Foreign policy is messy--and also incredibly interesting. Every day, decisionmakers must formulate and modify the US’s stance towards states like Russia, China, Germany, Iran, Syria, and Israel and tackle cross-cutting issues that touch on human rights, climate change, poverty, human insecurity, nuclear arms proliferation, and economic collapse. In Contemporary American Foreign Policy: Influences, Challenges, and Opportunities, authors Richard Mansbach (Iowa State University) and Kirsten Taylor (Berry College) examine modern foreign policy problems from a variety of angles, not just through the lens of a so-called “national interest.” In each chapter, they focus on today’s most pressing contemporary challenges, exploring their origins and backgrounds. They systematically shed light on the competing forces that influence them, outline the various policy options available to decisionmakers for addressing them, and explore the potential consequences of those policies. Throughout, they also look at foreign policy at all levels: international, society, government, “role”-specific, and individual.

An American Economic Conundrum Neoliberalism or Neo-Mercantilism?

An American Economic Conundrum: Neoliberalism or Neo-Mercantilism?

U.S.-EU free-trade negotiations

Copyright © 2013 Arend Van Dam—All Rights Reserved

Foreign economic policy is an area in which U.S. leaders have long had to balance values and interests. Indeed, on several occasions Washington has had to compare the utility of imposing sanctions on countries like Russia and China in the name of human rights that impose costs on U.S. firms.

During America’s first century, Washington was more concerned about economic issues as a matter of domestic policy—to generate tax revenue, for example. As the U.S. economy grew in the 19th and 20th centuries, U.S. interests expanded, and economic policy became a more important element in foreign policy. After the United States became ...

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