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A Superpower TransformedThe Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s$
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Daniel J. Sargent

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395471

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395471.001.0001

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The Revenge of Geopolitics

The Revenge of Geopolitics

(p.261) 9 The Revenge of Geopolitics
A Superpower Transformed

Daniel J. Sargent

Oxford University Press

In 1978, the Carter administration abandoned its preoccupation with world order politics and focused US foreign policy on the containment of the Soviet Union. This strategic reorientation turned not on singular events so much as on the frustration of Carter’s attempts to implement his initial world order concept in the face of rising Soviet-American tensions. Meanwhile, Carter’s bid to manage economic interdependence via policy coordination faltered during a second oil shock, which owed to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Evidently unable to manage the international economic order, the United States and its allies instead began to adapt to the discipline of invigorated globalization. Confronted with the dual challenges of energy interdependence and a resurgent Soviet Union, the Carter administration synthesized a new grand strategy, which centered on the use of US military power to preserve access to the oil fields of the Persian Gulf and keep the world economic order safe for globalization.

Keywords:   Carter administration, Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, second oil crisis, policy coordination, Soviet Union, Cold War, Paul Volcker, Persian Gulf, Carter Doctrine

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