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Wilsonianism or Wilsonian are words used to describe a certain type of ideological perspective on foreign policy. The term comes from the ideology of United States President Woodrow Wilson and his famous Fourteen Points that he believed would help create world peace if implemented. Wilsonianism is a form of liberal internationalism.[1] Wilson learned from American history and applied that knowledge to his international relations. Wilson's principles expressed the values of democracy and capitalism.[2]


Common principles that are often associated with "Wilsonianism" include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Stanley Hoffmann, "The Crisis of Liberal Internationalism, Foreign Policy, No. 98 (Spring, 1995), pp. 159–177.
  2. ^ Ambrosius, Lloyd (2002). Wilsonianism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1, 22. ISBN 1-4039-6009-7.
  3. ^ Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 41-42.
  4. ^ Antonio Cassese, Self-Determination of Peoples: A Legal Reappraisal (Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 19-21.
  5. ^ "Woodrow Wilson and foreign policy". EDSITEment. National Endowment for the Humanities.
  6. ^ "Woodrow Wilson, Impact and Legacy". Miller Center. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  7. ^ "Woodrow Wilson". Spartacus Education. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  8. ^ Steigerwald, David. Wilsonian idealism in America Page 58. Cornell University Press. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  9. ^ "PBS Presidential Biography". Public Broadcasting System. Retrieved 2011-12-10.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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