Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities

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Yale University Press, Sep 25, 2018 - Political Science - 320 pages
A major theoretical statement by a distinguished political scholar explains why a policy of liberal hegemony is doomed to fail

In this major statement, the renowned international-relations scholar John Mearsheimer argues that liberal hegemony, the foreign policy pursued by the United States since the Cold War ended, is doomed to fail. It makes far more sense, he maintains, for Washington to adopt a more restrained foreign policy based on a sound understanding of how nationalism and realism constrain great powers abroad.
It is widely believed in the West that the United States should spread liberal democracy across the world, foster an open international economy, and build institutions. This policy of remaking the world in America’s image is supposed to protect human rights, promote peace, and make the world safe for democracy. But this is not what has happened. Instead, the United States has ended up as a highly militarized state fighting wars that undermine peace, harm human rights, and threaten liberal values at home. Mearsheimer tells us why this has happened.

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The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities

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In this accessible treatise, Mearsheimer, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, outlines how U.S. foreign policy pursuing what he calls “liberal hegemony” has backfired to the ... Read full review


The Impossible Dream
Human Nature and Politics
Political Liberalism
Cracks in the Liberal Edifice
Liberalism Goes Abroad
Liberalism as a Source of Trouble
Liberal Theories of Peace
The Case for Restraint

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About the author (2018)

John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His many books include Conventional Deterrence. He lives in Chicago, IL.

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