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International Anarchy & the American Leviathan: A study in the moral and empirical applications of Hobbes’ concept of anarchy to American Foreign policy
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Law, Economics, Statistics and Politics.
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Law, Economics, Statistics and Politics.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The current president of the United States, Donald Trump, has been identified as the reason for a large shift in American foreign policy towards a doctrine closer to that of political realism. This claim has led us to examine if this transformation could be detected and described if we analyzed and compared Trump’s foreign policy doctrine with his predecessor, Barack Obama, through the lens Thomas Hobbes, whose ideas are at the core of the three modern schools of political realism. Accordingly, in this thesis, we deduce an analytical framework from the original corpus of Hobbes, where anarchy is divided into moral and empirical variables, identified as the primary factors for behavior in international settings. This is then applied inductively via a comparative qualitative content analysis to two primary documents, the National Security Strategies of 2010 containing the foreign policy doctrine of Obama, and the National Security Strategy of 2017 containing the doctrine of Trump. Our thesis shows a large shift in how the Presidents view the world in moral terms, or how they see it fit for the American executive to act on the international stage. And a relatively minor shift in empirical terms, or their perception of the foundational reality of the world system which they both consider to be of an anarchical nature closely connected to the theoretical model presented by our interpretation of Hobbes

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 51
Keywords [en]
Thomas Hobbes, American Foreign Policy, Political Thought, International Relations, Realism, National Security Strategy, International Morality, Anarchy, Donald Trump, Barack Obama
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14093Local ID: EIS501OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-14093DiVA, id: diva2:1337013
Subject / course
Political science
Educational program
International Programme in Politics and Economics
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-07-23 Created: 2019-07-11 Last updated: 2019-07-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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