from The Internationalist and International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Can Bernie Sanders’s Foreign Policy Vision Lay Claim to FDR’s Mantle?

U.S. presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 20, 2020.
U.S. presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 20, 2020. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

If he wishes to follow in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's footsteps, U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will need to clarify America's interests, role, and responsibilities in defending the global balance of power.

January 27, 2020

U.S. presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 20, 2020.
U.S. presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 20, 2020. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
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In my weekly column for World Politics Review, I examine the foreign policy vision of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and argue that its biggest gap is its relative silence on geopolitics.

Bernie Sanders’ remarkable staying power in the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries—including narrow leads in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, and now a slight edge over former Vice President Joe Biden in a recent national poll—has unsettled the U.S. political establishment. His revived presidential campaign increases the possibility that Democrats will select, and Americans elect, a left-wing nominee who could upend America’s global role, but in a very different way than President Donald Trump.

More on:

Election 2020

U.S. Foreign Policy

Grand Strategy

Globalization

Climate Change

In contrast to his 2016 presidential run, which treated foreign policy as an afterthought, the Vermont senator’s 2020 campaign has been actively challenging longstanding shibboleths of American exceptionalism and U.S. global leadership. As president, Sanders would like to slash U.S. defense spending and reduce the nation’s military footprint, rein in globalization to give it a human face, aggressively curb greenhouse gas emissions, and reorient U.S. human rights policy from promoting ideals abroad to living up to them at home. Foreign policy elites are skeptical, but his positions resonate with broad swaths of the American electorate.

Read the full World Politics Review article here.

More on:

Election 2020

U.S. Foreign Policy

Grand Strategy

Globalization

Climate Change

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