Understanding the Return of the Jacksonian Tradition

Understanding the Return of the Jacksonian Tradition
Author name: 
Clarke, M. Ricketts A.

The 2016 presidential election demonstrated the rise of a “restraint constituency” in American politics that openly questions Washington’s bipartisan post-Cold War pursuit of a grand strategy of primacy or liberal hegemony. This constituency has been animated by the return of the Jacksonian tradition of American foreign policy, most notably in the candidacy of Donald Trump, which directly questions the benefits of alliance relationships as well as U.S. underwriting of an open global economic system. It also stresses the need for the United States to act unilaterally in defense of its core foreign policy interests. The resurgence of the Jacksonian tradition will make it difficult for the next President to reestablish a foreign policy consensus and combat perceptions of American decline.

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