US Democracy Promotion after the Cold War

Stability, Basic Premises, and Policy Towards Egypt. Doctoral thesis by Annika E. Poppe published by Routledge.

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­Annika Elena Poppe’s dissertation explores the often assumed but so far not exa­mined propo­sition that a parti­cular U.S. cul­ture in­fluences U.S. foreign policy behavior or, more concretely, that widely shared basic assump­tions em­braced by mem­bers of the U.S. ad­ministration have a notable impact on foreign policy-making.

Publicly professed beliefs re­garding America’s role in the world and about demo­cracy’s uni­versal appeal – despite much contes­tation – go to the heart of U.S. natio­nal iden­tity. Em­ploying extensive foreign policy text analysis as well as using the case study of U.S.-Egyptian bi­lateral rela­tions during the Clinton, Bush junior, and Obama administrations, it shows that basic assumptions matter in U.S. demo­cracy promotion in general, and the book operationa­lizes them in detail as well as employs qualita­tive content analysis to assess their validity and variation.

The research presented lies at the inter­section of International Relations, U.S. foreign policy, regional studies, and demo­cracy promotion. The specific focus on the domestic ‘cultural’ angle for the study of foreign policy and this dimension’s operationalization makes it a creative crossover study and a unique contribution to these overlapping fields.