US Grand Strategy and Corporate Elite Networks
This book presents a novel analysis of how US grand strategy has evolved from the end of the Cold War to the present, offering an integrated analysis of both continuity and change. On the one hand the post-Cold War American grand strategy has continued to be oriented to what the authors argue has been its overarching aim throughout much of the 20th century, that is, securing an ‘open door’ to US capital around the globe. On the other hand this book will show that the three different administrations that have been in office in the post-Cold War era have pursued this goal with varying means: from Clinton’s promotion of neoliberal globalization and global governance to Bush’s ‘war on terror’ and Obama’s search to maintain US primacy in the face of a declining economy and a rising Asia.
In seeking to make sense of both these strong continuities and these significant variations the book takes as its point of departure the social sources of grand strategy (making), with the aim to relate state (public) power to social (private) power. The focus of the analysis therefore is on grand strategy makers and the social networks into which they are embedded, but also places their agency in a structural context that is both domestic and global.
While developing its own theoretical framework to make sense of the evolution of US grand strategy, the book offers a rich and rigorous empirical analysis based on extensive primary data that have been collected over the past years. In particular, the book draws on a unique data-set that consists of extensive biographical data of 30 cabinet members and other senior foreign policy officials of each of the past three administrations of Clinton, G.W. Bush and Obama. Using Social Network Analysis (SNA) in conjunction with more historical, process-tracing, qualitative analysis - the book presents a comprehensive picture of the social networks linking US grand strategy-makers to broader social forces.