Reconstructing the National Interest
This chapter sketches a theoretical argument for the transformation of foreign policy through reconstruction of national identity. Why do the dozens of global Good Samaritans sacrifice their national interests to help strangers? The quick answer is: they don't. Global good-citizen states see the blood, treasure, and political capital they contribute to the international human rights regime as an investment, not a loss. Like other states, global Good Samaritans are following their national interest. The difference is that they have a broader, longer-term vision of national interest. Global good citizens have reconstructed their national identity in accordance with universalist norms, roles, and expectations. Thus, they have learned to see themselves as interconnected members of a global community that works best for everyone when human rights are respected. Generations of globalization, democratization, and human rights campaigns have produced a niche, networks, and knowledge that support humanitarian foreign policy.
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