Is America still the world’s policeman?
Sunday 2 November, 2.00pm until 3.30pm, Seminar Space

Since the invasion of Iraq, US foreign policy has been subject to much criticism. During the Cold War American hegemony was largely accepted by the West, whilst in the 1990s America was perceived to be acting as a force for good in the world, leading campaigns of humanitarian intervention. The Iraqi debacle has led to a great deal of criticism not least from firm allies in Europe, with calls for a return to the more multilateral approach that was argued to have characterised the 1990s and for regional and emerging powers such as Brazil to be given permanent seats on the UN Security Council. 

The Bush government has been characterised as a ruthless and unilateral actor in the international sphere. But America’s military adventures today do not fit the old template of Yankee imperialism or Cold War brinkmanship, and indeed critics often emphasise the more personal motivations of Bush and the ‘neocon conspirators’. There is deep ambivalence about war and foreign policy generally within the US itself. Even military families have been critical of the war in Iraq, and yet there is no anti-war movement comparable to that against the Vietnam War. Some commentators argue that Americans are simply too pampered and self-indulgent to face a determined enemy. So is the US a global bully or a fading power – or both, or neither?

With both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates arguing for a return to multilateralism, and claims that a President Obama in particular would restore America’s global moral authority, what does the future hold for America’s foreign policy? What do Americans believe their country’s role in the world should be?

Watch the session video...

 Speakers
Professor Anatol Lieven
professor, Department of War Studies, King's College London; author of Ethical Realism: A Vision for America’s Role in the World (with John Hulsman).
Brendan O'Neill
editor, spiked; columnist, Big Issue; contributor, Spectator; author, A Duty to Offend: Selected Essays
Professor Robert Singh
professor of politics, Birkbeck College, University of London; author with Tim Lynch After Bush: The Case For Continuity in American Foreign Policy
Bronwen Maddox
chief foreign commentator, The Times; author In Defence of America
Chair:
Dr Tara McCormack
lecturer in international politics, University of Leicester; author, Critique, Security and Power: the political limits to emancipatory approaches


 Produced by
Dr Tara McCormack lecturer in international politics, University of Leicester; author, Critique, Security and Power: the political limits to emancipatory approaches

Dr Cheryl Hudson lecturer in American history, University of Liverpool

 Battles in Print
The domestic limits to American international leadership after Bush, Tara McCormack

 Recommended readings
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In Defence of America

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My Plan for Iraq

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Timothy Lynch & Robert Singh, Cambridge University Press, 31 May 2008


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Ethical Realism

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Anatol Lieven & John Hulsman, Potter Style, 1 January 2001


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