U.S. Foreign Policy Seminar

The U.S. Foreign Policy Seminar provides an interdisciplinary perspective on both the study and the practice of United States foreign policy, in the past and the present. The course features a series of invited speakers, half scholars and half practitioners. Open to the wider campus community, the course introduces students to the history, theory, and practice of American foreign policy. Students and participants will learn how U.S. foreign policy is made, and they will explore some of the major challenges facing U.S. foreign policy in the twenty-first century: geopolitical rivalries with China and Russia, the quest for stability in the Middle East, the stakes of nuclear proliferation, the threat of terrorism, the promotion of human rights and international law, and so on.

The course is a one-unit seminar co-listed by the Departments of History(link is external) and Political Science(link is external) and offered under the auspices of the Institute for International Studies (IIS).

Past Events

Fall 2017 – Spring 2018

September 28, 2017
Liberalism, War, and the Invention of National Security
Andrew Preston (University of Cambridge)

October 12, 2017
NATO: Obsolete Or Adapting?
Ambassador Douglas Lute

November 2, 2017
How Everything Became War And The Military Became Everything
Rosa Brooks (Georgetown University)

November 14, 2017
America's Next War And How To Prevent It
Paul Stares (Council on Foreign Relations)

November 30, 2017
State-Building And Political Development In US Foreign Policy
Francis Fukuyama (Stanford University)

February 1, 2018
The Future Of Cybersecurity And Trends In Technological Risk: Implications For US Foreign Policy And Politics
Jonathan Reiber (University of California, Berkeley)

February 12, 2018
The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale And The American Tragedy In Vietnam
Max Boot (Council on Foreign Relations)

February 14, 2018
A Conversation About U.S. Foreign Policy
Michèle Flournoy (Center for New American Security)

April 25, 2018
Pax Americana: Sketches For An Undiplomatic History
Daniel Sargent (University of California, Berkeley)

May 15, 2018
The Korean Challenge to U.S. Foreign Policy
Ambassador Kathleen Stephens

Fall 2016 – Spring 2017

October 6, 2016
India And China, The New Superpowers
Anja Manuel (Center for International Security and Cooperation)

October 10, 2016
The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America’s Role in the World
Derek Chollet (The German Marshall Fund of the United States)

November 28, 2016
Making the Unipolar Moment: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Rise of the Post-Cold War Order
Hal Brands (Johns Hopkins University)

February 21, 2017
The Russian Challenge In The Next Four Years
Eugene Rumer (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

March, 7, 2017
Alliances In The Indo-Pacific: A Practitioner's Perspective
Vice Admiral Robert L. Thomas

April 12, 2017
Applied History and the Uses (and Misuses) of the Past
Frederik Logevall (Harvard University)

April 17, 2017
The Way Of The Strangers: Encounters With The Islamic State
Graeme Wood (The Atlantic)

April 20, 2017
Arab Spring And Arab Winter: Should The United States Support Democracy In The Middle East?
Elliot Abrams (Council on Foreign Relations)

Fall 2015 – Spring 2016

September 17, 2015
"The Opening with Cuba: How Critical to US Foreign Policy?" 
Julia Sweig (Council on Foreign Relations)

October 14, 2015
"US Foreign and Defense Policy in the Middle East" 
Matthew Spence (Department of Defense)

October 22, 2015
"The UN at 70: It's evolving role in USFP" 
Rosemary DiCarlo (Ambassador)

November 19, 2015
"Assessing the Obama Foreign Policy Legacy" 
Peter Feaver (Duke University)

January 26, 2016
History and Policy
Francis Gavin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

February 11, 2016
The Assumptions Behind Obama's Grand And Regional Strategies
Peter Feaver (Duke University)

March 1, 2016
The Armed Forces In The Age Of The War On Terror
David M. Kennedy (Stanford University)

April 7, 2016
American Foreign Policy In A Time Of Retrenchment
Kori Shake (International Institute for Strategic Studies)

April 11, 2016
A View From The National Intelligence Council: How It Connects To U.S. Policy
Gregory F. Treverton (National Intelligence Council)

May 3, 2016
Restless Empire: China And The World
Odd Arne Westad (Harvard University)

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015

September 5, 2014
"The Uses of History in Grand Strategy and Statecraft: Insights from Five Historian-Strategists in the Anglo-American Tradition
Will Inboden (University of Texas, Austin)

September 19, 2014
The Two-Way Street Between Social Science and Nuclear Policy"
Scott Sagan (Stanford University)

October 3, 2014
A Broken Promise: What the West Really Told Moscow About NATO Expansion
Mary Sarotte (University of Southern California / Harvard)

November 20, 2014
"Does The United States Have A Grand Strategy In Asia?"
Michael Greene (Practitioner)

February 2, 2015
Charles Edel (U.S. Naval War College)

February 12, 2015
"US Policy And The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict"
Rob Danin (Practitioner)

February 27, 2015
"US Policy And The Middle East Crisis"
Ambassador Frank Wisner

April 24, 2015
"Liberalism Unraveling: The United States And The Developing World In The 1960s"
Mark Lawrence (University of Texas, Austin)

Fall 2020

Events are typically held in 223 Moses Hall. Based on campus guidance all events will be held virtually until further notice.