Blogs: Paul Pillar

The Exceptional But Fragile American Democracy

Paul Pillar

We can come full circle back to the connection between domestic politics and foreign policy by referring to what Walter Russell Mead describes as the Jeffersonian tradition of foreign policy thinking. Jeffersonians believe, in Mead's words, that “the specific cultural, social, and political heritage of the United States is a precious treasure to be conserved, defended, and passed on to future generations”. They recognize that this heritage is not only precious but “rare”. In foreign policy, the Jeffersonian perspective stresses that whatever the United States does overseas ought not to endanger that heritage. This has led to a Jeffersonian emphasis on restraint in undertaking any foreign operations or commitments, an emphasis that is as pertinent today as it ever was. But the underlying Jeffersonian realization concerns how fragile and easily endangered is the rare, precious, liberal democracy that Americans enjoy. It can be endangered by what misguided Americans do at home as well as abroad.

Image: Voting. Photo by Theresa Thompson, CC BY 2.0.

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The Itch to Escalate the Syrian Civil War

Paul Pillar

We can come full circle back to the connection between domestic politics and foreign policy by referring to what Walter Russell Mead describes as the Jeffersonian tradition of foreign policy thinking. Jeffersonians believe, in Mead's words, that “the specific cultural, social, and political heritage of the United States is a precious treasure to be conserved, defended, and passed on to future generations”. They recognize that this heritage is not only precious but “rare”. In foreign policy, the Jeffersonian perspective stresses that whatever the United States does overseas ought not to endanger that heritage. This has led to a Jeffersonian emphasis on restraint in undertaking any foreign operations or commitments, an emphasis that is as pertinent today as it ever was. But the underlying Jeffersonian realization concerns how fragile and easily endangered is the rare, precious, liberal democracy that Americans enjoy. It can be endangered by what misguided Americans do at home as well as abroad.

Image: Voting. Photo by Theresa Thompson, CC BY 2.0.

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The War Candidates

Paul Pillar

We can come full circle back to the connection between domestic politics and foreign policy by referring to what Walter Russell Mead describes as the Jeffersonian tradition of foreign policy thinking. Jeffersonians believe, in Mead's words, that “the specific cultural, social, and political heritage of the United States is a precious treasure to be conserved, defended, and passed on to future generations”. They recognize that this heritage is not only precious but “rare”. In foreign policy, the Jeffersonian perspective stresses that whatever the United States does overseas ought not to endanger that heritage. This has led to a Jeffersonian emphasis on restraint in undertaking any foreign operations or commitments, an emphasis that is as pertinent today as it ever was. But the underlying Jeffersonian realization concerns how fragile and easily endangered is the rare, precious, liberal democracy that Americans enjoy. It can be endangered by what misguided Americans do at home as well as abroad.

Image: Voting. Photo by Theresa Thompson, CC BY 2.0.

Pages

The Costs and Consequences of Managing Rogue States

Paul Pillar

We can come full circle back to the connection between domestic politics and foreign policy by referring to what Walter Russell Mead describes as the Jeffersonian tradition of foreign policy thinking. Jeffersonians believe, in Mead's words, that “the specific cultural, social, and political heritage of the United States is a precious treasure to be conserved, defended, and passed on to future generations”. They recognize that this heritage is not only precious but “rare”. In foreign policy, the Jeffersonian perspective stresses that whatever the United States does overseas ought not to endanger that heritage. This has led to a Jeffersonian emphasis on restraint in undertaking any foreign operations or commitments, an emphasis that is as pertinent today as it ever was. But the underlying Jeffersonian realization concerns how fragile and easily endangered is the rare, precious, liberal democracy that Americans enjoy. It can be endangered by what misguided Americans do at home as well as abroad.

Image: Voting. Photo by Theresa Thompson, CC BY 2.0.

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