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.

The United States and China Engagement or Containment?

The United States and China: Engagement or Containment?

Rising China versus America

CORRIGAN, Toronto Star/Cartoon Arts International/The New York Times Syndicate

American policy toward China involves conflicting objectives. Washington sees growing Chinese military and political power as threatening Asian security and U.S. hegemony globally. Washington regards China’s economic growth as mutually beneficial but also views China as challenging American values ranging from free-market capitalism to human rights and democracy. Increasingly, when security interests and the desire to see China adopt Western values have conflicted, interests have trumped values. In 2014, with President Obama due to visit ...

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