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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Has US grand strategy served US interests in relation to China and the European Union? A universalized test of Mead's paradigm of US foreign policy
by Honeck, Joachim, M.A., Webster University, 2014, 105; 1525310
Abstract (Summary)

Has US grand strategy served US interests in relation to China and the European Union in the post-Cold War period and how can one test such a proposition? Walter Russell Mead (2002, 2005) explains US foreign policy by identifying its cultural roots, spelled out in four distinct schools. These four schools, Hamiltonianism, Wilsonianism, Jeffersonianism, and Jacksonianism explain US grand strategy in the context of American political culture: 1-lamiltonians prioritize free-trade and the promotion of American businesses, Wilsonians focus on universal democratization, Jeffersonians prefer conserving the integrity of the American revolution at home, and Jacksonians resolutely promote security goals without hesitating to use force. Because the model is so useful in explaining one great power's behavior, i.e. an actor-specific model, it begs the question as to whether or not it may also be applied in an actor-general manner. This thesis endeavors to universalize and apply Mead's model to China and the European Union, explaining foreign policy evolutions in their respective cases. This application leads to four hypotheses: (I) US grand strategy induced China to pursue Jacksonian policies, (2) US grand strategy heavily influenced the creation of a Wilsonian European Union, (3) Jacksonian China has reduced the United States' relative hard-power preponderance, and (4) Wilsonian Europe led to a relative decline in US soft-power. In order to test these hypotheses this study follows a qualitative method of process-tracing, based foremost on historic accounts, official documents and speeches, and scholarly assessments. This thesis finds that (I) a universalized version of the Mead paradigm is a useful tool complementing analyses based on systemic theories; (2) US grand strategy had a critical influence on both, China and the European Union: it induced the former to pursue Jacksonian (marshal-type) policies and fostered the latter as a Wilsonian (missionary-type) actor; (3) China's Jacksonian (marshal-type) traits led to a relative decline in US hard-power preponderance; (4) EU Wilsonianism led to a relative, but not substantial loss in US soft-power; and (5) post-Cold War grand strategy did only partially serve US interests in relation to China and the European Union.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schubert, Samuel R.
School: Webster University
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: MAI 52/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: International law
Keywords: China, European Union, Grand Strategy, US Foreign Policy, Walter Russell Mead
Publication Number: 1525310
ISBN: 978-1-303-93495-7
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