The ideals of reason and freedom have long occupied central positions in the diplomatic imagination of the United States, leading US foreign policy to emphasize science and democracy as key elements in the fashioning of global order in the 20th century. At the beginning of the 21st century, however, the combination of science and democracy seems an increasingly ambivalent source of authority and inspiration. Advances in science and technology threaten to erode the self-determination of democratic societies, while new calls for the democratization of global governance raise difficult questions regarding the power and legitimacy of science and other forms of expertise in international institutions. This paper seeks to open a new dialogue on the conceptual underpinnings of US foreign policy and the potential for fashioning new commitments to reason and freedom that can strengthen both democratic governance and the management of rapid scientific and technological change in contemporary world affairs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Public Administration
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law