'A foundation-hatched black elite’: Obama, the US establishment and foreign policy

Ledwidge, M. and Parmar, I. (2017) 'A foundation-hatched black elite’: Obama, the US establishment and foreign policy. special issue of International Politics., 54 (Issue). pp. 373-388. ISSN 1384-5748.

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US foreign policy has a largely unacknowledged racial dimension due to the racial characteristics of the US foreign policy establishment, and in shared mindsets in a soon-to-be ‘majority-minority’ nation. White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) racial-ethnic and class factors produce managed change through socialisation in an attenuated meritocratic order, adapting to challenges to elite dominance by incorporating rising talent, without altering broader patterns of power.

The greatest success of such a system would be the assimilation of the most elite minority individuals, even as the bulk of those groups’ members continue to experience discrimination. Such success would be compounded by election to the highest office of a minority US president extolling the virtues of post-racial politics. President Barack Obama represents a ‘Wasp-ified’ black elite, assimilated into the extant structures of power that remain wedded to a more secular, non-biologically-racial, version of Anglo-Saxonism or, more broadly, liberal internationalism. Hence, it should occasion little surprise that there has been so little change in US foreign policies during Obama’s two-term presidency.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Race; establishment; Anglo-Saxon; WASP; liberal internationalism; elite socialisation
Subjects: E History America
E History America > E151 United States
H Social Sciences
J Political Science
J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JZ International relations > JZ1305 Scope of international relations. Political theory. Diplomacy
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Dr Mark Ledwidge
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2017 14:25
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 11:45
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/15627

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00