Bad Statesman, Good Prophet

The shape of the post-Cold War world is not really elusive. It is defined by the Wilsonian triad of democracy, free trade and arms control.

Issue: Summer 2001

Woodrow Wilson and the Post-Cold War Order

WHEN the Cold War ended, professional observers of international politics began an informal contest to describe the new post-Cold War world. This was known as the "Kennan competition", for the goal was to do for the new era what the American diplomat George Kennan had done for the post-World War II period in his influential 1947 article, "The Sources of Soviet Conduct." In that essay he identified the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union as the centerpiece of international affairs and coined the term "containment" to describe American policy toward its chief adversary.

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