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By Richard Ned Lebow

Id is the grasp variable for lots of constructivist students of foreign politics. during this comparative examine, Richard Ned Lebow exhibits that states shouldn't have identities from now on than humans do. Leaders, peoples, and overseas actors search to impose nationwide identifications in step with their political tasks and mental wishes. those identifications are a number of, fluid and upward push in significance as a functionality of priming and context. Leaders are at the least as prone to invoke nationwide identifications as rationalizations for guidelines pursued for different purposes as they're to be encouraged via them. nationwide identifications are however vital simply because they at all times rigidity the alleged area of expertise of a humans and its state, and are a imperative technique of looking prestige and development vainness. Lebow tracks the relative charm of those ideas, the ways that they're developed, how they effect nationwide identifications, and the way they in flip impact local and foreign practices.

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In democratic states, those who constitute the policy elite are often attached to different narratives, making an official narrative difficult to construct and propagate. And any government narrative must compete with nonpublic ones sustained by civil society and collective memory. We need to acknowledge this variation and incorporate some theoretical arguments about the structure and appeal of diverse constructions of national identity and the circumstances in which they are most likely to gain adherents.

Close identification by many people with different and irreconcilable narratives intensifies internal conflict and makes it less likely that anyone will feel secure. This problem arises for states as well. ’ ”65 Multiple identities and their fluid nature create considerable leeway for officials with regard to foreign policy. It is always easier to justify a policy when there are at least several narratives to which to appeal. This multiplicity also makes it harder to build any kind of national consensus, because almost any policy will be seen by some segment of the community as at odds with its understanding of the nation.

S. presidential election and introduce the New Deal. 33 The constituents of this coalition had different understandings of America, what the Democratic Party represented, and how country and party reflected their self-identifications. , chs.  See Jackson, “Culture, Identity and Hegemony” on the war against terrorism as a continuation of Cold War identity politics. Key, Southern Politics; Katznelson, Fear Itself. See ibid. on the trade-offs involved. 32 National Identities and International Relations bringing new issues to the fore.

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