Before I begin, I wanted to note that this will hopefully be a regular mainstay on this substack, a short weekly post on the foreign policy goings on and engaging in writing to think. I do plan for this to generate better discussion on foreign affairs while offering some insight that I think will be valuable as we think about how foreign policy operates today, but also what we might want to think about when considering alternatives.
With that out of the way, let’s begin.
American foreign policy, like the rest of our Western world, is distinctly post-modern. dismantling and decolonizing old power structures and engaging in a policy of bringing the best of American and Western cultural affectations to faraway places. Whether that would be bringing democracy to Afghanistan or Panama, or watching fellow EU member states threaten others with sanctions if they do not “democratize”, as we’ve seen with Poland and Hungary. To structurally uproot one’s own political system and culture, to the point where individuals like London Mayor Sadiq Khan and much of the political class in the UK opted to remain in the European Union rather than a withdrawal and to later make the referendum all but pointless
To say, however, that this operates uniquely in the traditional lens of international relations as the nation state being the primary actor, is true, although it has definitely seen some evolution since the days of Morgenthau or Waltz. There is a reason why I find myself in the realist school, which is that power must constantly be put into calculation behind the motivations of how states act and respond to the world around them alongside their perceived constraints. This brings us to the ways in which states can act and operate on the world stage in a post-modern fashion, one such fashion being the concept of deterritorialization.