The liberty doctrine - Reclaiming the purpose of American power

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This research aims to evaluate, whether the U.S. economic sanctions towards Myanmar from 1988 to 2008 are accordant or opposite to the U.S. foreign policy towards Southeast Asia in post-Cold War era. The research finds that, the U.S. economic sanctions towards Myanmar are inability in pressuring the military government of Myanmar to move to democratic and human rights paths as the U.S. requested. Furthermore, the sanctions themselves become catalyst; Myanmar turns to China. Consequently, the U.S. intention to maintain its hegemonic status in Southeast Asia in post-Cold War era is affected.
This article aims at a two-fold reappraisal of the civilizational paradigm in international studies proposed by Samuel Huntington. First comes a positive reappraisal of the Huntingtonian civilizational paradigm. Huntington recognizes the raison d'être of plural standards of civilizations, unlike Fukuyama's civilizational paradigm of monocentric diffusion, which has seemingly become an epistemic basis for the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush administration. Civilizational coexistence is possible in Huntington's paradigm, whereas such coexistence seems to be impossible in Fukuyama's because the latter's paradigm of monocentric diffusion recognizes no standard of civilization other than the Western one. Second comes a negative reappraisal of the Huntingtonian civilizational paradigm, especially in the East Asian context. Huntington seems to be exaggerating in arguing that "Babelization prevails over universalization." Even though predictions of cultural homogenization were wrong, the centrifugal process has not at all tended toward a Tower of Babel, pure cultural anarchy. There have surely been gravitational forces restraining the centrifugal tendencies and organizing them. We have also some reservations about the accuracy of Huntington's paradigm regarding East Asia. Huntington seems to have drawn arbitrary civilizational fault lines through East Asian civilization. Huntington's simplification of the whole of East Asia (excluding Japan) as "Sinic" overlooks the strong resistance against the Sino-monocentric order. Huntington's logic in recognizing Japan as a civilization also raises many questions. This reappraisal of the Huntingtonian paradigm does not mean that Huntington is wholly wrong to apply civilizational theory toward analyzing international relations. Perhaps Huntington's hopeful appeal to "commonalities" between civilizations might find a basis in "thick" maximalist morality, not just in "thin" minimalist morality. However, this would need to be sought in a reasonableness beyond the rationality of a Newtonian "cosmopolis," to borrow a concept from Stephen Toulmin, and this has not been pursued yet by any leading country.
Although norms protecting the sovereignty of states still trump norms protecting the rights of individuals, the balance is shifting. Democracy promotion has become increasingly acceptable as a foreign policy goal throughout most of the international community.
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