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American Neoconservatism: The Politics and Culture of a Reactionary Idealism

Jean-Francois Drolet

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ISBN 10: 1849041245 / ISBN 13: 9781849041249
Published by C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
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Title: American Neoconservatism: The Politics and ...

Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

About this title


In this book, Jean-Francois Drolet contributes to a critical engagement with American neoconservatism at the level of its intellectual foundations. Situated at the interface of the disciplines of International Relations, political theory and the history of ideas, the book moves beyond recent debates over the intricacies of the Bush administration's foreign policy to offer a deeper look at the philosophical premises of this 'new' conservatism in light of the historical events and changing social compacts that have created a demand for it over the past decades. It surveys neoconservative discourses on a wide range of issue areas such as democracy, the liberal state, capitalism, national security, international law and global liberal governance, and draws attention to the systematic links between the domestic and international dimensions of neoconservative political sociology. Taking issue with its self-image, Drolet argues and demonstrates that American neoconservatism is not the centrist 'liberal' conservatism that it pretends to be - and that many analysts have diagnosed in recent years. To the extent neoconservatism is committed to the Enlightenment discourse of liberalism, these commitments are firmly subordinated to an authoritarian form of cultural and philosophical conservatism, which is in fact ferociously predatory on liberal values and practices. Neoconservatism is not a conservative variant of liberalism but a deeply atavistic reaction to liberal modernity. It owes a lot more to the authoritarian intellectual milieu of interwar Europe than to the liberal tradition that its protagonists allegedly want to reform and protect against its enemies.


Jean-François Drolet s American Neoconservatism, a concise blend of political theory, intellectual history, and contemporary politics, marks one of those rare occurrences of highly relevant academic literature. Drolet s aim in the work is to challenge the neoconservative hearkening for a moral, united America by uncovering the doctrine s anti-Enlightenment ideological roots, and so reveal it as an ideology based on anti-liberal values. His message is a persuasive one, and he adds to it with insight into the ambiguous position neoconservatism has in contemporary American politics: that is, in our current state of blurry post-neoconservatism. --Harvard Political Review

'This is the best book on Neo-Conservatism that I have read. Drolet combines an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the key ideologues in the movement with a highly sophisticated use of political philosophy. The result is a very readable book that is set to become definitive.' --Toby Dodge, Senior Fellow for the Middle East, the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Drolet displays a dazzzling mastery of key literatures and sub-fields, ranging from American foreign policy studies through American political development to the history of political thought. --Dr Marc Stears, University Lecturer in Political Theory, Oxford University

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