Psychology of a Superpower: Security and Dominance in U.S. Foreign Policy, Christopher J. Fettweis
It has become conventional wisdom in American foreign policy debates that U.S. power undergirds the liberal international order and keeps a lid on major conflict and nuclear proliferation. According to this consensus, the world is dark and full of terrors, ranging from terrorists to rogue states to revisionist great powers, and the United States must maintain a globally engaged grand strategy and a massive military budget to contain these threats. In this interesting and insightful book, Christopher J. Fettweis debunks this view and shows that it is largely a figment of American psychology brought on by the United States’ position as the world’s sole superpower. He does not deny that the United States faces threats, but he points out that unipolarity causes American policymakers to exaggerate the scope and scale of these threats and the ability of the United States to deal with them.
Drawing on a deep literature from the field of psychology, Fettweis shows that powerful actors tend to overestimate their ability to control events and their own benevolence. Fettweis also uses international relations theory to show that powerful nations tend to expand their interests and activity around the globe, thereby creating more turbulent frontiers for them to defend and more threats to worry about.
According to Fettweis, U.S. leaders suffer from both
To continue reading, see options above.
China or Japan: Which Will Lead Asia?, Claude Meyer Reviewed by MICHAEL BECKLEY
Power and Willpower in the American Future: Why the United States Is Not Destined to Decline, Robert J. Lieber Reviewed by MICHAEL BECKLEY
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
Primaries and Conventions for 2020
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
Articles | Book reviews
THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: EXTENDING THE U.S. UMBRELLA AND INCREASING CHANCES OF WAR
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.