U.S. Hegemony and International Organizations

In This Review

U.S. Hegemony and International Organizations

By Rosemary Foot, S. Neil MacFarlane, and Michael Mastanduno
Oxford University Press, 2003
296 pp. $24.95
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This collection is a solid contribution to the growing literature on unilateralism and multilateralism in American foreign policy. Dealing mostly with the second half of the twentieth century, it covers U.S. relations with both global institutions (such as the UN, the WTO, and the World Bank and IMF) and regional ones (such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Organization of African Unity, and the Organization of American States) and includes chapters by knowledgeable observers such as G. John Ikenberry, Edward C. Luck, Ngaire Woods, and David Malone. The goal of the project, the editors write, was to analyze the sources of U.S. behavior and assess its impact. Their sensible, if less than earth-shattering, conclusion: "America's decisions to cooperate in multilateral forums [are] determined predominantly by the extent to which any specific organization is perceived by important U.S. domestic actors to be an effective and congenial vehicle for the promotion of America's objectives. As for multilateral institutions themselves, they ... operate within the direct and indirect constraints that U.S. instrumentalism imposes."