PS 189-01: WILSON TO OBAMA: LIBERAL INTERNATIONALISM IN THEORY AND PRACTICE OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY Fall 2010
Tony Smith Office hours: Tuesday: 9-10 and 12-2 or by appointment Packard 208 [email protected] (much better than phone, which is 73467)
Senior Seminars are meant to be capstone experience in the political science department. They presuppose background in the material to be covered and they encourage you to write a 20-30 page paper plus endnotes/footnotes on a subject relevant to the course that you select for yourself. Seminars are exercises in reading, writing, research, and class participation. Every year I select two papers from the class to nominate for the political science and international relations writing prizes. In 2010, Laura Kaplan won the top writing prize in international relations for her paper on Oscar Arias as a liberal internationalist. (You will find a copy of her essay on the Black Board—BB.) My hope is that you will consider this course to be the most important piece of intellectual work you are doing this semester if not this year.
Our topic is the study of a central tradition in the making of American foreign policy is liberal internationalism, often called Wilsonianism. The tradition maintains that American leadership of a world order based on the spread of democratic government, economic globalization based on free trade and investment, and multilateralism is not only in the interest of this country’s national security but would create the conditions for world peace. Different presidents since Woodrow Wilson have accentuated different aspects of this framework, but high water marks of liberalism can be seen in the 1940s as the Roosevelt and Truman administrations debated world order projects, and since the late 1970s during the administrations of Carter, Reagan, Bush senior, Clinton, and, most importantly, Bush junior.
This course will concentrate on two administrations especially: that of Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) and that of George W. Bush (2001-2009). But it will look at the historical sweep of the past century as well, and it will also speculate on the extent the administration of Barack Obama is, or will be,Wilsonian. The over-arching question that the course asks is in the realm of international relations theory: would the world be a markedly better place politically were its leading powers democracies; and if the answer is yes, can such a world order be created?
Three main questions will concern us. First, what is the link argued to be between American democracy promotion abroad and the national security? That is, be careful what we wish for: is the case to be made clear-cut that the global expansion of democratic government much matters, or are there reservations to be entered, doubts to be entertained to such a point that we should reject the contention altogether? Second, when is it wise to promote human rights and democracy abroad, when foolhardy? That is, if democracy promotion is in the American national interest,
1 might the obstacles to its expansion as a form of government nevertheless be so great that it would be prudent to rein in our enthusiasm for it for fear of creating disorder abroad and weakening the US? Third, how likely is the worldwide appeal of human rights and democracy (as we understand them today) to survive if there is a decline of American power in the decades to come? That is, does the worth of this form of social and political organization have local roots so that we should not exaggerate the importance of the US in its appeal?
Everyone in the class will be asked to write a 6 page paper on “What is Liberal Internationalism/Wilsonianism” due on October 19 by noon, to be returned in class on the 21st. This paper can serve as the introduction to your final paper due December 18. The topic of the final paper is either the opening line by John Ikenberry in the first reading for the semester: “Was George Bush the heir of Woodrow Wilson?” OR, “Did Woodrow Wilson “intuit” democratic peace theory between 1912 and 1920?” OR if you were writing a new Introduction and final chapter to the book America’s Mission, what would you be sure to put in it? At first reading, each of these questions may seem unclear, but within short order you’ll get on the wave length and see how probing such questions can be.
In a few instances, where students have strong interests in topics that differ from the three aforementioned, other final paper topics can be undertaken. Thus, some of you may want to stay largely with Woodrow Wilson and ask questions about how coherent his own writings were before and after he became president as to the vision that he held for America in world affairs. For example, what were his hopes for promoting democracy abroad through the creation of the Pan American Union and the League of Nations? Or why did democracy promotion seem such a panacea to Wilson; was it a form of religion that would transform human beings? Others of you may prefer to look at hypotheticals such as the question of whether a Democratic administration under Al Gore might have decided to attack Iraq as the Bush administration did, given the thinking of Joseph Lieberman as Vice-President and the role of the Progressive Policy Institute of the Democratic Leadership Council in supporting just such an undertaking. Still others may want to analyze the Obama administration in terms of who is doing what in terms of democracy promotion at State, Defense, the National Security Council, and among military leaders such as General Petraeus—not to speak of the President and the Vice-President. While we will cover briefly the period between Wilson and Bush (that is 1924-2000), let me discourage topics that do not focus either on Wilson or on our political leaders since 2000 (making the Obama administration a legitimate topic, as well, obviously, as that of George W. Bush).
Or consider what Laura Kaplan did last year in an essay you can find on the BB and which won the IR writing prize in 2010. She looked at Costa Rica’s Oscar Arias as a liberal internationalist, demonstrating that the ideas and practices called for by Wilson could be “found in translation” in the context of Central America. Kaplan’s interest was in Latin America studies (she is currently in Colombia on a Fulbright) so she was able to mesh her general interests to this course.
BOOKS FOR THE COURSE (all are in paper except Ikenberry and Smith, A Pact but check amazon.com for used copies)
John Ikenberry et al., American Foreign Policy in Crisis: The Future of Wilsonianism in the Twenty-First Century, Princeton University Press Will Marshall, ed., With All Our Might 0742551997 Rowman and Littlefield Tony Smith, America’s Mission: The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy in the Twentieth Century, Princeton University Press Tony Smith, A Pact with the Devil: Washington’s Bid for World Supremacy and the Betrayal of the American Promise Morton H. Halperin and Michael H. Fuchs, The Survival and the Success of Liberty: A Democracy Agenda for U.S. Foreign Policy. Century Foundation, 9780870785146
Assigned articles that are on the Blackboard are so indicated by BB.
AGENDA FOR THE COURSE
1. Sept. 9: Introduction to the subject and tips on reading and writing
2. Sept. 16: John Ikenberry et al., American Foreign Policy in Crisis; Ikenberry and Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Forging a World of Liberty under Law,” the Princeton Project, 2006; BB; Cooper, Desch, Smith on the Ikenberry et al. volume from h-diplo July 2009 BB
3. Sept. 23: T. Smith, America’s Mission, preface and chpts 1-4; Smith, “From ‘Fortunate Vagueness’ to ‘Democratic Globalism,’” BB.
4. Sept. 30: Statements by Wilson himself: “On Democratic Government,” 1885 BB; selections from The State, 1898, BB; Mobile speech, October 1913; Address to the Senate, January 22, 1917; Declaration of War, April 1917; Fourteen Points, January 1918; Address to the Senate, July 1919; essay in the Atlantic Monthly of December 1902, “The Ideals of America”—all of which can be found by googling or on BB.
5. Oct. 7: Pankaj Mishra, “Ordained as a Nation,” London Review of Books, Feb. 21, 2008 BB; The Atlantic Charter: Joint Statement by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, 8/14/1941; The Yalta Conference II: Declaration of Liberated Europe, 2/1945; “The Truman Doctrine,” 3/12/1947; JFK, Inaugural and announcement of the Alliance for Progress, “Address, 3/16/1961,” the Carter Inaugural; Ronald Reagan, “Westminster Speech,” 6/4/1982. All of these statements/speeches are on BB but can easily be googled. America’s Mission, chpts. 6-10.
3 6. Oct. 14, America’s Mission, chpt. 11; Pact with the Devil, Preface, intro, chpts. 1-3; George W. Bush, “The National Security Strategy of the United States,” 9/2002; Bush speeches of June 1, 2002, Feb. 26, 2003, Nov. 6 2003, Jan. 20, 2005, Feb.2, 2005. Barack Obama, Cairo and Nobel addresses of June and December 2009, and skim the National Security Strategy and Hillary Clinton’s explanation of it, both May 2010.
7. Oct. 21: Paper one: What is Wilsonianism? This paper is due on October 19 by noon; it will be turned back in class on the 21th. In class today, we will watch a film, “Bush’s War” made by Frontline
8. Oct. 28: Will Marshall, ed., With All Our Might, look over the various entries in the book so as to get an overall sense of where it is going, then read the Introduction and chapters 2 (Pollack), 3 (Diamond and McFaul), 10 (Asmus), 11 (Slaughter), 14 (Kleinfeld/Spence).
9. Oct. 28: Pact with the Devil, chpt. 4; Democratic Peace Theory I: Bruce Russett and John Oneal, chpt. 8 of Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations (Norton, 2001) BB; John Rawls, chpts. 5 and 18 of The Law of Peoples (Harvard, 1999) BB
10. Nov. 4: Comparative liberal theory and liberal jurisprudence, Pact, 5-6; Larry Diamond, “Can the Whole World Become Democratic?” University of California, Irvine, CSD Paper, 3/2003; BB Thomas Franck, “The Emerging Right to Democratic Government,” American Journal of International Law, 1/1992 BB
11. TUESDAY, Nov 9: University calendar shifts Thursday classes to Tuesday this week in honoring Veterans’ Day. Pankaj Mishra, “A Cautionary Tale for Americans” BB; New York Review of Books 5/26/2005; Michael Desch, “America’s Liberal Illiberalism,” International Security, 32,3, 2007/08 BB.
12. Nov. 18: Will Democracy dominate the last half of this century? Azar Gat, “The Return of Authoritarian Great Powers,” Foreign Affairs, July/Aug. 2007 BB; Larry Diamond, “The Democratic Rollback,” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2008 BB; Martin Dimitrov, “The Resilient Authoritarians,” Current History, January 2008 BB; Joshua Kurlantzick, “Asia’s Democracy Backlash,” Current History, November 2008 BB.
Nov. 25: No Class, University Holiday/Thanksgiving
12: Dec. 2: Will Democracy Prevail? Michael McFaul, Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can, (entire)—4 student presentations
13. Dec. 9: 11 student presentations
Final paper due Friday, December 17, at noon, hard copy only (no emails or faxes), political science office, Packard Hall.