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Bill Clinton's "new partnership" anecdote: Toward a post-Cold War foreign policy rhetoric

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This essay explores the composition of United States post-Cold War foreign policy rhetoric under President Bill Clinton. We contend that Bill Clinton offered a coherent and comprehensive foreign policy narrative for the direction of U.S. foreign policy discourse in the post-Cold War world. Specifically, we analyze the "new partnership" narrative that Clinton articulated in his 1998 trip to Africa as a representative anecdote for the larger body of his foreign policy discourse. This "new partnership" narrative was structured by three narrative themes: (1) America's role as world leader; (2) reconstituting the threat environment; (3) democracy promotion as the strategy for American foreign policy. These three themes can be found throughout Clinton's foreign policy rhetoric and serve as the basis for a foreign policy narrative used by Clinton, and perhaps, future administrations.
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Keywords: AFRICA; BILL CLINTON; DEMOCRACY PROMOTION; FOREIGN POLICY RHETORIC; NARRATIVE; POST-COLD WAR; REPRESENTATIVE ANECDOTE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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