Do ideologies matter? : Idea analysis of foreign policy in the United States of America

University essay from Växjö universitet/Institutionen för samhällsvetenskap

Abstract: The aim of this essay is to clarify if there is an ideological difference within the political area of foreign policy of the United States. The question that will be answered is: Is the American foreign policy coloured by different ideologies, or has that area of politics become an arena without ideology differences? In order to answer the question, the method used in this essay is idea analysis using ideal types as analytical instrument. The texts that are being analysed are the State of the Union Addresses of four American presidents. The presidents are Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton and each president give this speech once a year. The presidents are chosen due to the fact that their presidencies follow each other and are as recently in time as possible. After analysing all of the speeches and considering the surrounding circumstances, like the Cold War, I came to the conclusion that there is no ideological difference within foreign policy of the United States of America. Some areas of foreign policy, however, show more or less connotations to either idealism or realism. Even tough ideology plays a part; there is no difference between the liberal party and the conservative party.

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