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US Unilateralism and International Order After 9/11

Aims of the project

The main aim of this project is to investigate the impact of U.S. unilateralism and the new foreign policy after September 11th, 2001. I am taking the Iraq invasion as the case study. The research will center on the spectacular transformation of the lawless nature of the international order since 9/11, and an assessment will be made of the quantitative and qualitative impacts of U.S. unilateralism. The War on terror supports independent procedures worldwide. The assault on the world center symbolizes the entire American overseas policy move which promotes the notion of unilateralism. (Cotter 2001)

Research context, relevance and novelty

The attack changed the phase of the world absolutely on that particular occasion of September 11th, 2001; it was the turning point in the world’s book of record. The War on Terror characterizes unpopular direction of the United States, which corroborates the concept of unilateralism and unilateral military action in the face of global terrorist threat. This remarkable event in U.S. foreign policy casts a lot of doubt on how the United States has changed the laws of the international order paper on the face of the international community and to the extent of attracting global intricates. The action was debatable since a difference has hitherto existed between the United States military and its ability to coordinate and give directions on the global events as well as domestic affairs. The United States is universally known for being an activist of multilateralism it failed on making international concrete decisions. (Charles & Beverley, 2002)

A moment ago the United States has discarded foreign policy model and has embarked on authoritarian deployment of military on a unilateral basis.Arguing that the rules of the game had changed in the post-Cold War and post 9/11, it is this acuity, this allegory, which requires close scrutiny in the context of understand the concept of a world superpower and its limitation in an era of globalization. The project aims to identify the phrase unilateralism and explore how unilateralism became a principle foreign policy object for the United States. Subsequently an account of American unilateralism and its ancestry in pragmatist political principle and the War on Terror, this assignment will survey the impact of this policy shift on the international order. As the word implies, unilateralism allows the United States to act unilaterally in the sphere of foreign policy and diplomacy. Without a need for negotiation, consensus-building, or combined bargaining, the proponents of a unilateral schedule argue that the United States is less constrained in the exercise of foreign policy when it does not have to act in gig with cronies. Unilateral military action has been justified in the wake of the attacks of September 11th, thus this project accepts a case study loom and inspects the case of the Iraq war in 2003. (Charles & Beverley, 2002)

The foray of Iraq is the most understandable case of this unilateralism. Iraq war has been chosen because it was far from fairness, because bush declared War on Terror and by connecting terrorism with mace of mass destruction he invaded Iraq. Instead of diminishing the revolutionary warning, he increased it because the Americans are now cornered in Iraq, and pulling out from Iraq is not an alternative. It would just tender triumph to the terrorists and do brutal harm to the U.S. and the world, and this could lead to a calamitous turnaround similar to what had taken place in Vietnam. The project aims to explore how the international order is upheld and promoted through the violent interest-affirming conduct of the global supremacy and how the American global hegemony has been reasserted through unilateral action. (Cotter 2001)

Research question and hypotheses

The project addresses the following research questions:

  1. What lesson did the united state learn from ignoring the international order?
  2. What are the global effects of the new foreign policy?
  3. What are the underlying assumptions of this foreign policy?
  4. Which explanatory theory best explains the new world order?
  5. Whish explanatory theory best explains American Unilateralism?
  6. Are there any changes in the whole world after the attack?
  7. What is the U.S. view on global terrorism?
  8. What have been the implications for the international order?
  9. Is there any link between the Iraq war and U.S. unilateralism?
  10. What is the link between the Iraq War and the War on Terror?
  11. What mechanism can be used to explain the War on terror?
  12. Were there other parties concerned in the U.S. Iraq invasion?
  13. How did the international community react on the September 11th attack?
  14. Were there other reasons for attack on U.S.?
  • The dramatic change in the foreign policy of the U.S.
  • The change in the international order and the impact of U.S. unilateralism.
  • The invasion of Iraq in 2003.
  • Post-9/11 period.
  • Post- Cold War.
  • The disquieting intimidation of terror campaign on the international order.
  • The crumple of the Soviet Union.
  • The domination of the superpower.
  • Globalization has tolerated deviant American custom.
  • American idols and icons are shaping the world.
  • U.S. military has been engaged in worldwide compassionate ventures.
  • The limitations of American power.
  • The role of Muslim fundamentalists on the international order.
  • U.S. soft and hard power.
  • American –European relationship.

The following hypotheses will be tested

  • The Bush policy has been perceived to bring the set of thinking about the international regulation and world affairs by contributing the way for the application of unilateral military action as an imperative occupant of American foreign policy.
  • The U.S. power has contributed to the War on terror in Iraq by providing its foreign policy objective through unilateral action.
  • American foreign policy has contributed to the approach in the international order by providing a tough conjectural outline.
  • American foreign policy has contributed to the permanence system in the world by providing a downy functioning of the international structure.
  • American new foreign policy has contributed to provide the unilateral action on the ambassadorial facade and defends preventative battle to protect U.S. interests
  • The American homogenization has contributed in the War on Iraq to provide the stability of the world order to face the frightening warning of terrorism.

Theoretical framework

The U.S. unilateralism theory, as analyzed in Prestowitz (2004), is the main theoretical framework used as the basis for this project. The U.S. unilateralism theory occurred after the September 11th 2001 as a theory that attempts to explain the changes in the American foreign policy after the September attack. The proposed framework for this project as the most applicable is practicality. This proposition as stated by Jervis (2005) emphasizes the role of authority and wealth in supporting the state’s vitality, along with forming the safety requirements. Accordingly, the goal of such emphasis is proceeding with the struggle within a system in which other countries possess a threat, either actual or potential. The threats violating the national interests should be measured based on the current situation of the country, therefore the system’s formation, the distribution of power and the state’s capabilities are important issues to consider. (Waltz, 2000)

The geopolitical chaos as an intrinsic aspect of international relations is the main framework within which the states exist. Actually, from realists’ point of view, the most important aspect required to understand the states’ behaviour and the main political figures, is the will to expand the interests of the country in the time of global chaos. (Schulman 2006)

As stated by the supporters of Bush doctrine, the chaotic nature of the world scenery has been reinforced since 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror advances the unilateral action globally. In that sense, such aggressive actions can contributed to the reinforcement of predominance and unipolar system. Thus, due to the role of realism in affecting the global order, it can be considered as the best system-level theory that acknowledges American unilateralism, the global War on Terror and the new world order. When applying the present theory to the Iraq invasion case, it can be implied that in order to impartially judge the national interest in the context of power distribution, the U.S. should surmount their disability that prevents it from accepting the problems of global politics as is. (Markey 2001)


The project accepts both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and tries to achieve a termination by way of amalgamating conclusion.

In order to test the hypothesis a), the project entails quantitative data concerning the unilateral band in American foreign policy since the early days of the Bush government, particularly after September 11th 2001 and the attack of Iraq in 2003. This is essential to grab the general form of the theatrical amendments ultimately and to test if there is any connection sandwiched between these variables. Data will be collected from official sources such as U.N. Security Council, U.S. foreign affairs, NATO, U.S. government and Iraq statistics office. Given the official status of these organizations, some of which are authorized to attain neutrality and correctness, the data collected from these sources is dependable and candid. After collecting the data, the sequential change will be illustrated. To complement the portrait achieved based on quantitative data, interviews with elected officials from U.N. Security Council will be conducted to assemble locale information and the consciousness of those who are concerned with the process. (Goldstern 2000)

In order to test the hypothesis b), a wide assessment of autobiographical stuff of those engaged with the American foreign policy and the Bush government, particularly in Iraq and the international order will be carried out. Diaries and autobiographies of precedent and present prime ministers, key politicians, journalists and interviews by prominent politicians will be given. This image gained by this exertion will be talented by interviews of chief past and present politicians and journalists in order to add the knowledge in which the U.S. has made variation to the international order. Around 5-6 interviews will be conducted in this stage. (Forman 2003)

In order to test the hypothesis c), a wide examination of text on the outcome of U.S. foreign policy on globalization will be conducted. This will be then supported by interviews with politicians and convention of U.N. Security Council and Iraqi administration. The qualitative nature of the data collected in this loom will strengthen the projects perception of the U.S. unilateralism as a foreign policy purpose and the brunt of this unilateralism on the international order. Around 5-6 interviews will be conducted in this stage. (Goldstern 2000)

The penalty of these tests will be then appraised to reach a conclusion at the end about the impact of the U.S. unilateralism on the international order. (Hiro 2007)

Timescale/research planning/budgeting


  • The duration of the project is expected to be 12 months.
  • Month 1-2 Literature review and planning of data anthology
  • Month 3-5 Collection of quantitative data and its examination
  • Month 6 implementation of interviews and transcription of interview tapes (having the time for arranging interviews)
  • Month 7-9 Analyzing data and completion of literature review
  • Month 10-12 Writing up and doing the final publication of the report (15,000 words)

Estimate of expenses:

  • Purchase of books: £ 500
  • Purchase of journals: £ 200
  • Purchase of a tape recorder: £ 50
  • Transcriptions: (4 transcriptions of 2 hour-long interviews): £ 650
  • Travelling and survival: 4 two-day trips to London (£ 400) + 3 two-day trips to Brighton (£ 1500) = £ 1900
  • Photocopying: £ 200
  • Research assistance: (3 full time days) £ 400
  • TOTAL: £ 3900

Funding: A research funding of 2000 pounds has been protected, which will be spent to cover expenses for carrying out fieldwork. Remaining expenses will be self-funded.

Research findings

Our research found the followings: (Markey 2001)

  • Unilateralism adopted by the U.S. has made it difficult for other countries Korea, Japan, and most of the Middle countries to co-operate with the United States, especially in political issues.
  • The invasion of the United States on September 11th has made the U.S. to review its military procedures for the future.
  • It also made the U.S. to break the bureaucracy in its military and therefore incorporate some degree of flexibility. This they argue, will make them to adjust to any kind of changing nuclear environment.
  • We also found out that towards the end of his second tenure in office, the former American president George W Bush had lost popularity in most countries in the Asian continent.
  • We found out that the Invasion of Iraq by the U.S. had an economic impact on the world’s oil prices this was accompanied by a sharp inflation rates witnessed during the years 2006 and 2005.
  • We also found out that Korea, Japan, and the Middle East are likely to form another super power.

Limitations of the study

Just like any other research, ours was not an exception. There were quite a number of drawbacks of this research including:

Since we relied on respondents to provide us with the information, it was very difficult to identify whether this was the truth or not. Some respondents may not be able to provide accurate information, and that one needs to attest so many interviews to be assured of the validity of the data obtained.

This was an international research and that arranging the necessary logistics and expertise is normally associated with heavy expenditure. One has to prepare adequately enough to finance all these processes.

The research process itself is tedious. It consumes a lot of time.

Since we travelled over so many borders, another problem that we encountered was the language barrier. There were some individuals who did not absolutely understand our language; therefore, we needed a translator who at times may misinterpret the information. (Schulman 2006)


The current global economy is already endangered and does not need more chaos to rectify it. Before peace is brought, there should be a number of sacrifices made to our institutions as well as ourselves. A time has come when our leaders should realize that the world is bigger than their personal interests. The United States war on Iraq was not justified at all cost and may have been perpetrated by agenda that was universally perceived to be skewed. However, it was also wrong for countries like Iraq to en engage in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction against the United Nations Charter. We appeal to the international community to continue pressure on countries that have become adamant to change. This is because whenever two bulls fight it’s the grass that suffers. The grass here is the small and third world countries whose economies are threatened by poverty, corruption, and civil wars. The United States should now decide on which way it goes. A time has come when everything must change. (World Socialist website 1998)

Work cited

Forman s et al 2003, Unilateralism and U.S. foreign policy. Web.

Goldstein J 2007, Core principles of the international relations theory.

Hiro D 2007, Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, America on the Downward slopes.

Markey E 2001, Additional Views of Mr. Markey of Massachusetts Regarding Nuclear Security Provisions of H.r. 2983.Web.

Schulman M 2006, Huntington’s “The clash of civilization”. Web.

World Socialist website 1998, Five years after the invasions of Iraq: A debacle for U.S. imperialism. Web.

Cottey A, 2001.One Year On: A New Era in World Politics. Web.

Charles K.Huyck and Beverley J.Adams, 2002. Emergency Response in the Wake of the World Trade Center Attack: The Remote Sensing Perspective.

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StudyKraken. (2021, December 3). US Unilateralism and International Order After 9/11.

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"US Unilateralism and International Order After 9/11." StudyKraken, 3 Dec. 2021,

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StudyKraken. "US Unilateralism and International Order After 9/11." December 3, 2021.


StudyKraken. 2021. "US Unilateralism and International Order After 9/11." December 3, 2021.


StudyKraken. (2021) 'US Unilateralism and International Order After 9/11'. 3 December.

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