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Cold War US Foreign PolicyKey Perspectives$
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Steven Hurst

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748620791

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620791.001.0001

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(p.61) Three Post-revisionism
Cold War US Foreign Policy

Steven Hurst

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores the post-revisionist perspective of the history of the foreign policy of the United States during the Cold War. It explains that post-revisionism is currently the dominant interpretation of American foreign policy and this may be because of its use of the dominant theory from the discipline of international relations in its interpretation. It analyses the works of John Lewis Gaddis and Melvyn P. Leffler and suggests that their emphasis on the systemic resource of American foreign policy and the importance of placing the US within an international geopolitical system is the most important theoretical contribution of post-revisionism to the understanding of US foreign policy. However, they failed to integrate the strongest elements of traditionalism and revisionism into a coherent synthesis.

Keywords:   post-revisionism, foreign policy, Cold War, United States, John Lewis Gaddis, Melvyn P. Leffler, systemic resource, geopolitical system, traditionalism, revisionism

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