Download Constructing 21St Century U.S. Foreign Policy: Identity, by K. Schonberg PDF

By K. Schonberg

This publication argues that, within the years because the September 11 assaults, socially developed understandings of the id of the USA and its neighbors and enemies have performed a serious function in deciding on the process U.S. overseas coverage, specifically the Bush administration's offerings with reference to the battle on Iraq.

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Extra info for Constructing 21St Century U.S. Foreign Policy: Identity, Ideology, and America’s World Role in a New Era

Sample text

They note that “these imagined national communities are not always well synchronized with state boundaries—as in the case of the contemporary Kurds or Basques, for example. 51 34 C o n s t r u c t i n g 2 1 s t C e n t u r y U . S . F o r e i g n P o l i c y Developing identity within groups is a hardwired function of the human brain, and national identity is one expression of this function on a large scale. But it is neither the first nor likely the last such expression in human history. The nation as it is now understood is an invention of modernity (and late modernity at that; truly modern “nation-states” date only to nineteenth-century Europe, though certainly the development of both the nation and the state as they now exist had been under way for many centuries).

After generations of hostility and active war, Germany and Japan became part of a democratic security community in the second half of the twentieth century, a concert of states built around a stunningly new norm of the impossibility of war between the world’s leading economic powers. This was able to occur because of changes in the material power structure of the international system—the permanent limitation of German and Japanese military power and the emergence of the cold war. But it also happened because the former adversaries could now imagine international cooperation because they understood each other as sharing common values domestically.

All communal groups, all “We” groups, are trust based. Social groups function on the basis of such trust—belief that we have the same goals and will cooperate to achieve them, that cars will stop when we cross the street, that the mail will be delivered, that contracts will be honored, and that the rules and norms associated with the group will be abided by. It is this trust that distinguishes society from the state of nature, that allows an individual to leave his or her home without experiencing constant insecurity and fear.

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