Introduction: The Cycler Nature of US Foreign Policy

  • Thomas H. Henriksen
Part of the American Foreign Policy in the 21st Century book series (AMP21C)


Thomas Henriksen lays out clearly the twenty-first-century case for perceiving alternating cycles in American foreign policy since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. These pendulum-like swings, moving between periods of international extroversion and introversions, were executed by the four post-Iron Curtain US presidents. Engagement-cycle presidents resorted to military power and diplomatic pressure against other powers. Disengagement-cycle presidents retrenched from international entanglements while relying on normal economic and political interaction. During the Cold War, two American academics built on the scholarship and observations of classical, medieval, and modern scholars to declare the cycler nature of international relations. They are Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. who wrote The Cycles of American History and Frank L. Klingberg who published Cyclical Trends in American Foreign Policy Moods.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas H. Henriksen
    • 1
  1. 1.Hoover InstitutionStanford UniversityPalo AltoUSA

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