American Identity and Neutral Rights from Independence to the War of 1812

  • Citation: Bukovansky, Mlada. "American identity and neutral rights from independence to the War of 1812." International Organization 51.02 (1997): 209-243.
    • Topics:
    • IR Theories
    • Keywords:
    • United States
    • neutrality
    • constructivism
    • foreign policy continuity
    • war
    • group identity
    • mercantilism
    • commerce
    • treaties
    • navies
    • international trade

In recent international relations theory debates, constructivists have argued that explanations based primarily on interests and the material distribution of power cannot fully account for important international phenomena and that analysis of the social construction of state identities ought to precede, and may even explain, the genesis of state interests. This claim has proved difficult to operationalize empirically, though some persuasive results are now emerging. This article analyzes the relationship between state identity and state interest in the development of American neutral rights policy from U.S. independence to the War of 1812.

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