Democratic Candidates and Foreign Policy

July 31, 2019

Senator Elizabeth Warren in Las Vegas, April, 2019. CREDIT: Gage Skidmore (CC)

This article originally appeared on the Ethics & International Affairs blog.

Foreign Policy has released a compendium of statements and positions taken by the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president with regards to different issues with foreign policy. This allows interested voters the chance to see where each of the candidates falls out along the spectrum. How nationalist versus internationalist? Which narrative most applies—restorationist, democratic community, America First, retrenchment/redefinition, reindustrialization/regeneration, or climate change focused? How expansive or restrictive is their conception of the demos?

As we move through the next round of debates, which of this narrative approaches will resonate? In particular, given his position as the front-runner, will Joe Biden position himself as the third term of the Obama administration—a restorationist approach—or will he decide to alter that given the likely focus of the closest set of his challengers, particularly Elizabeth Warren, will echo some of the Trumpian criticisms of the bipartisan consensus and are more inclined to consider the democratic community questions and the impact of climate change? And will all of these lead to a reformed or even new narrative about America's role in the world? We have our first set of markers now laid.

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