Steven Hurst

in Cold War US Foreign Policy

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780748620791
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652686 | DOI:

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This chapter analyses the traditional interpretation of US foreign policy during the Cold War. It explains that traditionalism is better understood as an extension of the prevailing pre-World War 2 historiography of American diplomacy. It suggests that as an explanation of US foreign policy, traditionalism is characterised primarily by shallowness and one-dimensionality and that the policy-making process was reduced to the actions of senior government officials guided solely by a handful of key principles, for which they were acting in isolation from all external pressures except perhaps Russian wickedness.

Keywords: traditionalism; foreign policy; Cold War; American diplomacy; one-dimensionality; policy-making process

Chapter.  9232 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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