Stephen Walt on a Realist American Foreign Policy

Hosted by Alan Alexandroff


Stephen Walt has just published, The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy (see NYTimes Review). It seemed like the appropriate moment to interview Stephen. This new book by Stephen ranges broadly across American foreign policy. Stephen provides a strong critique of U.S. foreign policy and the effort by what Stephen refers to as the ‘foreign policy community’ to maintain a policy of ‘liberal hegemony’. Stephen heavily criticizes the foreign policy elite for maintaining this policy in the face of very serious failures including in Afghanistan and in Iraq. The interview also explores the Realist approach favored by Stephen in his views of ‘Offshore Balancing’.

Stephen holds the Robert and Renee Belfer Professorship in International Affairs in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Stephen was previously the Academic Dean at the Kennedy School. Stephen has written a number of notable books on U.S. foreign policy including: The Origins of Alliances, Revolution and War and Taming American Power. More controversially, Stephen wrote with John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, the article, “The Israel Lobby”.

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