Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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See other interviews with Mead:
"US Foreign Policy and the American
Political Tradition"

(2003) and
"Britain and America and the
Making of the Modern World"


American Grand Strategy in a World at Risk: Conversation with Russell Mead, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, May 10, 2004 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Walter Russell Mead, who is the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a leading interpreter of the history of U.S. foreign policy and America's role in the world. He is winner of the Lionel Gelber prize for his book Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World. He is also the author of Mortal Splendor: The American Empire in Transition. His newest book is Power, Terror, Peace, and War: America's Grand Strategy in a World at Risk.

  1. Foreign Policy after 9/11: Overview ... watershed event ... beginning the long-term debate
  2. Millennial Capitalism ... economic changes of the 90s ... Fordism (New Deal) ... limited choices ... "experts" and stability ... deregulation ... globalization ... effect on world's perception of America ... effect on national elites ... change of ideas within groups
  3. The American Project ... favorable trade balance ... managing great power status ... paying attention to the rest of the world's needs ... role of leaders ... Clinton and Bush similarities ... unilateralism vs. multilateralism ... examples: Kyoto Protocol and International Criminal Court ...
  4. American Individualism ... Fordist "interest-bloc" society fades ... American exceptionalism ... high tolerance for capitalism ... opportunity vs. equality ... political force of Evangelical Christians ... distrust of multilateral institutions ... individual moral sense trumps institutionalism ... Jacksonian influence
  5. Grand Strategy ... balancing foreign and domestic ideals ... reviving containment ... combatting fanatic ideology ... making millennial capitalism less painful for the rest of the world ... creative ideas ... evaluating the GW Bush administration
  6. The American Foreign Policy Debate ... patience required ... need for historical perspective

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