The birth and demise (?) of the American era: Wilsonianism and its legacy vs. the US international strategy

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Instytut Zachodni im. Zygmunta Wojciechowskiego
The main goal of this paper is to analyse continuity and change in American foreign policy with special emphasis on President Woodrow Wilson’s approach and its impact on the US international strategy during World War II, the beginning of the Cold War and in the post-Cold War era. It is argued that Wilson’s approach was not created in a vacuum and although it put an end to the era that was inspired by President George Washington’s farewell address from 1796, it fits very well in the traditional thought regarding the American people and mission, as well as other elements that are at the core of US international activity. Wilsonianism, understood as liberal internationalism, has been a very influential concept in the development of American foreign policy for decades and during World War II it contributed to the rise of the American era in international politics. Due to the transformation of the global order after the end of the Cold War and also in the wake of the Donald Trump presidency, it may be considered whether or not the American era has come to an end. The analysis of US foreign policy takes into account both liberal theory, referred to by Woodrow Wilson, as well as realism theory, associated with Wilson’s predecessor, President Theodor Roosevelt.
foreign policy, the United States, Wilsonianism, democracy promotion, multilateralism
"Przegląd Zachodni", 2021/2022, Special Issue, s. 173-191.
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