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The Legacy of J. William FulbrightPolicy, Power, and Ideology$
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Alessandro Brogi, Giles Scott-Smith, and Snyder David J.

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813177700

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813177700.001.0001

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date: 30 June 2022

Fulbright Internationalism

Fulbright Internationalism

A Retrospective

(p.19) Fulbright Internationalism
The Legacy of J. William Fulbright

Randall B. Woods

University Press of Kentucky

For decades after World War II, Senator J. William Fulbright was one of the most influential foreign policy thinkers in the United States. Especially given the importance of the eponymous academic exchange program he founded, he is often held as an avatar of the midcentury American liberal internationalist philosophy that undergirded postwar US foreign policy. From his early notoriety as a leading foreign policy spokesperson to his long-standing perch as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he helped carve out an active role for the United States in the world and an approach that defined American global hegemony. His views were not consistent over time, however, and he would undergo a long period of evolution. Starting out during the war as an early advocate of a “one-world” approach to global cooperationalism, he would become by the Vietnam era a critic of many of the liberal assumptions that he had famously championed. His career thus represents not only key consistencies in US postwar foreign policy but many of the fundamental internal contradictions that bipartisan consensus had disguised for many years.

Keywords:   Senator J. William Fulbright, Fulbright program, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Liberal internationalism, Bipartisan consensus, American empire

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