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The evident limits of the Bush administration’s foreign policy, conducted as a war against terrorism, have drawn the attention of the world community and public opinion to the agenda of Kerry, the Democrats’ presidential candidate. On the basis of a radical critique of a foreign policy hinged on the unipolarist/unilateralist equation, Kerry has created an alternative vision in line with American tradition over the last fifty years: namely, diplomacy, alliances and recognition of the practical role and legitimating function of international organisations. If Kerry were to become president, it would thus be reasonable to expect a substantial return to Clinton’s assertive multilateralism. In view of the lack of the structural incentives that held the West together in the bipolar period, it is debatable whether this change in method as opposed to objectives can lead to rapprochement with the Old Europe.