SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: In recent decades, several sociologists have moved beyond grand theories of international relations, and empirically examined the motivations of US foreign policy leading into the 21st century. This article discusses the work of three political sociologists who have examined US foreign policy from three prominent perspectives: Michael Mann, William Robinson, and Julian Go. Working from a neo-Weberian perspective, Mann highlights the rise of neoconservatism within the US government that has encouraged foreign expansion. From a neo-Marxist perspective, Robinson emphasizes the importance of transnational capitalist class interests, including the promotion of neoliberal policies, on US foreign policy. And working from a world-systems perspective, Go underscores how the US is a hegemon in decline attempting to regain its imperial footing through military aggression. While these researchers cover much ground and raise important questions, their perspectives also contain several blindspots that future work on issues of US foreign policy could address. Most importantly, these three theoretical perspectives have neglected the importance of ideology in making sense of contemporary US foreign policy, and this article argues that future work should more intensively examine how ideology influences foreign policymaking in the US.
Abstract: The first year and half of Trump’s presidency has demonstrated a visible departure from the Obama’s policy in West Asia. While the basic premise of the two administrations of protecting American national interest remains, their methods are significantly different. Obama wanted to move away while Trump has retrenched the USA in regional affairs. While Trump is being accused of taking rash decisions and pushing the region into further chaos, Obama’s hands-off policy did not prevent the regional turmoil either. The common chord between Obama’s legacy and Trump’s policies in West Asia is that the USA is losing ground to emerging global powers, such as Russia and China despite remaining the predominant security guarantor.