Cover image for Republic in peril : American empire and the liberal tradition
Republic in peril : American empire and the liberal tradition
Hendrickson, David C., author.
Physical Description:
x, 287 pages ; 25 cm
Liberal hegemony -- Universal empire and Westphalian ruins -- Public bads in the illiberal world order -- Taps for republican liberty -- The renovation of American foreign policy.
"In Republic in Peril, David C. Hendrickson advances a powerful critique of American policy since the end of the Cold War. America's outsized military spending and global commitments, he shows, undermine rather than uphold international order. They raise rather than reduce the danger of war, imperiling both American security and domestic liberty. An alternative path lies in a new internationalism in tune with the United Nations Charter and the philosophy of republican liberty embraced by America's founders."


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Book 0353773 E840 .H425 2018 Central Campus Library

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It has become a staple among critics of American foreign policy to refer to the United States's approach as "liberal imperialism." By this they mean that America's globalist agenda and its willingness to use force in theaters across the globe derives from its desire to evangelize the gospel ofliberalism and thereby extend the reach of a US-dominated democratic capitalist order. These critics point to the presidency of Woodrow Wilson and trace how this agenda evolved over the next century. The dominance of liberal ideology, they argue, is so all-encompassing that virtually all of the mainvariants within the modern US foreign policy tradition, from anti-communism to neoliberalism to neoconservatism, fit under liberalism's umbrella.In Republic in Peril, the eminent foreign policy scholar David C. Hendrickson turns this thesis on its head. A trenchant critic of America's quest for global dominance, Hendrickson argues not only that liberalism is not the culprit, but is in fact where we should turn because it offers a powerfulcritique of both militarized interventionism and the US quest for full-spectrum global dominance. Covering all of the major episodes of the past century, he shows how the US has fully abandoned a tradition of republican liberalism that dates back to the Founders. The republican liberal tradition,which dominated US foreign policy for over a century, mandated non-intervention and the promotion of peace. This "golden rule" policy toward other nations served America well, he contends, and many of the pathologies that plague US foreign policy now - particularly its disastrous approach to theMiddle East - can be traced to the desertion of the republican liberal tradition. He therefore advocates returning to the more collegial form of internationalism ("iso-internationalism") that preceded Wilsonianism. Combining both a rich historical overview of modern American foreign policy with aforceful indictment of the illiberal straitjacket in which US has bound itself, Republic in Peril provides a genuinely original defense of liberalism in the service of peaceful non-intervention - a position that contemporary critics of aggressive liberalism are sure to find surprising.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Obama Legacy and Trump Prospectp. 1
America, Liberalism, and Empirep. 10
Plan of Workp. 15
1 Liberal Hegemonyp. 25
Officialdomp. 25
Rule Maker, Rule Breakerp. 28
Friends and Enemies, Protector and Protectedp. 32
The Neoliberal Economic Order on the Ropesp. 39
Who-Whom?p. 44
2 Universal Empire and Westphalian Ruinsp. 53
Toward Universal Empirep. 53
Rome and Americap. 60
Revolution, Intervention, and the Law of Nationsp. 66
The American Synthesisp. 72
Pluralism and Liberal Internationalismp. 76
Realism, Liberalism, and the Legal Orderp. 82
The Golden Rulep. 98
3 Public Bads in the Illiberal World Orderp. 105
Freedom of Navigation and East Asiap. 107
The Greater Good in the Greater Middle Eastp. 115
Surveillance State, Sanctioning State, and the New Praetorian Elitep. 122
The Open Door and Its Enemiesp. 126
Recovering Liberalismp. 130
4 Taps for Republican Libertyp. 137
Internationalism's Broken Promisesp. 137
Sacralizing Militarismp. 140
The Security Theory of Republican Liberalismp. 144
The Old Testament and Its Rivalsp. 150
5 The Renovation of American Foreign Policyp. 161
Isolationism and Globalismp. 161
A New Internationalismp. 168
Return of the Lippmann Gapp. 172
The Nixon Precedentp. 175
Toward a New Détentep. 178
Reconstituting the European Alliancep. 181
East Asian Retrenchmentp. 187
Concert versus Dominancep. 191
Heart of Darknessp. 193
Blood and Oilp. 204
Israel and the Thrasybulus Syndromep. 206
Conclusionp. 211
Acknowledgmentsp. 219
Notesp. 221
Select Bibliographyp. 263
Indexp. 269