The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

After Bush: plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose


April 3, 2008

This week’s Economist has an outstanding look at US foreign policy (Leaders and Special Report), with a pointed analysis of Bush’s policy shifts that have made him hugely unpopular both at home and abroad and an insightful look at the dilemmas that the next President will face. Their conclusion: While the new President will certainly enjoy a brief honeymoon, there are deep currents of world politics and US foreign policy that auger for more continuity, rather than change.

The crux of the analysis centers on a traditional realist’s reading of the current state of international affairs:

[I]n a world that is still Hobbesian, the country that is for now still the world’s sole superpower is going to continue to put its own interests first.

And those interests aren’t always shared by the rest of the world.

In my class this semester, I have been using Hegemony and its attendant IR theories to make sense of this conundrum. Though it doesn’t label it as such, the Economist adroitly lays out the dilemmas of a mature hegemony.

Check it out, its certainly worth your time.

updated to improve upon my poor french grammar in the title

+ posts

Dr. Peter Howard focuses on US foreign policy and international security. He studies how the implementation of foreign policy programs produces rule-based regional security regimes, conducting research in Estonia on NATO Expansion and US Military Exchange programs and South Korea on nuclear negotiations with North Korea.