Saturday, June 25, 2011

Understanding Obama's Foreign Policy: Democratist - Book Review of Michael McFaul's "Advancing Democracy Abroad"

Book Review: “Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should and How We Can” by Michael McFaul. � Democratist

I think McFaul's book "Advancing Democracy Abroad" and McFaul's approach certainly informs the Obama administration's foreign policy. McFaul defines his approach as "Wilsonian liberalism with a realist core".

This approach considers it to be in America's best interest to make alliances with democracies and shun alliances with autocrats. The realist part would be to maintain the current alliances but place far more effort toward the promotion of human rights and democracy in these countries. Thus, changing the dymanic of these relationships. The realist approach simply makes alliances with nations without regard to regime type.

Another aspect of a more liberal approach would be that the use of military force, except in extreme examples like the obligation to prevent genocide (i.e. libya), should be avoided in order to maintain consistency with the ideals of human rights. America must maintain its moral high ground. This idealism is something that America from Reagan to Bush so readily sacrificed.

We can easily see that the idealism of Wilsonian Liberalism, which I strongly support, has led autocrats to feel far less secure and democracy advocates in these nations to become far more emboldened under the backdrop of the Obama Administration. Thus, the Arab spring!!!

No comments: