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Olesen, Mikkel Runge
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
DIIS Reports, Danish Institute for International Studies 2012:16
This report argues that when the Cold War ended, old Cold War lessons were slowly replaced not by one, but rather by at least two kinds of activist foreign policy lesson: a Liberal/Conservative hawkish activist lesson that relatively easily embraced military measures with or without broad international support, and a Social Democratic/Social Liberal dovish activist lesson that was comparatively more multilaterally inclined and had a stronger focus on humanitarian aid. Any seeming consensus during the 1990s or in recent years must not, therefore, be taken for general agreement about activist foreign policy. Instead, these should be seen merely as periods where the differences between lessons of activist foreign policy were masked by the fact that external circumstances, especially periodic American foreign policy restraint and preference for multilateralism, were not creating conditions for disagreement. For this reason the present Danish consensus on activist foreign policy is unlikely to survive any major American aggressive resurgence or big shifts away from multilateralism.
Document Type: 
Research Report

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