US Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century

Gulliver’s Travails


J. Martin Rochester

First Edition • December 1, 2007 • 232 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813343693 • $39.00 USD$62.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780786732579 • $22.99 USD$26.99 CAN

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The issues raised by the Iraq War are symptomatic of larger phenomena that will continue to preoccupy American foreign policy makers in the early twenty-first century. The war on terror, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, humanitarian intervention, and a litany of other concerns on the foreign policy agenda pose complex dilemmas for which there are no simple answers. Through lucid, lively analysis, US Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century explores the difficult choices that confront the United States today in a complicated and often dangerous post–Cold War environment. Author J. Martin Rochester engages students in an intelligent examination of American foreign policy past, present, and future, involving them in critical thinking about how foreign policy is made, what factors affect foreign policy decisions and behavior, and how one might go about not only describing and explaining foreign policy but also evaluating it and prescribing solutions.


J. Martin Rochester is Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and the author of several books and articles on international politics, organization, and law.

1. Gulliver’s Travails: America and the World
2. Thinking About Foreign Policy: Analyzing the Iraq War and Other Decisions
3. US Foreign Policy from George W. to George W.: Patterns and Determinants
4. US Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century: The Contemporary Debate
5. Current US Foreign Policy Dilemmas: Cases
6. US Foreign Policy and the Future

“A compact but comprehensive treatment of the pressing challenges facing U.S. foreign policy. Rochester offers not only an insightful lay of the land, but also a sensible road map to guide U.S. statecraft.” —Charles A. Kupchan, Georgetown University and Council on Foreign Relations; author of The End of the American Era

“In this age of terrorists, tyrants, and weapons of mass destruction, American political and military leaders will be confronted with difficult choices. In this well-written book, Martin Rochester lays out the five dilemmas these men and women will face as they make these choices. A must read for students as well as policy makers.” —Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former Assistant Secretary of Defense

“In his concise and lucid presentation, J. Martin Rochester has provided an introduction to problems in the making of American foreign policy—past, present, and future—that should be welcomed by all instructors in the field. Without pretending to offer definitive answers, he challenges students with questions that involve the limits as well as the extent of American power.”
—Lawrence S. Kaplan, Director Emeritus, Lyman L. Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Union Studies, Kent State University, and Professorial Lecturer in History, Georgetown University

“This is an incredibly ‘smart’ book. It is no ordinary class text, but rather an extremely engaging, intelligently written set of chapters that will compel students to think seriously about America’s role in the world and its handling of the most important foreign policy issues of the day. If I could choose only one book to supplement the basic textbook assigned to undergraduate international relations and foreign policy classes, this would definitely be it.”
—Jeffrey Pickering, Past-President, Foreign Policy Analysis Section of the International Studies Association; Associate Professor of Political Science, Kansas State University

US Foreign Policy in the 21st Century: Gulliver’s Travails is an exemplary text that is ideal for the classroom but also a great read for anyone interested in foreign policy. Rochester insightfully probes the major foreign policy dilemmas facing the U.S. ranging from humanitarian intervention and the promotion of international cooperation to the continuing struggle in the ‘long war’ on terror. The book masterfully takes the reader on a journey to understand foreign policy by illustrating different modes of analysis and systematically develops both the historical evolution of foreign policy thinking and the dominant schools of thought that now shape contemporary debates. Rochester’s concise, rich, and thought-provoking work on U.S. foreign policy will be invaluable for both students and teachers alike. —Bryan W. Marshall, Associate Professor, Miami University

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