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Leveraging legitimacy in securing U.S. leadership: Normative dimensions of hegemonic authority

Posted on:2009-10-05Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:Georgetown UniversityCandidate:Loomis, Andrew JosephFull Text:PDF
GTID:1446390002492267Subject:Political science
The unpleasant diplomatic experience preceding the 2003 Iraq War generated deep resentments between the United States and many of its closest European allies. Yet while a descriptive account of this trauma has been covered in the popular press, a thorough explanation has not been advanced in the academic literature of the factors that produced this pattern of defiance by traditional U.S. allies. This dissertation investigates the variables that generated diminished authority of the United States with respect to its European allies and finds that a particular form of public opinion---specifically, the public perception of the legitimacy of U.S. foreign policy---played a critical causal role in shaping the substance and timing of reactions to U.S. requests in this use-of-force context. This finding is tested against two additional episodes---the 1991 Gulf War and the 1999 Kosovo Crisis.;The question of U.S. authority deficits sits in the broader terrain of the study of the relationship between legitimacy and authority. This dissertation focuses on the public dimension of legitimacy perceptions and develops a metric of international authority, which has been imprecisely specified in the international relations literature. The project then tests the specific way in which the violation of legitimacy norms---specifically norms establishing the permissible use of force---degrades authority levels. The findings suggest that the United States undermines its own capacity to wield influence with its allies when it rejects constraints on its own behavior.
Keywords/Search Tags:United states, Legitimacy, Authority, Allies
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