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The Paradox of American Power – Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone

Joseph S. Nye


The U.S. “war on terror” response to the attacks of September 11, 2001 has exposed the extent, already apparent on various other fronts, to which U.S. foreign policy has become unilateralist, arrogant, and parochial. It is pursuing a limited conception of the U.S. national interest with a limited focus on the utility of “hard” (military) power. Instead, it should be aiming to defend American pluralist values by means of an inclusive, multilateralist foreign policy, based on a judicious mix of “hard” and “soft” power.

Keywords: foreign policy, hard power, soft power, unilateralism, U.S.A, war on terror

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780195161106
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0195161106.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joseph S. Nye, author
Harvard University
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