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Political utilisation of scholarly ideas: the ‘clash of civilisations’ vs. ‘Soft Power’ in US foreign policy

  • JOHAN ERIKSSON and LUDVIG NORMAN
Abstract

This article discusses how and under what conditions ideas coming from International Relations (IR) scholarship are used in foreign policy. We argue that the focus on policy relevance, which dominates the IR literature on the research-policy interface, is limited. Focusing instead on political utilisation highlights types and mechanisms of political impact, which are overlooked in studies on policy relevance. The fruitfulness of this change in focus is showed in an analysis of how Samuel Huntington's ‘clash of civilizations’ notion and Joseph Nye's ‘soft power’ concept have been used in US foreign policy. George W. Bush's explicit critique and reframing of ‘the clash’ thesis should not be interpreted as absence of impact, but as a significant symbolic utilisation, which has helped legitimate US foreign policy. Likewise, in the few instances in which the notion of ‘soft power’ has been used explicitly, it has played a conceptual and symbolical rather than instrumental role. More generally, this article argues that accessible framing and paradigm compatibility are essential for political utilisation of ideas.

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1 Samuel Huntington, ‘The Clash of Civilizations’, Foreign Affairs, 72 (Summer 1993), pp. 22–49. This influential article was later expanded into a book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996). For an updated review of the critique that this notion has attracted and Huntington's reply, see an interview with Huntington in, ‘The Clash of Civilizations Revisited’ New Perspectives Quarterly, 24:1, available at: {http://www.digitalnpq.org/archive/2007_winter/14_huntington.html} accessed 30 August 2007. Joseph Nye's concept of ‘soft power’ first appeared in Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power (New York: Basic Books, 1990). In 2004, Nye elaborated his by then quite influential concept in Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: Public Affairs).

2 Alexander L. George, Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy (Washington: US Institute of Peace Press, 1993); Joseph Lepgold and Miroslav Nincic, Beyond the Ivory Tower: International Relations Theory and the Issue of Policy Relevance (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001); Bruce W. Jentleson, ‘The Need for Praxis: Bringing Policy Relevance Back In’, International Security, 26 (2002), pp. 169–83; William Wallace, ‘Truth and Power, Monks and Technocrats: Theory and Practice in International Relations’, Review of International Studies, 22 (1996), pp. 301–21; Stephen M. Walt, ‘The Relationship Between Theory and Policy in International Relations’, Annual Review of Political Science, 8 (2005), pp. 23–48.

3 Carol H. Weiss, Organizations for Policy Analysis: Helping Government Think (London: Sage, 1992); Carol H. Weiss, ‘Policy Research: Data, Ideas or Arguments?’, in P. Wagner, C. H. Weiss, B. Wittrock and H. Wollman (eds), Social Sciences and Modern States: National Experiences and Theoretical Crossroads (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 307–32; Carol H. Weiss, ‘Policy Research as Advocacy: Pro and Con’, Knowledge and Policy, 4 (1991), pp. 37–55; Carol H. Weiss, Using Social Science Research in Policymaking (Lanham: Lexington Books, 1977); Martin Bulmer, The Uses of Social Research: Social Investigation in Public Policy-Making (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1982); Janice S. Beyer, Research Utilization: Bridging the Gap between Communities. Journal of Management Inquiry, 6 (1997), pp. 17–22; Nabil Amara, Mathieu Ouimet and Réjean Landry, ‘New Evidence on Instrumental, Conceptual, and Symbolic Utilization of University Research in Government Agencies’, Science Communication, 26 (2004), pp. 75–106.

4 Beyer, ‘Research Utilization’, p. 17; cf. Amara et al., ‘New Evidence…’, pp. 75–7.

5 Nye, ‘The Decline of America's Soft Power’.

6 Michael Rose, ‘Change Attitudes, not Regimes: The War on Terror’, International Herald Tribune (4 August 2004); Mark Landler, ‘Facing Terror after London’, The New York Times, (10 July 2005); Joseph S. Nye, ‘Round by Round: Winners and Losers in the Post-9/11 Era’, The Daily Star (6 September 2006).

7 For instance, on 14 September 2006, a Subcommittee hearing in the House of Representatives took place with the title, ‘Is there a Clash of Civilizations? Islam, Democracy, and US-Middle East and Central Asia Policy’, 109th Cong. 2nd Session (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 2006). Thus, in spite of the explicit refutations of the ‘clash’ concept by the administration, whether or not there is clash going on is still an open question in other parts of the US government.

8 The research–policy interface is a recurrent theme in IR. See for instance George, Bridging the Gap; Robert L. Rothstein, Planning, Prediction, and Policymaking in Foreign Affairs: Theory and Practice (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1972); A. J. R. Groom, ‘Practitioners and Academics: Towards a Happier Relationship?’, in M. Banks (ed.), Conflicts in World Society (London: Wheatsheaf, 1984), pp. 192–208; Christoper Hill and Pamela Beshoff (eds), Two Worlds of International Relations: Academics, Practitioners and the Trade in Ideas (London: Routledge, 1994); Michel Girard, Wolf-Dieter Eberwein, and Keith Webb (eds), Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy-Making: National Perspectives on Academics and Professionals in International Relations (London: Pinter, 1994); Ken Booth, ‘Discussion: A Reply to Wallace’, Review of International Studies, 23 (1997), pp. 371–7; Steve Smith, ‘Truth and Power: A Reply to William Wallace’, Review of International Studies, 23 (1997), pp. 507–16; Steve Smith, ‘International Relations and international relations: The Links Between Theory and Practice in World Politics’, Journal of International Relations and Development, 6:3 (2003), pp. 233–9; Lepgold and Nincic, Beyond the Ivory Tower; Paul Sharp, Paul, et al. (eds), ‘Academics, Practitioners and Diplomacy: An ISP Symposium on the Theory and Practice of Diplomacy’, International Studies Perspectives, 3 (2002), pp. 139–75; Johan Eriksson and Bengt Sundelius, ‘Molding Minds That Form Policy: How to Make Research Useful’, International Studies Perspectives, 6:1, pp. 51–71; Christian Büger and Frank Gadinger, ‘Reassembling, and Dissecting: International Relations Practice From a Science Studies Perspective’, International Studies Perspectives, 8:1 (2007), pp. 90–110.

9 Cf. Judith Goldstein and Robert O. Keohane, ‘Ideas and Foreign Policy: An Analytical Framework’, in J. Goldstein and R. O. Keohane (eds), Ideas and Foreign Policy: Beliefs, Institutions and Political Change (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993), p. 5; Jeffrey Legro, ‘The Transformation of Policy Ideas,’ American Journal of Political Science, 44:4 (2000), pp. 19–32 at p. 420.

10 Walt, ‘The Relationship Between Theory and Policy in International Relations’, pp. 25–34.

11 Weiss, Social Science research and Decision-Making, p. 269; cf. Bulmer, The Uses of Social Research; George, Bridging the Gap.

12 Cf. Peter A. Hall, ‘The Movement from Keynesianism to Monetarism: Institutional Analysis in British Economic Policy’, in S. Steinmo, K. Thelen and F. Longstreth (eds), Structuring Politics: Historical Institutinalism in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 91–2; Goldstein and Keohane, Ideas and Foreign Policy, pp. 13–7; Jeffrey T. Checkel, Ideas and International Political Change: Soviet/Russian Behaviour and the End of the Cold War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), p. 5.

13 Büger and Gadinger, ‘Reassembling and Dissecting’, p. 95.

14 Groom, ‘Practitioners and Academics’; George, Bridging the Gap; James N. Rosenau Burton M. Sapin, ‘Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy-Making and Practitioners: The American Experience’, in M. Girard, W-D. Eberwein and K. Webb (eds), Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy-Making: National Perspectives on Academics and Professionals in International Relations (London: Pinter, 1994), pp. 126–35 at p. 131; Wallace, ‘Truth and Power’; Lepgold and Nincic, Beyond the Ivory Tower; Jentleson, ‘The Need for Praxis’; Walt, ‘The Relationship Between Theory and Policy in International Relations’.

15 Past studies show that the political influence of think tanks generally is very limited: Richard Higgot and Diane Stone, ‘The Limits of Influence: Foreign Policy Think Tanks in Britain and the USA.’, Review of International Studies, 20 (1994), pp. 15–34; Diane Stone and Andrew Denham (eds), Think Tank Traditions: Policy Analysis Across Nations (New York and Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994).

16 Bulmer, The Uses of Social Research; Pal (1990), pp. 140–41; Weiss, ‘Policy Research as Advocacy’, p. 38; Erik Albaek, ‘Between Knowledge and Power: Utilization of Social Science in Public Policy Making’, Policy Sciences, 28(1995), pp. 79–100.

17 Bulmer, The Uses of Social Research (1982), pp. 43–6; Leslie Pal, ‘Knowledge, Power, and Policy: Reflections on Foucault’, in S. Brooks and A-G Gagnon (eds), Social Scientists, Policy and the State (New York: Praeger, 1990), pp. 139–58 at p. 139; Albaek, ‘Between Knowledge and Power’; Mark Laffey, Mark and Jutta Weldes, ‘Beyond Belief: Ideas and Symbolic Technologies in the Study of International Relations’, European Journal of International Relations, 3 (1997), pp. 192–237; Frank Fischer, ‘Beyond Empiricism: Policy Inquiry in Postpositivist Perspective’, Policy Studies Journal, 26 (1998), pp. 129–46 at p. 129.

18 Tim Booth, ‘Researching Policy Research: Issues of Utilization’, Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization, 12 (1990), pp. 80–100 at p. 81. Emphasis in original.

19 Harold L. Wilensky, ‘Social Science and the Public Agenda: Reflections on the Relation of Knowledge to Policy in the US and Abroad’, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 22 (1997), pp. 1241–65 at p. 1242; Claire Donovan, ‘The Governance of Social Science and Everyday Epistemology’, Public Administration, 83 (2005), pp. 597–615; Claire Donovan and Phil Larkin, ‘The Problem of Political Science and Practical Politics’, Politics, 26 (2006), pp. 11–7. This is obviously still the focus in several studies of the role of ideas, particularly those based on mainly rationalist perspectives: Goldstein and Keohane, ‘Ideas and Foreign Policy’; Albert S. Yee, ‘The Causal Effects of Ideas on Policies’, International Organization, 50 (1996), pp. 69–108; Craig Parsons, ‘Showing Ideas as Causes: The Origins of the European Union’, International Organization, 56 (2002), pp. 47–84. This perspective however has received criticism, particularly from writers more inclined toward constructivism: Laffey and Weldes, ‘Beyond Belief’; Checkel , Ideas and International Political Change; Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); John K. Jacobsen, ‘Duelling Constructivisms: A Post-Mortem on the Ideas Debate in Mainstream IR/IPE,’, Review of International Studies, 29 (2003), pp. 39–60.

20 On interdemocratic peace theory as a case of politically utilised IR scholarship, cf. Lepgold and Nincic, Beyond the Ivory Tower, ch. 5; Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennet, Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), ch. 2.

21 ‘Roadmap’ is one three functions of ideas suggested by Goldstein and Keohane, ‘Ideas and Foreign Policy’, pp. 10–13. See also Craig Parsons, ‘Showing Ideas as Causes: The Origins of the European Union’, International Organization, 56 (2002), pp. 47–84; and Checkel, Ideas and International Political Change. The other two functions are ideas as ‘focal points’ and ideas as elements of institutionalisation. The latter corresponds with our notion of paradigmatic ideas, see Peter A. Hall, ‘Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain’, Comparative Politics, 25 (1993), pp. 275–96; Beyer, ‘Research Utilization’; Amara et al., ‘New Evidence on Instrumental, Conceptual, and Symbolic Utilization’.

22 Weiss, Social Science Research and Decision-Making, p. 269; cf. Weiss, Organizations for Policy Analysis; George, Bridging the Gap.

23 Janowitz, Professionalization of Sociology'; cf. Bulmer, The Uses of Social Research, p. 48; Stephen Krasner, ‘Sovereignty: An Institutional Perspective,’ Comparative Political Studies, 21:1 (1988), pp. 66–94.

24 Albaek, ‘Between Knowledge and Power’, p. 92.

25 Murray Edelman, Politics as Symbolic Action: Mass Arousal and Quiescence (Chicago: Institute for Research on Poverty, 1971); Murray Edelman, The Symbolic Uses of Politics: With a New Afterword (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985); Robert Jervis, The Symbolic Nature of Nuclear Politics (Urbana: Department of Political Science, University of Illinois, 1987); Frank Fischer, Technocracy and the Politics of Expertise (Newbury Park: Sage, 1990); Krasner, ‘Sovereignty: An Institutional Perspective’; Weiss, Using Social Science Research in Policymaking, p. 11.

26 Weiss, Using Social Science Research in Policymaking, p. 165, cf. pp. 140 ff.

27 Mark Bovens and Paul ‘tHart, Understanding Policy Fiascoes (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1998).

28 Cf. Kathryn Sikkink, Ideas and Institutions: Developmentalism in Argentina and Brazil (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991); Hugh Heclo, ‘Ideas, Interests, and Institutions,’ in L. C. Dodd and C. Jilson (eds), The Dynamics of American Politics: Approaches and Interpretations (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993); Checkel, Ideas and International Political Change; Mark Rhinard, Ideas, Interests, and Policy Change in the European Union: The Mobilization of Frames by Actors in the Agricultural and Biotechnology Sectors (PhD Thesis. Cambridge: University of Cambridge, 2002).

29 Raymond Apthorpe, ‘Writing Development Policy and Policy Analysis Plain or Clear: On Language, Genre and Power’, in C. Shore and S. Wright (eds), Anthropology of policy: Critical Perspectives on governance and power (London: Routledge, 1997), pp. 43–58 at p. 56.

30 Weiss, ‘Policy Research as Advocacy’, p. 311.

31 George, Bridging the Gap; Lepgold and Nincic, Beyond the Ivory Tower.

32 Applying the framing concept is also a way of taking into account the potential causal mechanisms and effects of the scholarly ideas themselves – both of which, according to Albert Yee, have been largely ignored in past studies of the role of ideas in policymaking. Yee, ‘The Causal Effect of Ideas on Policies’, p. 12.

33 Robert M. Entman, ‘Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm,’ Journal of Communication, 43 (1993), p. 4, pp. 51–58; Martin Rein and Donald Schön, Frame Reflection: Toward the Resolution of Intractable Policy Controversies (New York: Basic Books, 1994); David A. Rochefort and Roger W. Cobb (eds), The Politics of Problem Definition: Shaping the Policy Agenda (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1994).

34 Albaek, ‘Between Knowledge and Power,’ p. 91; Rhinard, Ideas, Interests, and Policy Change in the European Union.

35 Annika Björkdahl, ‘Constructing a Swedish Conflict Prevention Policy Based on a Powerful Idea and Successful Practice’, Cooperation and Conflict, 42:2 (2007), pp. 169–85; Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink, ‘International Norms Dynamics and Political Change’, International Organization, 52 (1998), pp. 887–917; Margareth Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998), p. 35.

36 Frank R. Baumgartner, Bryan D. Jones, Agendas and Instability in American Politics (Chicago, Ill.: The University of Chicago Press, 1993).

37 Hall, ‘Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State’; Barbara Czarniawska and Guje Sevón, (eds), Translating Organizational Change (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1996); Sikkink, Ideas and Institutions, p. 26.

38 Mark M. Blyth, ‘Any More Bright Ideas? The Ideational Turn of Comparative Political Economy’, Comparative Politics, 29 (1997), pp. 229–50, at p. 245.

39 Bovens and ‘tHart, Understanding Policy Fiascos.

40 Peter M. Haas, ‘Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination’, International Organization, 46 (1992), p. 1.

41 In the words of Kingdon, policy entrepreneurs are actors willing to invest time, reputation or money to push an issue onto the agenda. In principle, anybody can be a policy entrepreneur, inside as well as outside of the governmental apparatus. Scholars can, but do not necessarily have to be, policy entrepreneurs pushing for their ideas. This role may also be played for instance by the media, think tanks and policymakers themselves. See John W. Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies (New York: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, 1995).

42 Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies; Paul Sabatier Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, Policy Change and Learning: An Advocacy Coalition Framework (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993).

43 Weiss, ‘Policy Research as Advocacy’, p. 42.

44 Samuel P. Huntington, ‘If Not Civilizations, What? Paradigms of the Post-Cold War World’, Foreign Affairs, 72 (1993), pp. 186–94, at p. 187.

45 Nye, Soft Power, p. 49.

46 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1989). Huntington explicitly addresses the question of universality of Western values as well as calling for the unification of the west to balance the rising power of other ‘civilizations’ in a 1996 article: Samuel P. Huntington, ‘The West: Unique, Not Universal’, Foreign Affairs, 75 (1996), pp. 28–46. See also Tony Smith, A Pact with the Devil: Washington's Bid for World Supremacy and the Betrayal of the American Promise (New York: Routledge, 2006). On the role of ideas more generally for the end of the Cold War, see for example Brooks, Stephen and Wohlforth, William, ‘Power, Globalization and the End of the Cold War’, International Security, 25:3 (2000/2001), pp. 5–53.

47 Huntington, ‘The Clash of Civilizations’, p. 27.

48 It is noteworthy that Huntington's concern for a domestic clash of civilisations within the US and other countries, has not gained as much attention as his analysis of civilisation struggles on the global level (but see (Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, p. 307); Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004); Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We? America's Great Debate (London: Free Press, 2005); Emad El-Din Aysha, ‘Samuel Huntington and the Geopolitics of American Identity: The Function of Foreign Policy in America's Domestic Clash of Civilizations’, International Studies Perspectives, 4 (2003), pp. 113–32 at p. 125.

49 Nye, Soft Power, pp. x, 5.

50 The conceptual similarity between Nye's ‘soft power’ and Luke's preceding notion of the third face' of power seems not to have been acknowledged by Nye. Cf. Steven Lukes, Power: A Radical View (London: Macmillan, 1974).

51 Cf. T.V. Paul, ‘Soft Balancing in the Age of US Primacy’, International Security, 30:1 (2005), pp. 46–71; Smith, A Pact with the Devil.

52 Susan B Epstein, ‘US Public Diplomacy: Background and the 9/11 Commission Recommendations’, p. 4, CRS Report for Congress (Washington: Congressional Research Service 2006).

53 George W. Bush, The President's Address to the Nation (11 September 2007), {http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/realeases/2006/09/print/20060911-3.html} accessed 23 August 2007.

54 Collin L. Powell, ‘Remarks to the UN Security Council’ (12 November 2006), {www.state.gov/secretary/former/powell/remarks/2001/6049.htm} accessed 21 March 2007; Condoleezza Rice, ‘Interview with Hamid Mir of GEO TV’, Islamabad (17 March 2005), {www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2005/43605.htm} accessed 21 March 2007; Paul Wolfowitz, ‘Remarks at the American-Turkish Council’ Washington DC (18 March 2002), {http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=199} accessed 29 July 2008.

55 George W. Bush, National Security Strategy of the US of America, The White House (2006). {http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss/2006/nss2006.pdf} accessed 13 February 2007.

56 Roxanna Sjöstedt, ‘The Discursive Origins of a Doctrine: Norms, Identity, and Securitization under Harry S. Truman and George W. Bush’, Foreign Policy Analysis, 3 (2007), p. 3, pp. 233–54 at p. 244.

57 George W. Bush, The President's State of the Union Address (2 February 2005). {http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/02/print/20050202-11.html} accessed 15 February 2007.

58 Bush, The President's State of the Union Address (2005).

59 Bush, National Security Strategy of the US of America (2006), p. 9.

60 George W. Bush, The President's State of the Union Address (31 January 2006), {http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/01/print/20060131-10.html} accessed 15 February 2007.

61 George W. Bush, National Security Strategy of the US of America, The White House (2002), {http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.pdf} accessed 13 February 2007, p. 31.

62 George W. Bush, National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, The White House (2003), {http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/counter_terrorism/counter_terrorism_strategy.pdf} accessed 27 June 2007), p. 23.

63 Cf. James K. Glassman, ‘US Diplomacy and the War of Ideas’, {http://fpc.state.gov/107034.htm} accessed 30 July 2008). James K. Glassman, ‘Opening Statement of James K. Glassman’ Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Hearing on Nomination as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (30 January 2008).

64 Gerry J. Gillmore, ‘Anti-Terror War is Struggle of Ideas, Vice Chairman Says’ American Forces Press Service (29 March 2006), {http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=15016} accessed 29 July 2008); Paul Wolfowitz, ‘Remarks as delivered by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies’, Istanbul (14 July 2002), {http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=267} accessed 30 July 2008.

65 Bush, National Security Strategy of the US of America (2006), p. 9.

66 This similarity might be completely accidental – we are not arguing that it was Nye or his ideas which influenced this reasoning. Yet this similarity implies compatibility between Nye's ideas and the policy paradigm of the Bush administration, which facilitates explicit utilisation of the ‘soft power’ concept.

67 Richard Jackson, Writing the War on Terrorism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005); Smith, A Pact with the Devil.

68 George W. Bush The President's State of the Union Address (23 January 2007), {http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070123-2.html} accessed 15 February 2007. Noticeable is also how President Obama stated upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, ‘I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world.’ Barack H. Obama, ‘Remarks by the president at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize’ (10 December 2009), {http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-offiice/remarks-president-acceptance-nobel-peace-prize} accessed 10 February 2010.

69 Bush, National Security Strategy of the US of America (2002), p. 31. Joseph Nye, outspoken critic of George W. Bush's foreign policy, applied this theme in a 2004 Foreign Affairs article stating that ‘The current struggle against Islamist terrorism is not a clash of civilisations; it is a contest closely tied to the civil war raging within Islamic civilisation between moderates and extremists’: Joseph S. Nye, Jr., ‘The Decline of America's Soft Power: Why Washington Should Worry’, Foreign Affairs, 83(2004), pp. 16–20 at p. 17. See also Joseph S. Nye, Jr., The US National Security Strategy: A Debate (25 September 2004). Washington: Council on Foreign Relations, {http://www.cfr.org/publication.html?id=6309} accessed 22 August 2007.

70 Max Boot, ‘Bookshelf: The Force of Friendly Persuasion’, The Wall Street Journal (6 April 2004); Daniel Henninger, ‘Bush and Kerry Better Clarify the World Tonight’, The Wall Street Journal (8 October 2004); George Melloan, ‘Kerry's Foreign Policy: Clinton without Charm’, The Wall Street Journal (April 2004).

71 Nye, Soft Power, p. ix.

72 Joseph S. Nye, Jr., ‘Donald Rumsfeld and Smart Power’, Project Syndicate (2006), available at: {http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/nye32} accessed 27 September 2007.

73 David Frum and Richard Perle, ‘Beware the Soft-Line Ideologues’, The Wall Street Journal (7 January 2004).

74 Richard B. Cheney, ‘Remarks by the Vice President to the Council on Foreign Relations’ (12 February 2002), {http://www.whitehouse.gov/vicepresident/news-speeches/speeches/vp20020215.html} accessed 30 July 2008.

75 Epstein, ‘US Public Diplomacy: Background and the 9/11 Commission Recommendations’. Nye himself has also noted the slight change of tone in the second term of the Bush administration, Joseph S. Nye Jr, ‘President Bush goes Soft’ Project syndicate (February 2005), {http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/nye18} accessed 31 July 2008.

76 Collin L. Powell, ‘Remarks at the World Economic Forum’, Davos (26 January 2003). {http://www.state.gov/secretary/former/powell/remarks/2003/16869.htm} acccessed 21 March 2007; Nye 2004a, p. ix; Condoleezza Rice, ‘Remarks at the Indonesia World Affairs Council’, Jakarta (15 March 2005), {http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2006/63160.htm} accessed 21 March 2007.

77 Collin L. Powell, ‘Secure Borders, Open Doors’, The Wall Street Journal (21 Apri 2004). Colin L. Powell ‘Remarks at the Southern Center for International Studies’, Atlanta (1 October 2004), {http://www.state.gov/secretary/former/powell/remarks/36694.htm} accessed 30 July 2008. Colin L Powell ‘Keynote Adress of the 60th Anniversary dinner of the School of Advanced International Studies’, Washington DC (13 October 2004), {http://www.state.gov/secretary/former/powell/remarks/37087.htm} accessed 30 July 2008.

78 Charfles Wolfson, ‘Soft Power and Hard Power. CBS's Charles Wolfson Examines Powell's Remarks in Davos’, CBS News (28 Jan 2003), available at: {http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/28/opinion/diplomatic/main538320.shtml} accessed 27 September 2007.

79 Donald H Rumsfeld, ‘Remarks to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’, Singapore (4 June 2005), {http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcrptid=3216} accessed 29 July 2008.

80 Robert M. Gates, ‘Landon Lecture’, Kansas (26 November 2007), {http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1199} accessed 29 July 2008. In his speech Gates also pointed out that the whole foreign affairs budget of the State Department is less than what the Pentagon spends on health care.

81 Apart from Gates other leading figures in the Department of Defense have acknowledged the power of ideas and the importance of diplomacy. In a 2009 speech the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy stated in that the building of international institutions such as the UN and the Bretton-Woods system was the core in creating stability in the post-world war period and not as is often stated, the strategy of containment. Michèle Flourno, ‘Rebalancing the Force: Major Issues for QDR 2010’ (29 April 2009), {http://policy.defense.gov/sections/public_statements/speeches/usdp/flournoy/2009/April_27_2009.pdf} accessed 10 February 2010.

82 In the 2002 National Security Strategy, the use of diplomacy is seen as essential ‘to promote the free flow of information and ideas to kindle the hopes and aspirations of freedom of those in societies ruled by the sponsors of global terrorism’ (p. 6). These ideas have also been echoed in the announcements of new efforts to reinforce the Voice of America broadcasts in Persian and Arabic: George W. Bush, The President's State of the Union Address (20 January 2004), {http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/print/20040120-7.html} accessed 15 February 2007. Nye's ideas are still alive in the less visible (and considerably less funded) parts of US foreign policy, for example that of cultural diplomacy. See State Department, ‘Cultural Diplomacy: The Linchpin of Public Diplomacy’, Report of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Diplomacy (2005), {http://www.publicdiplomacywatch.com/091505Cultural-Diplomacy-Report.pdf} accessed 14 February 2007. On democracy promotion in the Bush doctrine, see also Jonathan Monten, ‘The Roots of the Bush Doctrine: Power, Nationalism, and Democracy Promotion in US Strategy’, International Security, 29:4 (2005), pp. 112–156.

83 Nye, Soft Power.

84 David A. Snow and Robert D. Benford, ‘Master Frames and Cycles of Protest’, in A.D. Morris and C. McClurg Mueller (eds), Frontiers in Social Movement Theory (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992), pp. 139–40 at pp. 133–5.

85 Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies; Checkel, Ideas and International Political Change.

86 Nye has been associated with inter alia the Carnegie Council as well as the Council on Foreign Relations, which also publishes the journal Foreign Affairs, a journal widely read in US foreign policy circles. Only in the first half of 2008 he published almost ten op-eds in various newspapers including the Financial Times and Newsweek International. Huntington has been associated with the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, as well as founding in 1970 (with Warren Demian Manshell) the magazine Foreign Policy.

87 Joseph S. Nye and Richard Armitage. ‘Smart Power and the US Strategy for Security in a post-9/11 World’, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Hearing on Smart Power and the US Strategy for Security in the Post-9/11 World, (7 November 2007).

88 Steve Benen, ‘Smart Power’, The Washington Monthly (13 January 2009), available at: {http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_01/016425.php} accessed 10 February 2010; Robert M. Gates, ‘Remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’, Washington DC (26 January 2008), {http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1211} accessed 31 July 2008.

89 Hillary Rodham Clinton, ‘Remarks at the Global Philantropy Forum Conference’ (22 April 2009), {http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/04/122066.htm} accessed 10 February 2010.

90 Thomas Risse-Kappen, ‘Public Opinion, Domestic Structure, and Foreign Policy in Liberal Democracies’, World Politics, 43 (1991), pp. 479–512; Thomas Risse-Kappen, ‘Ideas Do Not Float Freely: Transnational Coalitions, Domestic Structures, and the End of the Cold War’, International Organization, 48 (1994), pp. 185–214; Haas, ‘Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination’; Wilensky, ‘Social Science and the Public Agenda’; Sheila Jasanoff, The Fifth Branch: Science Advisors as Policymakers (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1998).

91 Björkdahl, ‘Constructing a Swedish Conflict Prevention Policy’; Blyth, ‘Any More Bright Ideas?’, p. 234; Finnemore and Sikkink, ‘International Norm Dynamics and Political Change’; Hall, ‘Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State’.

92 Baumgartner and Jones, Agendas and Instability in American Politics; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, Policy Change and Learning; Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies.

93 The general absence of references to the ‘clash of civilizations’ in foreign policy statements in the first year of the Obama administration points to how the need to produce this counter-image to legitimise policy have largely disappeared, with Obama taking office. However, in his 2009 speech in Cairo, themes similar to that of ‘the clash’ – thesis were addressed with Obama stating that ‘America is not- and never will be – at war with Islam’, Barack Obama, ‘Remarks on a New Beginning’ (4 June 2009), {http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-president-at-Cairo-University-6-04-09}.

94 Cf. Robert Jervis, American Foreign Policy in a New Era (New York: Routledge), 2005, p. 80; Smith, A Pact with the Devil.

95 Bush, National Security Strategy of the US of America (2006), p. 2.

96 George W. Bush, The President's State of the Union Address (29 January 2002), {http://www.whitehouse.gov./news/releases/2002/01/print/20020129-11.html} accessed 15 February 2007; cf. George W. Bush, The President's State of the Union Address (28 January 2003), {http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/print/20030128-19.html} accessed 15 February 2007. This also hitches on to the rather different explanations offered by Nye and Huntington respectively at the end of the Cold War, a historical event that has become an important point of reference in legitimating the current policy. As Huntington's thesis is a call for a Cold War-like world order of inter-civilisational power politics, Nye regards the end of the Cold War as an opening for the US to consolidate its leading position in the world system by continuing to exert its attraction on the rest of the world, winning hearts and minds. Thus from this perspective it is Nye, along with the Bush administration, that presents the dynamics of world politics in terms of a continuation from the Cold War era, as they hold that the values and ideas that brought down the Wall will also lead to victory in coming struggles. In contrast, Huntington's position, that the Cold War was in fact not won at all but ended partly as a result of the revival of inter-civilisational conflicts within the Soviet Union, effectively represents a negation of the idea of the end of the Cold War as a victory. This alternative conceptualisation of the fall of the Soviet Union constitutes a significant line of conflict between the ‘clash thesis’ and US foreign policy. The end of the Cold War in terms of a ‘victory’ has gained an important symbolic position in US foreign policy and serves as recurrent theme of the framing of the ‘war on terror’. This is also affirmed by the recurrent formulation of ‘the war on terror’ as a struggle against a vaguely defined ‘ideological’ adversary. This formulation not only contrasts the ideas forwarded by Huntington but signals an important commonality with the assumptions underlying Nye's account.

97 Björkdahl, ‘Constructing a Swedish Conflict Prevention Policy’, pp. 133–5; Finnemore and Sikkink, ‘International Norm Dynamics and Political Change’.

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Review of International Studies
  • ISSN: 0260-2105
  • EISSN: 1469-9044
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