This book offers a detailed, balanced and comprehensive examination of the foreign policy of Barack Obam
Barack Obama's election as 44th president of the United States was greeted even more enthusiastically outside than within America. After one of the most controversial and divisive periods in the history of American foreign policy under President George W. Bush, the Obama administration was expected to make decisive changes for the better in the style, substance and results of US relations with the wider world.
Midway into the first term, those expectations have been substantially - and perhaps permanently - tempered. The international problems confronting Obama appear more intractable than malleable, especially with the US stretched economically and militarily. But the pronounced distance from the euphoria of November 2008 is also the result of the partial delivery of Obama's 'change' agenda. Although castigated by many conservatives for 'choosing' to advance a putative American decline, commentators from across the political spectrum have noted the marked continuity in policies between Obama and his ill-loved predecessor.
Robert Singh argues that Obama's approach of 'strategic engagement' was arguably appropriate for a new era of constrained internationalism. But thus far this approach has yielded at best modest results. Obama's search for the pragmatic middle has cost him political support at home and abroad, while failing to make decisive gains. As such, while calibrating his foreign policies to the emergence of a 'post-American' world, the president has yet to preside over a renaissance of US global leadership.
Robert Singh is Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, London. He is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and a member of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. His books include: (with Timothy J. Lynch) After Bush: The Case for Continuity in Amercian Foreign Policy (2008); American Government and Politics: A Concise Introduction (2003) and Contemporary American Politics: Issues and Controversies (2003). He is the author of numerous articles on American politics.