Document Type


Publication Date

September 2006


Introduction. The neoconservative influence on American foreign policy has not had an enthusiastic response outside the United States. Its failure to bring peace and democracy to Iraq has now resulted in a spate of critiques in America itself, even from within the policy establishment. The highest-level defection has been that of Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man (1992), the paean to the triumph of capitalism that became a canonical neoconservative text of the 1990's, articulating the transition from the Clinton administration to that of George W. Bush. In his new book, After the Neocons, Fukuyama argues that key neoconservative tenets were systematically violated in making the case for the war in Iraq, and, further, that the broader attempt to combat terror is ill-served not only by the war but also by the neoconservative project of democratic reform in the Middle East. The failure of these projects, he argues, is a phenomenon less of the Middle East than of the disoriented modernity of Muslims in the West – Western Europe particularly. In conclusion, he offers a replacement for neoconservative foreign policy, something that he calls “realistic Wilsonianism.”

Source Publication

Times Literary Supplement