Ideology in U.S. Foreign Policy: Case Studies in U.S. China Policy

Ideology in U.S. Foreign Policy: Case Studies in U.S. China Policy

Ideology in U.S. Foreign Policy: Case Studies in U.S. China Policy

Ideology in U.S. Foreign Policy: Case Studies in U.S. China Policy

Synopsis

This book provides an alternative theoretical approach to the study of the role of ideology in U.S. foreign policy, emphasizing the importance of ideology in foreign relations. Unlike traditional approaches, which tend to neglect the variable magnitude of ideological influence, Chen's approach postulates a two-step causal relationship that explains changes in the strength of ideology and their influence on U.S. foreign policy. Changes in objective conditions cause changes in the strength of ideology, and these changes in turn create fluctuations in U.S. foreign policy.

Excerpt

It is inviting to postulate that the set of values, cognitions, ideas, and ideals-- namely the ideology held by a majority of the American people--substantially affects U.S. foreign policy. To establish the relationship between ideology and foreign policy is always a difficult task, but it is too important to be left in a state of neglect. and this subject has already drawn the attention of quite a few eminent scholars.

In offering theoretical analyses of the role of ideology, most scholars have assumed that the ideology, both as prescriptive guide and as functional instrument, has rigidly influenced U.S. foreign policy-making. This view, however, has never given sufficient consideration to the possibility that the degree of ideology's influence on foreign policy-making varies in accordance with dynamic changes in objective conditions.

This study is part of an ongoing exploration for a new approach to the role of ideology in U.S. foreign policy. Unlike traditional approaches, which tend to neglect the variable magnitude of ideology's influence, the central notion of this new approach is that change in the strength of ideology determines the fluctuations in U.S. foreign policy; moreover, changes in objective conditions determine changes in the strength of ideology. the purpose of this study is to explore this alternative approach using the method of case studies of U.S. China policy. This chapter presents the theoretical foundations for the approach and hypotheses for the case studies.

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