In foreign policy, progressives are adrift, caught between dated paradigms that have not yet come to terms with the current geopolitical moment. Although American progressives—who include left-liberals, social democrats, and democratic socialists—enjoy a rough consensus on many broad domestic policy aims, if not always the means by which to achieve them, recent months have seen an uptick in concern (usually focused on the left) about the lack of a progressive vision for foreign policy. Indeed, the coalition seems divided between two depressingly familiar alternatives: liberal internationalists of the kind associated with the Democratic establishment, and anti-hegemonists, who want to see the United States drastically reduce its pretensions to global leadership. The latter question the desirability of so-called liberal order, which they see as, at best, serving the interests of global capital at the expense of democratic economic governance, and, at worst, a fig leaf for imperialism.
During the 2016 primary and general election, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton often appeared to represent a Democratic foreign policy establishment whose views might have been ripped from 2003, when the United States could still claim to be, in the words of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, “the