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  • Author: Nicole Mellow, Peter Trubowitz
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The attacks of September 11 and the resulting war on terrorism present a puzzle to conventional explanations of foreign policy bipartisanship. Public anxiety about the international environment increased sharply after the attacks in 2001, but this did not translate into greater foreign policy consensus despite the initial predictions of many analysts. In this article, we advance a theory of foreign policy bipartisanship that emphasizes its domestic underpinnings to explain the absence of consensus in Washington. We argue that bipartisanship over foreign policy depends as much on domestic economic and electoral conditions as on the international security environment. Using multivariate analysis of roll call voting in the House of Representatives from 1889 to 2008, we show that bipartisanship over foreign policy is most likely not only when the country faces a foreign threat but also when the national economy is strong and when party coalitions are regionally diverse. This was the case during the Cold War. Despite concern about terrorism in recent years, economic volatility and regional polarization have made bipartisan cooperation over foreign policy elusive.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Washington, Central Asia
  • Author: Lee Marsden
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: US foreign policy owes much to a malleable religious identity, shaped by foundational myths, and that this religious dimension has, until recently, been largely neglected in the US foreign policy literature to the detriment of our understanding of how America's status as global hegemon is formed, sustained and expanded. This article explores the role of the foundational myths of manifest destiny, exceptionalism and innocent nation. These foundational myths are explored as they develop into a civil religion espoused by successive presidents from George to the present day. The article considers how Barack Obama has utilised civil religion to maximise domestic support for a foreign policy agenda, which seeks to maintain US hegemony through a more conciliatory and multilateral approach than his predecessor in the White House. Examples of the use of soft power through missionary endeavour and the evangelicalisation of military hard power beginning during the George W. Bush presidency are detailed in order to reveal an Obama presidency that continues to define itself in religious terms while providing opportunities for religious actors to continue to play a role in representing US interests beyond its shores.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington