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The World According to Bush / The Multilateralism of Democracies. A forced choice in a unipolar world
US foreign policy over the last four years has caused serious doubts about the legitimacy of the central actor of the system – with extremely damaging effects. To solve the problem, at the start of his second administration President Bush clearly stated the principles according to which he intends to exercise hegemony: freedom and democracy above all. His appeal to the shared principles of democracy is, however, insufficient to change the attitudes of public opinions and governments, if such principles are not pursued through multilateralism. It has to be added that a consequent change in strategy is demanded, as opposed to permitted, by the different situation we find ourselves in today, over three years after September 11. While a return to multilateralism is thus to be hoped for – and it is up to Europe to create the best conditions for this to happen – no one regrets the lack of multipolarism, which has failed to work in the past.