American Exceptionalism and Human Rights

By Michael Ignatieff | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
American Exceptionalism, Exemptionalism,
and Global Governance

JOHN GERARD RUGGIE

MORE THAN ANY other country, the United States was responsible for creating the post-World War II system of global governance. But from the start, that historic mission exhibited the conflicting effects of two very different forms of American exceptionalism. For Franklin Roosevelt, the key challenge was to overcome the isolationist legacy of the 1930s and to ensure sustained U.S. engagement in achieving and maintaining a stable international order. Old-world balance-of-power reasoning in support of that mission held little allure for the American people—protected by two oceans, with friendly and weaker neighbors to the north and south, and pulled unwillingly into two costly world wars by that system's breakdown. So Roosevelt framed his plans for winning the peace in a broader vision that tapped into America's sense of self as a nation: the promise of an international order based on rules and institutions promoting human betterment through free trade and American-led collective security, human rights and decolonization, as well as active international involvement by the private and voluntary sectors. For Roosevelt's successors, countering the Soviet threat reinforced the mission and in many respects made it easier to achieve. This first form of American exceptionalism— pursuing an international order that resonated with values the American people saw as their own—became the basis for a global transformational agenda whose effects are unfolding still.1

Earlier versions of this chapter were presented at the Bucerius University Program on
Global Governance in Hamburg, Germany; the Kennedy School's Carr Center for Human
Rights Policy seminar on American Exceptionalism; a conference on American Unilater-
alism at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University; the Yale Law School Globaliza-
tion Seminar; and the University of Toronto Law School Workshop on Law, Globalization
and Justice. I am indebted to Cary Coglianese, Michael Ignatieff, Kal Raustiala, Frederick
Schauer, and Anne-Marie Slaughter for their helpful comments; to Jason Scott for biblio-
graphical assistance; and to the Kennedy School Initiative on Corporate Social Responsibil-
ity for research support.

1 I have discussed Roosevelt's strategy of engagement and its legacy at length in John
Gerard Ruggie, Winning the Peace: America and World Order in the New Era (New York:

-304-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
American Exceptionalism and Human Rights
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 353

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.