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American foreign policy in the post-Cold War: what do democrats and republicans think about that?

Grant number: 12/25218-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2013
Effective date (End): April 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Political Behavior
Principal Investigator:Maria Do Socorro Sousa Braga
Grantee:Flávio Contrera
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):14/16639-3 - The foreign policy agenda of democratic and republican parties in the post-Cold war, BE.EP.DR

Abstract

For over forty years the fight against the spread of communism dominated the agenda of foreign policy of the United States. But the end of the Cold War and the consequent emergence of a new world order posed new challenges for its foreign policy. In the absence of a threat considered vital, the U.S. had great difficulty to identify and promote their national interests. Marked by a dominance of smaller-scale threats, often transnational in origin, the post-Cold War period was characterized, from the beginning, by lack of clarity with respect to the U.S. international goals. Despite its position as the sole remaining superpower, the United States was questioned about the new directions of its foreign policy, revealing numerous questions about his real willingness and ability to continue leading the system. Given this context, were renewed the traditional discussions between isolationists and internationalists, realists and idealists, permeated by debate decline/renewal. These discussions were not outside the American political parties, who despite sustaining different standards in their foreign policy agendas since the American involvement in Vietnam, would be unifying around the strategy of containing communism during the Cold War. But the end of the bipolar conflict also eliminated the element of foreign policy consensus between Democrats and Republicans. The external issues are always an agenda present in the U.S. presidential contest, though very rarely assume the centrality of the debate. On the other hand, there is much discussion about the differences in agendas and proposals of American parties domestically. While Republicans are generally seen by Americans as the most capable of dealing with issues of rule of law and national defense, the Democrats, in turn, are seen as those that best deal with social welfare and civil rights issues. However, in relation to priority issues for these parties in the external scenario there is little discussion and clarification. Thus, the main objective of this project is to identify differences of thematic emphases in the composition of Democrats and Republicans foreign policy agendas in the Post-Cold War. The identification of these emphases, through content analysis of presidential campaign platforms of the parties and the analysis of roll-call voting of legislators of each party in Congress, in matters of foreign policy, fills a gap simultaneously in foreign policy studies and literature of political parties, in order that our theme lies at the intersection of two disciplines that little dialogue. (AU)

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