Magazine Article - DW

Trump Has No Foreign Policy, He Has Attitudes

  • Michael Knigge
| August 5, 2016

Interview with Joseph Nye

DW: In an unusual development, leading European politicians have openly and repeatedly voiced their deep misgivings about Donald Trump, arguing that his foreign policy ideas threaten transatlantic relations. Others counter that fears about a President Trump singlehandedly upending the global order are overblown as the US's own checks and balances as well as international opposition to his plans would prevent that from happening. Who is right?

Joseph Nye: They are both right. Trump is a departure from normal, in the sense that for 70 years there has been no questioning about the bedrock of alliances as central to American foreign policy. Trump is the first major party candidate to call that into question with his statements.

On the other hand, to say that Trump has a policy is to give him too much credit. He has attitudes. But when you actually ask what policies he has they are not spelled out in any detail. Nor does he have advisers who have clear policies on these issues. So if he is, as he claims, the man who worships the art of the deal, one would imagine that he would be susceptible to various checks and balances and pressures if he were to become president. So yes, one should be alarmed about Trump's attitudes. But with his policies one simply does not know what they are. And his practice is one of doing deals.

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For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Knigge, Michael and Joseph Nye. “Trump Has No Foreign Policy, He Has Attitudes.” DW, August 5, 2016.

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