Hope, Change, Pragmatism: Analyzing Obama¡¯s Grand Strategy

Hope, Change, Pragmatism: Analyzing Obama¡¯s Grand Strategy

Springer | US Politics | August 28. 2016 | ISBN-10: 1137576979 | 122 Pages | pdf | 2.39 MB

Authors: Shively, Jacob
Offers an examination and assessment of the Obama administration's grand strategy to pursue and achieve national interests in the global landscape
Employs accessible analytical frameworks and narrative case studies to analyze Obama's strategic vision and the extent to which he was able to realize his goals
Evaluates grand strategy across three specific pivotal decision periods: early precedents (2009), the Arab Spring (2011), and challenges from Russia as well as ISIS (2014)


This book seeks to uncover a clear picture of Barack Obama's grand strategy, the overarching methods applied to identify and achieve national interests in a global setting. Pressed for an "Obama doctrine" during his final years in office, the President claimed a simple international relations approach: applying all tools at his disposal before resorting for military force. Critics, however, remain unimpressed. They charge the administration with strategic incoherence and weak leadership. Stepping away from ideological and theoretical commitments, Shively applies a simple framework for grand strategy, one that also deepens our systematic understanding. After untangling a complex history and narrating three cases of tumult in 2009, 2011, and 2014, Shively characterizes Obama's grand strategy as "pragmatic internationalism" and argues that it was a promising but poorly implemented approach.

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