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II. Ir-Theory and transformation in the greater Middle East: The role of the United States

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes why post-Cold War American foreign policy regarding the Greater Middle East (GME) changed course and why the United States having a virtual military monopoly fails to achieve its war aim in Iraq. To that end, the authors consult realist and liberal theory in international relations. Realists have a security-driven policy agenda. They fail to create a micro-level foundation in political man for the posited collective interest at the level of the state. Realists therefore produce indeterminate results. Liberal theory in international relations does have a micro-foundation in explanations of foreign policy choices in the form of the economic man. Liberal scholars therefore inquire into domestic sources of foreign policy decisions. However, the liberal national interest is not just a summation of private actor interests. These dominant approaches therefore fail to explain US foreign policy choices and policy outcomes in the region under study.

Keywords: American foreign policy; Greater Middle East (GME); international relations; Iraq; liberal national interest; liberal theory; post-Cold War; United States



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