First Advisor

Harry Anastasiou

Date of Publication

Spring 6-9-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Conflict Resolution


Conflict Resolution




George W. Bush (George Walker) 1946-, Exceptionalism -- United States, United States -- Foreign relations -- 21st century, War on Terrorism (2001-2009) -- Political aspects, War on Terrorism (2001-2009) -- Moral and ethical aspects, Preemptive attack (Military science)



Physical Description

1 online resource (iii, 76 pages)


One year after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the administration of President George W. Bush introduced a revolutionary foreign policy strategy--the Bush Doctrine. Proponents of this strategy advocated the use of American 'hard power' as a tool to promote freedom and democracy, beginning with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Opponents of the doctrine saw it as dangerously nationalistic, with the potential to entangle the United States in a myriad of protracted international conflicts. This thesis will identify aspects of nationalism within post-9/11 American foreign policy and illuminate the incompatibility of nationalism and the fundamental tenets of conflict resolution. This study theorizes that nationalism played a significant role in the development of the Bush Doctrine. Although its advocates promote specific policies historically associated with nationalism, as a rule they have not acknowledged its influence. Conversely, opponents of the doctrine acknowledge this influence and warn of its destructive characteristics. The study presented herein identifies nationalism as a powerful force in American culture and politics--one that has a profound influence on American foreign policy and on the longevity of our foreign wars.


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