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The perennial dilemma of US foreign policy: from moralpolitik to realpolitik

Donduran, Can (2022) The perennial dilemma of US foreign policy: from moralpolitik to realpolitik. Journal of International Studies (JIS), 18. pp. 1-30. ISSN 1823-691X

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The endless struggle between two seemingly incompatible but occasionally convergent concepts, namely liberal values and national interests, has determined United States (US) foreign policy and its implementation throughout the nation’s history. Based on the neoclassical realist assumptions shored up by the methodological insights offered by the five-dimensional pre-theory of foreign policy, this article reveals a persistent dichotomy in US foreign policy through the analysis of Washington’s response to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Libya, and Syria. Throughout history, US foreign policy has had a pendular behavioral pattern, swinging across a policy spectrum ranging from moralpolitik to realpolitik. While the inherent values-interests dilemma lies at the root of the inveterate oscillation of US foreign policy, the interplay of international stimulus and societal factors stands out as the principal source of its ambivalence, if not inconsistency, in the face of the upheavals that swept across the Middle East.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: US foreign policy, political culture, moralpolitik, realpolitik, Arab Spring
Subjects: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
Divisions: School of International Studies
Depositing User: Mrs Nurin Jazlina Hamid
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2022 08:44
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2023 02:36

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