Wilsonianism or Wilsonian idealism describes a certain type of foreign policy advice. The term comes from the ideas and proposals of President Woodrow Wilson (1913–1921). He issued his famous Fourteen Points in January 1918 as a basis for ending World War I and promoting world peace. He was a leading advocate of the League of Nations to enable the international community to avoid wars and end hostile aggression. Wilsonianism is a form of liberal internationalism.
Common principles that are often associated with "Wilsonianism" include:
- Emphasis on self-determination of peoples;
- Advocacy of the spread of democracy;
- Advocacy of the spread of capitalism; and
- Support for collective security, and least partial opposition to American isolationism.
Historian Joan Hoff writes, "What is 'normal' Wilsonianism remains contested today. For some, it is 'inspiring liberal internationalism' based on adherence to self-determination; for others, Wilsonianism is the exemplar of humanitarian intervention around the world,' making U.S. foreign policy a paragon of carefully defined and restrict use of force." Amos Perlmutter defined Wilsonianism as simultaneously consisting of "liberal interventionism, self-determination, nonintervention, humanitarian intervention" oriented in support of collective security, open diplomacy, capitalism, American exceptionalism, and free and open borders, and opposed to revolution.
- Empire of Liberty
- Human rights
- Idealism in international relations
- International relations theory
- New world order (politics)
- Open Door Policy
- Political realism
- Straussian Wilsonianism
- United Nations
- Stanley Hoffmann, "The Crisis of Liberal Internationalism, Foreign Policy, No. 98 (Spring, 1995), pp. 159–177.
- Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 41-42.
- Antonio Cassese, Self-Determination of Peoples: A Legal Reappraisal (Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 19-21.
- "Woodrow Wilson and foreign policy". EDSITEment. National Endowment for the Humanities.
- "Woodrow Wilson, Impact and Legacy". Miller Center. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- Lloyd E. Ambrosius (2002). Wilsonianism: Woodrow Wilson and His Legacy in American Foreign Relations. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 51.
- Joan Hoff, A Faustian Foreign Policy from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush: Dreams of Perfectability (Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 61.
- Ambrosius, Lloyd E. Wilsonianism: Woodrow Wilson and His Legacy in American Foreign Relations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).
- Ikenberry, G. John, Thomas J. Knock, Anne-Marie Slaughter & Tony Smith. The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the Twenty-first Century (Princeton University Press, 2009).
- Layne, Christopher. The Peace of Illusions: American Grand Strategy from 1940 to the Present (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) (Cornell University Press, 2000).
- Smith, Tony. Why Wilson Matters: The Origin of American Liberal Internationalism and Its Crisis Today (2019) excerpt
- Throntveit, Trygve. Power without Victory: Woodrow Wilson and the American Internationalist Experiment (2017)