Limited Achievements, Obama's Foreign Policy

Limited Achievements - CoverThrough an analysis of the general principles of Obama's foreign policy, Zaki Laidi shows how Obama has charted a realist course in the Middle East, in Europe, in diplomacy, and in war. 

Barack Obama is by and large inspired by a realist vision of the global order. Bereft of any grand strategy, his ambition is to preserve America's great power status and make it acceptable to the rest of the world. He no longer wants his country to serve as the world's policeman; however, he has no intention of letting another country displace the United States.

Zaki Laidi explores the ways in which Obama's approach to foreign policy is guided by these opposing approaches. The book is based on international relations theoriy, congressional hearings, press accounts, and interviews. It contains a unique comparative analysis between Obama and Bush discourses. Laidi analyses the general principles of Obama's foreign policy and confronts those concrete situations to which the policy applies. Based on primary source documents and steeped in international relations perspective, Limited Achievements is a crucial contribution to the scolarship on the 44th presidency. 


What they said about it...

Michael Cox, co-director of IDEAS, the London School of Economics: "This outstanding book manages to do something that few other works on Obama's foreign policy have been able to do so far: provide an original and balanced assessment of one of the great transitional moments in American international relations-one in which the United States is finding out that it cannot solve all the world's problems alone but where it is manifestly unwilling to relinquish leadership or power to anyone else. An important and wise study by one of Europe's top observers of the American scene".

Charles A. Kupchan, professor of International Relations, Georgetown University and Whitney H. Shepardson Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations: "With the advantages afforded by his perch on the other side of the Atlantic, Laidi offers a controversial take on the evolution of US foreign policy on Obama's watch. His book provides a fresh interpretation of recent developments in US statecraft and casts light on where US diplomacy may be headed in the years ahead".

John Peterson, professor of International Politics, University of Edinburgh: "Limited Achievements is deeply thoughtful, diligently researched, and delightfully readable. Laidi has developed clear metrics by which to judge Obama's foreign policy, which at times produce surprising results. His core argument is thoroughly convincing. Any serious student of US foreign policy needs to read this book".



  • Legacy
  • White House Tight Rope
  • No More Monsters To Destroy?
  • Repudiating The Ideology of September 11
  • Back From Baghdad
  • 'Good Enough For Afghanistan'
  • Breaking The Pact of Silence? Obama and The Arab Spring
  • Europe: The Downgraded Ally?


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