Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the transnational policy problems that exist outside the security and economic policy domains of U.S. foreign policy, including threats to the global commons, illegal immigration, weapons proliferation, and restrictions on human rights and democratic freedoms. Global public goods are at the forefront of U.S. foreign policymaking. Global policies involving U.S. interests center on environmental, energy, arms transfers, and human rights issues. The United States faces several difficulties in making transnational policy, such as domestic obstacles in Congress and self-interest motives that make the United States appear to be a free rider in some global policies. The United States, however, is the key figure in these global policies as it is the leading polluter, arms supplier, and democratization promoter in the world. Whether the United States overcomes the paradox of its own world power is the critical question of the 21st century. National success in this complex foreign policy domain will require skillful management of a rocky, yet interconnected world order that is of its own making.