Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Stephen Brooks — America Abroad: The United States' Global Role in the 21st Century

Monday, September 9, 2013

5 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

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This talk will address two core questions relevant to understanding America’s role in the international system: (1) what is the nature of today’s international system and how powerful will America be during the next several decades? and (2) what grand strategic choice should America now make – namely, should the US should now “come home” and pull back from its overseas commitments or should it remain deeply engaged in the security and economic affairs of other regions? The financial crisis of 2008 rapidly accelerated expectations of a coming post-American, multipolar world. In the first part of this talk, we undertake a scholarly analysis of America’s place in the international system that directly challenges this predominant narrative; we articulate a starkly contrasting assessment of the US position. In the second part of the talk, we will then analyze the debate over the future direction of US foreign policy. Most scholars writing on the future of grand strategy today have strongly advanced the argument that the US should now retrench. Our position is that they are mistaken. 

Security Seminar Series

Stephen G. Brooks is an Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth, and has previously held fellowships at Harvard and Princeton. His research focuses on US foreign policy and how economic factors influence security affairs. He is the author of Producing Security: Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict (Princeton University Press, 2005) and World out of Balance: International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy (Princeton University Press, 2008), with William Wohlforth. He has published articles in International Security, International Organization, Foreign Affairs, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Perspectives on Politics, and Security Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science with Distinction from Yale University, where his dissertation received the American Political Science Association's Helen Dwight Reid Award for the best doctoral dissertation in international relations, law, and politics.