What are the competing visions for a U.S. grand strategy, their objectives, premises and preferred instruments?
U.S. Grand Strategy
Robert J. Art lays out eight possible grand strategies for consideration: Dominion, Global Collective Security; Regional Collective Security; Cooperative Security; Containment; Isolationism; Offshore Balancing; and, Selective Engagement (2003, 82). These strategies are derived from national interests. I will tackle each strategy one-by-one and describe their objectives, premises and preferred instruments.
Dominion – The objective of dominion is imperial world dominance in that America acquires as much power for itself as it can, primarily through the instruments of military force and capabilities, and attempts to refashion the world in its image (Art 2003, 87-88). Art adds another view, Primacy, which is merely “superior influence” rather than total domination (2003, 90).
Christopher Layne essentially calls dominion and primacy by the term of “Preponderance,” and adds that the strategy seeks a “U.S.-led world order based on preeminent U.S. political, military and economic power, and on American values” (1997, 101). Layne explains that practicing extended deterrence and maximizing economic interdependence deal with threats to that order and will prevent the rise of a rival power (1997, 101). Read more
January 30, 2010 – Jeffrey R. Dwiggins, Copyright, Kapok Tree Diplomacy –
The Extent That Theories of Cooperation Harmonize With Reality in Contemporary International Relations
International relations theorists have presented distinctly different views on both the prospects for cooperation among states and the environmental and structural constraints impeding it for decades. This essay will explain and analyze the main views put forth in Robert Keohane‘s Regime and Complex Interdependency Theory, Bruce Russett’s Democratic Peace Theory, David Held’s democratization of global politics, and conclude with Robert Jervis’s ideas on the effectiveness of creating institutions to increase cooperation.
The views of Jervis will bring us full circle with realist and neo-realist views of cooperation. Throughout the essay, I will assess to what extent the arguments of these theorists are convincing. Do these theories of cooperation harmonize with reality in contemporary international relations? The following essay will explain how and why they do, and in other cases how and why they do not.
Theories of Cooperation
Keohane – Regimes and Complex Interdependency Theory. Keohane defines cooperation as occurring when “actors adjust their behavior to the actual or anticipated preferences of others, through a process of policy coordination” (“Cooperation” 491). The definition leaves some room for why actors would adjust their behavior at all. Keohane implies that the answer is found in mutual interests that are of equal importance (“Cooperation” 490). When such mutual interests are present, actors will want to bargain and negotiate as opposed to the manipulation and coercion that prevail under divergent interests and lead to strife. Read more