America's Quest for Global Hegemony

Offensive Realism, the Bush Doctrine, and the 2003 Iraq War

in Theoria
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Research in the discipline of international relations finds that the great democratic powers are less likely to pursue revisionist policies. This investigation challenges this argument by showing that the United States' decision to oust Saddam Hussein's regime in March 2003 was consistent with a modified version of John Mearsheimer's theory of offensive realism, which finds that great powers' motivation is global hegemony. This article is divided into three sections. The first section considers the value of Mearsheimer's theory and reworks it by adding domestic variables to explain why states abandon defensive strategies for offensive ones. The second section shows how pre-9/11 American foreign policy strategy was, for the most part, status quo oriented, and section three explains why and how the Bush administration introduced a revisionist foreign policy strategy after the 9/11 attacks. This investigation concludes by showing how the 2003 Iraq War is the first step in the United States' quest for global hegemony.

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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