Synopses & Reviews
Why do presidents, when facing the same circumstances, focus on different threats to national security? Enemies of the American Way attempts to answer this question by investigating the role of identity in presidential decision making.
The book explains why presidents disagree on what constitute a threat to the US security via the study of three US presidencies in the 19th century (Cleveland, Harrison and McKinley). These case studies help draw a theory of threat identification to understand how and why specific actions are taken, including the decision to wage war. Using a constructivist approach, the book develops a rule-based identity theory to posit that American identity defines potential national security threats, i.e., how a policymaker defines Americans also defines the threats to Americans.
Enemies of the American Way offers a new means of understanding a key period when America rose to prominence in international relations while proposing a template that can be used to explain American foreign policy today. It will appeal to students of international relations and foreign policy.
About the Author
David Bell Mislan is Assistant Professor in the U.S. Foreign Policy Program at American University's School of International Service. His teaching and research interests are foreign policy analysis, international security, and qualitative methods. In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Mislan is active with civic engagement initiatives in Eastern Europe and the United States.
Table of Contents
Introduction1. Rule-Based Identity and Threat Identification Rationalist Approaches to Explaining Threat Identification Balance of Threat Theory and Threat Identification Domestic Politics and Sectional Interests A Social Identity Approach to Threat and Threat Identification A Systematic Test of Four Hypotheses2. Alternate Approaches to Explaining Threat Identification Did Cleveland, Harrison, and Mckinley Identify Threats Differently? Balance of Threat Explanation Sectional Politics Explanation Social Identity Explanation Implications3. Grover Cleveland and Enemies of the American Way The Person and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland Cleveland's Threat-View Cleveland's American Way The Tie That Binds: Law-Abiding Americans and Law-Breaking Threats 4. Benjamin Harrison and Enemies of the American Way The Person and Presidency of Benjamin Harrison Harrison's Threat-View Harrison's American Way The Tie That Binds: Enviable Americans and Envious Foreigners 5. William Mckinley and Enemies of the American Way The Person and Presidency of William Mckinley Mckinley's Threat-View Mckinley's American Way The Tie That Binds: Enlightened Americans and Unenlightened Threats6. Identity and Threat in the Post-Cold War Era Identity and Threat in the Post Cold-War Era Identity and the Iraq Threat, 1989-2000 Theoretical and Practical ImplicationsBibliography