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Title: Imperialism after Bush : Obama's foreign policy during the global financial crisis and the 'pivot to Asia'
Author: Leoni, Zeno
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 4822
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This dissertation makes a contribution to the third-wave of Marxist debates on capitalist imperialism and to the literature on both American imperialism and Obama’s foreign policy. The theoretical challenge is to bridge the divide between Marxism and International Relations caused by the former’s lack of a comprehensive analysis of the state. This work develops a Marxist analysis of both structures and agencies of imperialism looking at the relation between systemic, societal and individual levels of analysis and it constructs an argument to explain the politics of imperialism. The synthesis between structure and agency is sought, along these analytical levels, within the tension between America’s global geoeconomy and its nationally-informed geopolitical strategy. In the case-study, the discussion on imperialism goes beyond the aftermath of 9/11 and it provides an update about the post-2008, increasingly fragmented global order. It does so by exploring on systemic, societal and idiosyncratic levels of analysis the Obama presidency and the US geostrategic shift to the Asia-Pacific. It highlights both structural and agential factors of domestic politics and foreign policy of Obama’s administrations and it explores the “pivot to Asia” from a global perspective, looking at military, economic, diplomatic and ideological as much as structural and agential forces on a pan-regional scale. Overall, this work concludes that US-China relations manifest a systemic inter-imperialist rivalry. However, it demonstrates that different agencies of American imperialism adopt different approaches to American grand strategy, an argument further confirmed by the final section on the Trump presidency.
Supervisor: Callinicos, Alexander Theodore ; Pradella, Lucia ; Pozo-Martin, Gonzalo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available