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Assessing the Presidency of George W. Bush at Midpoint

Administration Building
University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast
Hardy Hall
University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast

In the following five articles, readers of American Diplomacy will find an insightful assessment of the George W. Bush presidential administration as of late 2002, with special reference to foreign policy. The review and appraisal of the president’s tenure in office over his first two years in office result from an academic conference convened at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast campus near Gulfport. The principal organizer, Professor Tom Lansford, and colleagues provide the setting and overview in the immediately following report. Jack Anthony Covarribus addressed the question of U. S. hegemony; Greg Granger, that of unilateralism; Lansford and Robert J. Pauly, Jr., the topic of national security policy; and finally, Wendy Hamblet takes a critical view of the Bush administration in a philosophical vein.An interesting feature of the conference was the preparation of a “report card” on the president at mid-term. Conference participants on average graded President Bush overall between C+ and B-; in the foreign policy field, he merited on average a (presumably gentlemanly) C. In both categories, the more than thirty conferees awarded grades running the gamut from A to F. Additional detail may be found in following conference presentations.—Ed.

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