Guide and Guardian, Exemplar and Exemption: American Exceptionalism in the United Nations

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Indicating the idea that the United States is a nation qualitatively different from the rest of the world, with a mission and responsibility to lead the world to democracy and freedom, American exceptionalism has been the focus of numerous studies within the fields of United States’ history and domestic and foreign affairs, as well as international relations. While the body of work on American exceptionalism is extensive, the exact usages, purposes, and implications of the notion on U.S. policies, as well as its role in the United Nations, is unfortunately still unexplored. This thesis is a contribution to advance this interesting area of research, and will do so through examinations of the debate surrounding the notion of American exceptionalism, the United States-United Nations relationship, exceptionalist rhetoric, voting practices, personal experiences of UN representatives, and international responses to U.S. pol! icies. It is argued that American exceptionalism, as exemplified in the United Nations, functions as an intricate framework that underlies, shapes, and guides United States’ rhetoric, agenda setting, and voting in multilateral institutionalized cooperation, while it coincides and interlaces with numerous other foreign policy incentives.
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