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COPYRIGHT NOTICE: G. John Ikenberry, Thomas J. Knock, Anne-Marie Slaughter & Tony Smith: The ... - page 21 / 25





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20 Introduction

Germany and Japan, opening the world economy, and ghting the Cold War. Under the cover of the Cold War, a revolution in relations between the Western great powers took place. The other logic was the liberal inter- nationalist agenda for spreading liberty and democracy worldwide. These two impulses—to deepen and expand liberal order—were evinced during the early postwar years in the Truman administration’s two hallmark initia- tives—the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine. One sought to save and unite Western Europe, while the other advanced ambitious ideals for coming to the assistance of nations and peoples struggling to be free.31 Both impulses were present in the thoughts and actions of Woodrow Wil- son. The struggle over the legacy of Woodrow Wilson is in part a struggle between these two parts of the larger liberal vision.

Wilsonianism in the Twenty-First Century

The end of the Cold War seemed to be a vindication of the Wilsonian vi- sion. Democratic transitions and economic integration had ushered in what some saw as a global Wilsonian era. Indeed the 1990s were in many ways the greatest “liberal moment” of the twentieth century. The Cold War ended; democracy and markets ourished around the world; global- ization was enshrined as a progressive historical force; and ideology, na- tionalism, and war were at a low ebb. NAFTA, APEC, and the WTO sig- naled a strengthening of the rules and institutions of the world economy. NATO was expanded and the U.S.-Japan alliance was renewed. Russia became a quasi-member of the West, and China was a “strategic partner” with Washington. President Clinton’s grand strategy of building post–Cold War order around expanding markets, democracy, and institutions was the triumphant embodiment of the liberal vision of international order.

But the end of the Cold War also set in motion shifts in the global sys- tem that generated new challenges for liberal internationalism. The lib- eral international order was no longer simply the West or the “free world”—it was now truly global. As a result, dilemmas and tensions within the liberal international tradition that had remained mostly out of sight now appeared in the full light of day. Questions about the ability of the international community to make good on its expanding normative com- mitments to human rights and the responsibility to protect emerged. With

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