“For better or for worse, liberal hegemony is history”. With such a statement, John Mearsheimer concluded a talk about his recently published book “The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities” at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
In his newest book, Mearsheimer argues that the U.S. foreign policy of liberal hegemony, which was adopted at the end of the Cold War, has failed miserably. Here, U.S. liberal hegemony is defined as an attempt to remake the world in America’s image and has several components: spread liberal democracy across the planet, and integrate more countries into the open international economy and international institutions. Mearsheimer explains that the failure has occurred because nationalism and realism always trump liberalism and the United States might need to rethink its foreign policies and accept that sometimes, liberalism isn’t able to solve every problem that the world faces.
In his upcoming presentation to the BCFA, Mearsheimer will define liberalism, realism, nationalism, and liberal hegemony, the history behind why the United States pursued the latter, its track record, and what to expect in the future. Mearsheimer will suggest a clear alternative to the mainstream views of most of today’s foreign policy experts, especially in Western Europe and in the United States.
Even if one disagrees with some (or most) of Mearsheimer’s tenets, it is nevertheless helpful to understand the thinking behind today’s differing foreign policy views, and the many dynamics taking place in today’s world.