This book explores the often assumed but so far not examined proposition that a particular U.S. culture influences U.S. foreign policy behavior or, more concretely, that widely shared basic assumptions embraced by members of the U.S. administration have a notable impact on foreign policy-making.

Publicly professed beliefs regarding America’s role in the world and about democracy’s universal appeal – despite much contestation – go to the heart of U.S. national identity. Employing extensive foreign policy text analysis as well as using the case study of U.S.-Egyptian bilateral relations during the Clinton, Bush junior, and Obama administrations, it shows that basic assumptions matter in U.S. democracy promotion in general, and the book operationalizes them in detail as well as employs qualitative content analysis to assess their validity and variation.

The research presented lies at the intersection of International Relations, U.S. foreign policy, regional studies, and democracy promotion. The specific focus on the domestic ‘cultural’ angle for the study of foreign policy and this dimension’s operationalization makes it a creative crossover study and a unique contribution to these overlapping fields.

chapter |15 pages


chapter 1|36 pages

U.S. democracy promotion

Determinants, debates, and the diagnosis of continuity in the post-Cold War era 1

chapter 2|28 pages

National identity, political culture, and the democracy promotion worldview

Theoretical framework and methodological approach

chapter 4|55 pages

The basic premises of U.S. democracy promotion

Major changes in form, minor changes in content

chapter 5|23 pages

Premises in the challenge ground

U.S. policy toward Egypt (I)

chapter 6|35 pages

Premises in the challenge ground

U.S. policy toward Egypt (II)

chapter |31 pages


chapter |13 pages


Democracy promotion under the Trump administration