The Domestic Bases of America’s Grand Strategy

The Domestic Bases of America’s Grand Strategy

Domestic politics is driving U.S. grand strategy. Although this phenomenon is poorly understood by both academic international relations scholars and the Washington foreign policy elite (FPE), it has important implications for the prospect of changing U.S. grand strategy, and therefore should be of interest to both groups.

The Gulf between the Academy and the Beltway

No one disputes that there is a rift between those who study international relations in the academy and those who make U.S. foreign policy. Most examinations of this disconnect center on: a) whether academics are asking policy-relevant questions; and, b) whether the theories and methodologies of the academy are too complex and arcane to be utilized by policymakers. Joseph S. Nye Jr. recently assessed the situation and concluded that "the fault for this growing gap lies not with the government but with the academics."

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