Interventions on the meanings of the Obama presidency for US relations with global regions
The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States in November 2008 was an event of global significance. Departing from the usual format of the Political Geography Specialty Group plenary lecture (co-sponsored by the publisher of this journal, Elsevier Science) at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, the editors asked four international board members to present their views on the meaning of the Obama victory for US relations with the countries of their respective regions at the annual meeting in Las Vegas, NV in March 2009. Their commentaries were later updated to reflect the early months of the Obama presidency and are presented here. The common themes of a hopeful break with the unilateralist policies of the Bush administration are contrasted to the constraints of domestic and international conditions on the actions of the new Obama administration in each essay. Each commentator is thus quite skeptical of the ability of the new administration to meet the inflated expectations of the populations of the various regions.