Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Politics, Law, and the
Search for 'Imperfect Justice': Conversation with Stuart E. Eizenstat, former
Deputy Secretary of the Treasury; April 30, 2003, 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 Stuart E. Eizenstat, who is currently head of the international trade and finance division of the law firm of Covington and Burling. Before joining the firm, he was chief domestic policy advisor for President Jimmy Carter. Under President Clinton, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, undersecretary of commerce, undersecretary of state, and deputy treasury secretary. book coverPresident Clinton also assigned Mr. Eizenstat to be special representative of the president and secretary of state, and the administration's leader on Holocaust-related issues. He is the author of Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor, and the Unfinished Business of World War II.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... education ... impact of the civil rights movement ... early involvement in politics ... first confrontation with the Holocaust
  2. Politics and Law ... moving between two worlds ... two different disciplines ... implementing through law while thinking strategically ... skills required for policy and for law ... principle and knowing when to compromise
  3. Working in the White House ... conflicting interest groups ... long-term perspective ... case of the Holocaust Museum ... case of the Iranian refugees ... assessing the Carter presidency ... contribution to human rights ... a letter from Sakharov ... comparing Carter and Clinton
  4. The Changing U.S. Role in the World ... impact of globalization ... emergence of European Union ... integrating former Soviet colonies
  5. Reparations and the Search for Imperfect Justice ... property restitution for religious communities ... rectifying moral wrongs of U.S. ... going in blind ... complexweb of injustices ... fusion of politics and law ... Senator D'Amato ... microcosm of the problems of today's world ... moral leadership of the United States ... democratization of foreign policy and the role of NGOs ... implications for the future ... importance of memory
  6. Conclusions ... preserving our ideals in wartime ... conflict with the European Union ... working with allies ... advice to students ... the truth comes out

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