GOV 312L Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Grand Strategy, Global National, Isolationism
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Covers: Modules 3 and 4; 11 Sept 2018 Live Update
Definition: establishing American hegemony.
Related historical figures (presidents), eras, or movements: George W. Bush
Logic for: American interests abroad are global. Security is achieved through American power.
Reliance on military power. Goal to dominate the world’s “global commons” (air, space,
cyberspace, undersea energy & telecommunications & infrastructure)
Criticisms of: Can lead to isolationism and overreach. Too costly/ambitious. Overthrowing others
can lead to threats from them.
Relationship to other grand strategies: More about dominance and promotion rather than peace
like selective engagement and offshore balancing.
Relevant readings: Krepinench and Thornberry
Grand strategy that focuses on domestic issues and avoids any global commitments
Related historical figures (presidents), eras, or movements
: Washington and the succession of
presidents following Wilson
American threats abroad are minimal, Foreign conflicts can hurt domestic politics,
foreign intervention creates a threat, scarce resources are devoted to domestic problems
: problems fester due to lack of involvement, especially lack of involvement. from
Relationship to other grand strategies
Grand Strategy that doesn’t see the United States
as having some/any
global national interests (all other strategies have some recognition of
international happenings=global national interests). Restraint has elements of isolationism, but
is not as far removed from international relations.
Combination of Liberal Internationalism and Primacy. At a minimum, Posen argues
that we have pursued a liberal hegemony grand strategy since the end of the Cold War (at least
through the end of Obama’s term). Creates an international liberal order in order to use that
power to further the interests of the US. Great powers use this order to spread democracy, free
Related historical figures (presidents), eras, or movements:
Barack Obama, Post-Cold War
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