An afternoon conference co-sponsored by the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy and Current History magazine, and hosted by Swarthmore College.
In recent months, scholars and policymakers have debated the perils and promise of an American Empire. Some argue that the United States has always been an empire, and that we are only now coming to terms with our imperial status. Others argue that the Founders opposed empire on moral and practical grounds, and that empire runs contrary to deeply-held American traditions and values. How do we characterize the conduct of U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century? If the United States is not an empire, what is it? If we cannot call our foreign policies “imperial,” what are they? Speakers will consider these and other questions at this half-day conference.
Introduction by Conference Co-Chairs
Christopher Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute
Bill Finan, Editor, Current History
1:00 pm - Keynote Address: “The American Imperium”
John Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, Univ. of Chicago
2:00 pm - Panel 1: International Reactions to American Empire:
Balancing, Balking, Bandwagoning, and Bashing
Seyom Brown, Lawrence A. Wien Professor of International Cooperation, Brandeis University
Leon Hadar, Research Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, The Cato Institute
Rajan Menon, Monroe J. Rathbone Professor of International Relations, Lehigh University
The international community has responded, and is likely to respond in the future, in a variety of different ways to the spread of the American Empire. The responses move beyond traditional balance-of-power action and reaction, whereby would be rivals form alliances to check American power. The panelists will discuss how America’s imperial practices are responsible for new forms of international cooperation and the formation of ad hoc coalitions, not always easily recognizable by policymakers and analysts.
3:30 pm - Panel 2: The American Empire in Context: Past, Present, and Future
Stanley Kober, Research Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, The Cato Institute
David Isenberg, Senior Analyst, British American Security Information Council
John Peterson, President, The Arlington Institute
The Bush administration’s National Security Strategy pledges to “make the world not just safer, but better,” but in the course of imposing our values by force, we compromise our long-standing tradition of not interfering in the affairs of others. The panelists will compare American policies with those of empires past, will consider the details of the U.S. troop presence throughout the globe, and will propose a new view of American Empire from the perspective of future generations.
The conference is free of charge, and is open to the public. Registration is not required. If you would like to learn more about the Coalition, visit www.realisticforeignpolicy.org.
Christopher Preble (below)
Bill Finan, 215/482-5465, firstname.lastname@example.org
Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy
1220 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4018
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