Democracy And Foreign Policy: The Fallacy Of Political Realism

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Democracy And Foreign Policy: The Fallacy Of Political Realism

By Miroslav Nincic
Columbia University Press, 1992
200 pp. $37.50
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In the post-Cold War era the desired yet implicit contract between democratic societies and their leaders on both the substance and style of foreign affairs may be more difficult to identify. Nincic, a political scientist at the University of California at Davis, sees the twin dangers of "disruption" from below and "derailment" from above in the conduct of foreign policy. Indeed some level of public deception is at times necessary. Accordingly, he argues, there may be a tradeoff between democratic ideals and the wisdom and effectiveness of American foreign policy. He ends this thoughtful analysis with a call for "principled pragmatism." But by remaining at the conceptual level, without much in the way of concrete examples, one is left without any significant policy guidance.