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Trump and the Remaking of American Grand Strategy

The Shift from Open Door Globalism to Economic Nationalism

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  • © 2023


  • Offers a comprehensive analysis US foreign policy shift under Trump from Open Door Globalism to economic nationalism
  • Uses the original analytical model informed by critical political economy as developed earlier by the authors
  • Presents a unique and rigorous empirical and social network analysis of Trump's foreign policy-making elite

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About this book

This book offers a comprehensive explanatory account of Trump's foreign policy by assessing its nature, determining the extent to which it broke with the policy of preceding presidencies, and explaining how this shift came about. We argue that Trump has succeeded in remaking America’s grand strategy by unmaking its long-standing strategy of what we call Open Door Globalism, a strategy of economic expansionism through the promotion of open markets across the globe and its institutionalization into a US-led liberal world order. Trump has broken with Open Door Globalism in probably lasting ways by adopting an outlook and strategy of neo-mercantilist economic nationalism based upon an ‘America First’ redefinition of US sovereignty and national interests. We explain this Trumpian shift in US foreign policy by focusing on the social sources of Trump’s foreign policy-making elite’s agency, analysing it both in terms of foreign policy-makers’ embeddedness in elite networks and within the changing global and domestic context. The latter, coupled with a crisis of established elite power, also indicates why Biden has not returned to Open Door Globalism but doubled down on some aspects of the Trumpian economic nationalist break.


Table of contents (7 chapters)


“This brilliant, impeccably researched book persuasively argues that President Trump remade US foreign policy and that his influence lives on, in numerous ways, in the Biden administration. Their analysis of corporate elite and policy planning networks’ influence over US grand strategy, that combines the unconventional social and corporate sources of Trumpism with increasing domestic inequalities and polarisations as well as far-reaching global power shifts, adds to the renewal of elite studies of American foreign policy and power. It further boosts an intellectual and empirical challenge to dominant IR theories such as realism and liberalism which, despite some resonance with world affairs, appear increasingly thin, shop-worn and obsolete. A vital must-read analysis of the shifting tectonic plates of American power.” (Professor Inderjeet Parmar, Professor of International Politics, City University of London.)

“This book provides the best historical and network-based sociological account to date of how a renegade Republican president broke from the internationalist policies that had been slowly developed over decades by the American corporate power elite working in and through their policy-planning network, but it also reveals the resiliency of that same corporate power elite by showing how the internationalists in the Biden Administration have reshaped those new policies to fit the current international situation.” (G. William Domhoff, Ph,D, The Corporate Rich and the Power Elite in the Twentieth Century: How They Won, Why Liberals and Labor Lost (Routledge, 2020)

“Grand strategy takes place where international systemic pressures and the state’s policymaking processes intersect; that is, where structure and agency meet. Naná de Graaff and Bastiaan van Apeldoorn have done cutting edge work on how corporate and foreign policy elites interact in the making of American grand strategy. In Trump and the Remaking of American Grand Strategy -with co-author Jaša Veselinovič - they masterfully unpack President Donald Trump’s catalytic role in bringing a new elite - and new ideas - into Washington that fueled a double shift in American grand strategy (now embraced by the Biden administration): from engagement to confrontation with China, and from economic openness to neo-mercantilism and protectionism.” (Christopher Layne, University Distinguished Professor of International Affairs, Texas A & M University)


Authors and Affiliations

  • Political Science and Administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Bastiaan van Apeldoorn, Naná de Graaff

  • Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

    Jaša Veselinovič

About the authors

Bastiaan van Apeldoorn is Professor of Global Political Economy and Geopolitics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is the author of several books, edited volumes and articles in journals like International AffairsEuropean Journal of International RelationsJournal of European Public Policy, New Political EconomyGlobalizations and Global Networks.

Jaša Veselinovič is a PhD Researcher in Political Science at the Berlin Graduate School for Global and Transregional Studies (BGTS), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. He is part of the Cluster of Excellence: Contestations of the Liberal Script – SCRIPTS.

Naná de Graaff is Associate Professor in International Relations at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She is the author of several books, edited volumes and articles in journals like International AffairsReview of International Political Economy, European Journal of International Relations, and Global Networks. De Graaff is chair of the EU-COST China in Europe Research Network.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Trump and the Remaking of American Grand Strategy

  • Book Subtitle: The Shift from Open Door Globalism to Economic Nationalism

  • Authors: Bastiaan van Apeldoorn, Jaša Veselinovič, Naná de Graaff

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Political Science and International Studies, Political Science and International Studies (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-34691-0Published: 28 July 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-34692-7Published: 27 July 2023

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XII, 159

  • Number of Illustrations: 9 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Political Science, Foreign Policy, Governance and Government, Globalization

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