Is there a conservative approach to international relations? U.S. foreign policy from Reagan to Trump

flag raising

Liberalism is rightly understood as a theory of both domestic politics and foreign affairs. In contrast, conservatism is understood as largely being concerned with domestic politics, not international relations. This talk will examine why this is the case while suggesting that conservatives do adhere to a set of foreign policy ideas that can be better explained and theorised. Although there is no coherent conservative theory of international relations, conservative leaders in the United States tend to rely very heavily on nationalist thinking to guide their foreign policy and this will serve as a starting point to put forward a nascent theory of conservative international relations.