American Neoconservatism: The Politics and Culture of a Reactionary Idealism

American Neoconservatism: The Politics and Culture of a Reactionary Idealism

by Jean-Francois Drolet


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American Neoconservatism moves beyond recent debates over the intricacies of the Bush administration's foreign policy to offer a deeper look at the philosophical premises of this 'new' conservatism in light of the historical events and changing social compacts that have created a demand for it over the past decades.

It surveys neoconservative discourses on democracy, the liberal state, capitalism, national security, international law and global liberal governance, and draws attention to the systematic links between the domestic and international dimensions of neoconservative political sociology.

Taking issue with neoconservatism's self-image, Drolet argues and demonstrates that American neoconservatism is not the centrist 'liberal' conservatism that it pretends to be—and that many analysts have diagnosed in recent years. To the extent that neoconservatism is committed to the Enlightenment discourse of liberalism, these commitments are firmly subordinated to an authoritarian form of cultural and philosophical conservatism, which is in fact ferociously predatory on liberal values and practices. Neoconservatism is not a conservative variant of liberalism but a deeply atavistic reaction to liberal modernity. It owes a lot more to the authoritarian intellectual milieu of interwar Europe than to the liberal tradition that its protagonists allegedly want to reform and protect against its enemies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199333455
Publisher: An Oxford University Press Publication
Publication date: 01/16/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dr Jean-François Drolet is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Queen Mary University, London. He studied at Oxford University, the LSE and Lund University and his articles have appeared in Millennium, the Review of International Studies, International Politics and the Journal of Political Ideologies.

Table of Contents

1. A New Conservatism
2. Leo Strauss, Liberalism and the 'Crisis of Our Times'
3. Capitalism, Culture Wars and the Neoconservative State
4. The Democratic Mirage of Neoconservative
5. The Neoconservative Critique of Global Liberal Governance
6. A Liberalism Betrayed?

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