Value Projection and American Foreign Policy   [open pdf - 81KB]

"The controversies over the Bush administration's 'doctrine' of promoting democracy as a long-term goal of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) have raised once again that hardy perennial in the debate over American foreign policy: value projection. The debate juxtaposes two basic positions: the Jeffersonian idea that the United States should, when possible, serve as an active agent for the spread of democratic values in the world, and the Washingtonian idea that we should serve as a model for the rest of the world by developing democracy at home, not by taking actions to foster it abroad. Both groups of early Americans were children of the Enlightenment: they saw liberal, republican government as universally beneficial and desirable. The question was how best to support its development in the world. Not surprisingly, there has been much controversy between the two schools over the periodic attempts to promote democracy actively, especially since the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. Active attempts to promote democratic values often have taken place during or at the end of wars. It is during those periods that the structure of the international order is in flux, and opportunities appear to present themselves."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Strategic Studies Institute: http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/
Media Type:
Help with citations