President Obama’s first term in office was subject to intense criticism; not only did many feel that he had failed to live up to his leadership potential, but that he had actually continued the foreign policy framework of the George W. Bush era he was supposed to have abandoned. This edited volume examines whether these issues of continuity have been equally as prevalent during the president’s second term as his first. 

Is Obama still acting within the foreign policy shadow of Bush, or has he been able to establish his own approach towards international affairs, distinct from his predecessor? Within this context, the volume also addresses the idea of legacy and whether Obama has succeeded in establishing his own distinct foreign policy doctrine. In addressing these questions, the chapters explore continuity and change from a range of perspectives in International Relations and Foreign Policy Analysis, which are broadly representative of a spectrum of theoretical positions.

With contributions from a range of US foreign policy experts, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of US foreign policy, Foreign Policy Analysis and American politics.

chapter |6 pages


ByJack Holland, Michelle Bentley

part I|47 pages

Power and tradition

chapter 1|17 pages

Ending ‘permanent war’

Security and economy under Obama
ByNicholas Kitchen

chapter 2|14 pages

Restraint and constraint

A cautious president in a time of limits
ByAdam Quinn

chapter 3|14 pages

Obama as modern Jeffersonian

ByJack Holland

part II|59 pages

The language and culture of the war on terror

chapter 4|13 pages

Ending the unendable

The rhetorical legacy of the war on terror
ByMichelle Bentley

chapter 5|14 pages

War on terror II

Obama and the adaptive evolution of US counterterrorism
ByRichard Jackson, Chin-Kuei Tsui

chapter 6|15 pages

Shifting binaries

The colonial legacy of Obama's war on terror
ByBen Fermor

part III|93 pages

Obama's major challenges

chapter 8|14 pages

Plus ça change?

Reflecting on Obama's nuclear agenda and legacy
ByJason Douglas, Andrew Futter

chapter 9|19 pages

The assassin in chief

Obama's drone legacy
ByChristopher Fuller

chapter 10|14 pages

Hard choices in democracy promotion

Obama and Egypt
ByNicolas Bouchet

chapter 11|16 pages

US–Russia relations in Obama's second term

A damage limitation exercise
ByMaxine David

chapter 12|14 pages

The US and China

Obama's cautious engagement
ByOliver Turner

chapter 13|14 pages

Energy security under Obama

Some hope, but not much change
ByJonna Nyman

part IV|19 pages

The Obama doctrine

chapter 14|17 pages

For the record

(Re)constructing Obama's foreign policy legacy
ByLee Jarvis, Michael Lister