In This Review

Democracy and American Foreign Policy: Reflections on the Legacy of Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy and American Foreign Policy: Reflections on the Legacy of Alexis de Tocqueville
By Robert Strausz-Hupj
Transaction Publishers, 1995, 183 pp
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The only word that comes to mind in describing this series of musings by one of America's inveterate diplomats and scholars is "unexceptionable." The author, drawing on themes from de Tocqueville, worries about growth of the welfare state, the impact of interest group politics on foreign policy, the deficit, nationalism, isolationism, the future of NATO, and whether democracies can run consistent foreign policies. He favors an American foreign policy based on the solidarity of democracies and multilateralism based on shared democratic ideals as preferable to the universalist United Nations. The moderately conservative views expressed here are neither foolish, outlandish, trivial, nor misguided. Most are sensible and argued with a refreshing directness and force. On the other hand, they are also not very surprising and do not provide much by way of a new insight on the world after the Cold War.