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Comparative Exceptionalism: Universality and Particularity in Foreign Policy Discourses
The Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-7290-2909
GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, Germany.
2019 (engelsk)Inngår i: International Studies Review, ISSN 1521-9488, E-ISSN 1468-2486, Vol. 21, nr 1, s. 12-37Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Existing research on exceptionalism in foreign policy suggests a number of confrontational features making it a threat to peaceful international relations. Largely based on US and European cases, and hardly ever taking a comparative approach, this literature overlooks a variety of exceptionalisms in non-Western countries, including so called “rising powers” such as China and India. A comparison between exceptionalist foreign policy discourses of the United States, China, India, and Turkey shows that exceptionalism is neither exclusive to the United States, nor a “new” phenomenon within rising powers, nor necessarily confrontational, unilateralist, or exemptionalist. As a prerequisite for comparative work, we establish two features common to all exceptionalist foreign policy discourses. In essence, such discourses are informed by supposedly universal values derived from a particular civilization heritage or political history. In order to systematize different versions of exceptionalism, we then propose four ideal types, each of which reflects exceptionalism's common trait of a claim to moral superiority and uniqueness but diverges across other important dimensions, with implications for its potentially offensive character. The article concludes by formulating a research agenda for future comparative work on exceptionalist foreign policy discourses and their repercussions for great power relations and global politics.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Oxford University Press, 2019. Vol. 21, nr 1, s. 12-37
Emneord [en]
discourse, exceptionalism, foreign policy
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8985DOI: 10.1093/isr/viy008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-8985DiVA, id: diva2:1391445
Tilgjengelig fra: 2020-02-04 Laget: 2020-02-04 Sist oppdatert: 2020-02-24bibliografisk kontrollert

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