Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Balancing American Power in the Post-9/11 World: Conversation with Stephen M. Walt, Academic Dean and Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Kennedy School, Harvard University; November 15, 2005, 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 Steve Walt. Steve Walt is the Academic Dean and Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School. book coverHis publications include The Origins of Alliances, Revolution, and his new book, Taming American Power.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... education ... Stanford ... Berkeley
  2. Being an International Relations Theorist ... requirements of theory ... history ... creativity ... simplification ... lonely work ... eureka moment
  3. Realism ... explaining the collapse of the Soviet Union ... explaining 9/11 ... grading the Bush response to 9/11 ... relation of theory to policy: the case of the Iraq War ... growing gulf between academics and policymakers
  4. Teaching ... Kennedy School and public policy students ... real-world relevance ... using case studies
  5. Research ... overview of three books ... interests influenced by events ... the nature of alliances ... balance of threats ... revolutions ... stepping outside of Realist theory
  6. Taming American Power ... post- Cold War optimism ... attempts to balance U.S. power ... balancing strategies of the weak ... the power of nationalism
  7. Domestic Influences on U.S. Foreign Policy ... external actors as lobbyists ... case of the Israel lobby ... taboo topics
  8. Conclusions ... pre- Cold War diplomacy ... overconfidence ... more continuity between parties than is realized ... the danger of imposing our values on others ... using our power more wisely ... restraint
Walt WaltWalt

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