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Ikenberry and Deudney’s Democratic Internationalism

“…How should the United States respond to this predicament? By doubling down on democracy, argue the authors. “America’s grand strategy should be refocused on initiating a new phase of liberal internationalism that renews and deepens democracy globally, prevents democratic backsliding, and strengthens and consolidates bonds among democratic states,” write Deudney and Ikenberry.

Five goals should be at the forefront of U.S. policy:

  • increasing equality of opportunity throughout the democratic world;
  • assuming responsibility for global problems at home;
  • building new international institutions to manage interdependence smartly;
  • reconfiguring rights and responsibilities between rising and established powers; and
  • building the democratic community through efforts at mutual understanding.

…”Democratic Internationalism” offers a sweeping, big-picture description of how the United States has led—and how it might lead in the future. Like any provocation, the piece raises more questions than it can possibly answer. Readers of a conservative bent will doubtless chafe at the authors’ selective mining of the U.S. historical record—and their progressive spin on American exceptionalism. Others may wonder how the authors’ domestic prescriptions—such as “restoring and modernizing the New Deal social contract within the United States”—will play in the Republican-controlled House or the thirty-two governors’ mansions occupied by the GOP after the 2012 elections. Finally, realists may scratch their heads and ask, does it really make sense to place such weight on cooperation among democracies, when we live in a G2 world? All good questions, stimulated by a good read.”

Source: Council on Foreign Relations

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