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IR Working Paper 1993/7
James L. Richardson, ‘An American New World Order?’, IR Working Paper 1993/7, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, December 1993.
The nature of the international order, if any, that will succeed the Cold War remains uncertain. This paper examines the debates within the American foreign policy community about international order and about America’s contemporary international role. It argues that this role is crucial, not because there is any general requirement for ‘hegemonic leadership’ but for a variety of specific reasons, some of which could change. The policy community is divided into two broad schools, realist and liberal, within each of which there are important divisions of opinion, but which taken together set the parameters of the debate. These parameters impose limits on American thinking which are likely to militate against the long-term viability of any system of order which may ensue. For this reason, it is argued that there is a need for stronger inputs into thinking about the post-Cold War international order from outside the United States.