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Title: The influence of neoconservatism on US foreign policy debates during the Obama administration
Author: Spence, Henda Catherine Gillian
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 1336
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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Neoconservatism reached its zenith as a school of thought when it became associated with the Iraq War. Although the war was largely considered a failure, it raised the profile of neoconservatism as a school of thought. Many studies were completed which pointed to the influence of prominent members of the George W. Bush administration who were considered to be ideologically neoconservative. When Obama won the presidency in 2008, it was assumed that the influence of neoconservatives, or neoconservatism more broadly, would be over. However, given neoconservatism’s historical foundations and the tenacity of its adherents it seemed important to consider whether this has been the case. Therefore, this thesis set out to answer the question: To what extent have neoconservatives, and neoconservatism more broadly, influenced foreign policy debates during the Obama administration? I argue that neoconservatism has remained not only salient within foreign policy debates, but prominent in these debates, during Obama’s two terms in office. An examination of US foreign policy towards the nuclear crisis in Iran and the Syrian civil war indicates that neoconservatism had a substantive influence on the policy debates and the options considered within them, particularly in Congress. In some instances, neoconservative policy entrepreneurs contributed to legislation. Furthermore, this thesis finds that neoconservatism has been the predominant approach to foreign policy within the Republican Party on the issues of Iran and Syria during the period under review.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: E151 United States (General) ; JK Political institutions (United States) ; JZ International relations