The Bush Doctrine and the War on Terrorism: Global Responses, Global Consequences

The Bush Doctrine and the War on Terrorism: Global Responses, Global Consequences

The Bush Doctrine and the War on Terrorism: Global Responses, Global Consequences

The Bush Doctrine and the War on Terrorism: Global Responses, Global Consequences


The presidency of George W. Bush has been widely regarded as having occasioned one of the most dramatic shifts in the history of American foreign policy. The US interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the declaration of a 'war on terrorism' and the enunciation of a 'Bush Doctrine' of unrivalled military power, 'regime change' for 'rogue states', and preventive and pre-emptive war together generated unprecedented divisions in the international community.

In this edited volume, leading international experts analyze the nature and scale of the global transformation wrought by the Bush foreign policy in three clear parts:

  • part one examines the extent of the Bush administration's break with prior American foreign policy.
  • in Part two, region and country-specific experts assess the responses to the Bush Doctrine and the interaction of domestic and international politics that shaped these. They explore how governments, political parties, the media and public opinion react to US foreign policy and assess the implications for domestic, regional and international politics.
  • part three examines the likely long-term implications of the Bush Doctrine in relation to a set of major thematic issues including: war and peace; the global economy; human rights and the UN.

Providing a balanced and dispassionate assessment of continuity and change in American foreign policy, national/regional responses to it, and the impact of US foreign policy on a set of 'big picture' discrete issues, this bookis essential reading for scholars and researchers of international relations and contemporary history.


When huge world ‘events’ take place, scholars subsequently reflect upon their meaning for global politics, their comparative historical importance and the extent to which the world has significantly changed, remains the same, is somehow ‘qualified’ or ‘altered’ in the short, medium or long term or confronts greater threats of instability than before. Themes of rupture, revolution, reform, continuity, stability, threat, balance of power, alliances and types of polarity are revisited in the light of what has just occurred. Existing approaches to international relations such as liberalism, realism, neo-realism, rationalism, constructivism, Marxism and post-modernism also come under the critical spotlight for re-evaluation. Examples of such key international events since l940 include the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in l941, the exploding of atomic and then hydrogen bombs by the us and Soviet Union, the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, Soviet intervention in Hungary in l956 and Czechoslovakia in l968, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Gulf War of 1991, nato intervention in Kosovo in 1999 and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon by al-Qaeda on 11 September 2001, and a string of subsequent ones in Madrid, London and Bali, with more feared.

That leaders formally adopt sets of principles or ‘doctrines’ to make explicit how they wish to deal with issues of state security and responsibility after such events is neither new nor surprising. in setting out the principles that underpin a state’s international relations, the public declaration by political leaders of a doctrine serves a dual purpose. On the one hand, it reflects and reinforces the values, beliefs and preferences of a particular domestic audience, setting out the goals, ends and means by which a state seeks to chart its course in the world. On the other, it speaks to an international audience of allies, adversaries and neutrals, making clear what the state’s leadership wishes to achieve, how it seeks to do this and what, in turn, other states should expect from its behaviour. Doctrines therefore represent more than mere political rhetoric or symbolic statements of passing academic interest and marginal practical consequence. Such statements of grand strategy represent promissory notes and warnings alike, elevated far above the . . .

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