coverage.

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Extra resources for American Exceptionalism and U.S. Foreign Policy: Public Diplomacy at the End of the Cold War

Example text

Both orthodox and revisionist theories of the origins of the Cold War contain at their cores a conception of American exceptionalism. 28 Revisionist historians contended that exceptionalism was a large part of the motivation for the United States' aggressive expansion abroad. 29 This arrogant exceptionalism undermined humanitarian motives when they existed. 31 This view was not based on `arrogance', argued Steele, but on genuine altruism. Even among these critics of exceptionalist-driven foreign policy, and of the `myth' of exceptionalism, there was the conviction that the United States was uniquely situated, even destined, to be a force for change and the amelioration of the suffering of foreign peoples.

Clearly, the `para-ideological' idea of American exceptionalism is of significance in the clash between the US and Soviet Union. Kennan's `Long Telegram' had emphasized the point that the danger of the Soviet Union lay in its attractiveness to the `tired and frightened' peoples of Europe. Kennan, as well as proposing that Communism should be met with `unalterable counterforce' wherever it appeared, also insisted that the maintenance of Americans' belief in their own exceptionalism was of vital strategic importance: Every courageous and incisive measure to solve internal problems of our own society, to improve self-confidence, discipline, morale, and community spirit of our own people, is a diplomatic victory over Moscow worth a thousand diplomatic notes and joint communiqueÂs.

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.

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