Democratic Vanguardism

Democratic Vanguardism : Modernity, Intervention, and the Making of the Bush Doctrine

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Democratic Vanguardism explores the origins, development, and implication of the United States' policy after 9/11 to promote democracy by force and thereby advance its national security. It explores disputes among political theorists, elected statesmen, and public intellectuals to help enrich our understanding of this most fraught period in American foreign relations, and it provides a novel account on the discourse of historical teleology that underpinned the Bush Doctrine.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 154.94 x 220.98 x 25.4mm | 521.63g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739179691
  • 9780739179697

Review quote

Michael Harland's insightful exploration of the intellectual roots of 'democratic vanguardism' in American foreign policy greatly expands our understanding of America's behavior on the world stage. Perhaps even more importantly, it lays the groundwork for thinking about competing visions and narratives of the American liberal republic and its engagement with the nations outside its borders-visions and narratives more plausible and more productive than those currently dominating the agenda. -- Edward Rhodes, dean of the School of Public Policy, George Mason University Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush Doctrine offered a powerful reinterpretation of the role democracy promotion should play in U.S. foreign policy. Advancing democracy abroad was no longer regarded as misplaced idealism; rather it was identified as a realistic and necessary response to the terrorist threat. While some dismissed this concern with democracy as little more than a cloak to shield America's self-interested behavior, in this book, Michael Harland strongly argues that a firm belief in the necessity of promoting democracy was an important driver in shaping the Bush administration's policies. He also shows that while the Bush Doctrine may have been revolutionary, it certainly was not an aberration. The Bush Doctrine fitted closely within influential traditions of exceptionalism and liberalism that have shaped American political culture and its foreign policy. Democratic Vanguardism: Modernity, Intervention, and the Making of the Bush Doctrine is a valuable contribution to our understanding of how these long-standing traditions combined with the events of 9/11 to create a 'perfect storm', which produced a dangerously warped understanding of democracy and America's role in the world. -- Christopher Hobson, Waseda University
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About Michael Harland

Michael Harland holds a PhD in history from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements Introduction 1. America at the Vanguard: Democracy Promotion and the Bush Doctrine Debating the "Freedom Agenda" Democracy in the Bush Doctrine Leninists in the White House? Democratic Vanguardism Conclusion 2. Assessing History's End: Thymos and the Post-Historic Life The Quest for Recognition "Men without Chests" Conclusion 3. The Exceptional Nation: Power, Principle and American Foreign Policy Exemplarism and Vindicationalism The Roots of Exceptionalist Thought "Exemplarism" and the Early Republic The Development of Vindicationalism The Case of Wilsonian Idealism Conclusion 4. The "Crisis" of Liberal Modernity: Neoconservatism, Relativism and Republican Virtue Classifying a "Persuasion" The Strauss Connection Responding to Relativism Renewing Republican Virtue Virtue and Foreign Affairs Conclusion 5. An "Intoxicating Moment:" The Rise of Democratic Globalism Democratic Realism and the Rise of Globalism History's Penultimate Moment "Foreign Policy Fusion?" Conclusion 6. The Perfect Storm: September 11 and the coming of the Bush Doctrine "A Day of Fire" "Our Mission and Our Moment" A New Doctrine for a New Era? Towards Regime Change Conclusion Conclusion Bibliography About the Author
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