Unilateralism in US Foreign Policy: What Role does America See for Europe?

G. John Ikenberry

in Just Another Major Crisis?

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552030
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720291 | DOI:
Unilateralism in US Foreign Policy: What Role does America See for Europe?

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This chapter contends that, in a world where the West stands truly triumphant, a fundamental debate has broken out within its ranks about unilateralism versus multilateralism. The Bush administration is not simply more unilateral than previous American administrations; under Bush, America has seemingly forfeited its leadership position as the steward of the rules and institutions of governance. “Europeans want more liberal global governance while the United States seems to want less—perhaps none.” This is at the heart of the difficulties today. Still, the chapter is optimistic about the future of the Atlantic relationship. No country can solve the world's problems alone. Ultimately even the United States will have to recognize that some form of multilateralism is necessary, although it may not necessarily be the variant espoused by the Europeans today.

Keywords: multilateralism; unilateralism; global governance; United States; Europe

Chapter.  8354 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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