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Obama: From Defensive Liberalism to Defensive Realism— Systemic Changes Lead to the End of the Liberalization Project

Obama: From Defensive Liberalism to Defensive Realism— Systemic Changes Lead to the End of the Liberalization Project

Chapter:
(p.216) 9 Obama: From Defensive Liberalism to Defensive Realism— Systemic Changes Lead to the End of the Liberalization Project
Source:
Grand Strategy from Truman to Trump
Author(s):
Benjamin MillerZiv Rubinovitz
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226735153.003.0010

Obama came to office with strong Defensive Liberal preferences—based both on his views formed during a young age and the effects of the post-9/11 era, especially the Iraq war experience. Obama aimed to minimize military commitments and interventions in general, including for democracy-promotion. In his view, the US should pursue a light footprint and instead of focusing on regime change, should change US reputation in the world and focus on weakening anti-Americanism by adopting more accommodating policies.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, defensive liberalism, Iraq war, anti-Americanism, defensive realism, sanctions, Russia, China, Middle East

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