Skip to main content
Support

Isolationism and Its Alternatives

In his Farewell Address of 1796, President George Washington admonished the young nation "to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world." Charles Kupchan's new book tells the story of the nation's long history of isolationist politics, its decline amid World War II and the Cold War, and its comeback in recent years. Kupchan will be joined by Elizabeth Cobbs of Texas A&M and Trygve Throntveit of the Wilson Center to discuss the extraordinary impact of Wilson's presidency on the course of American isolationism, and what we can learn to avoid both strategic overreach and the abdication of global responsibility today.

Date & Time

Tuesday
Apr. 27, 2021
1:00pm – 2:30pm ET

Location

Zoom Webinar

Overview

In his Farewell Address of 1796, President George Washington admonished the young nation "to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world." Charles Kupchan's new book tells the story of the nation's long history of isolationist politics, its decline amid World War II and the Cold War, and its comeback in recent years. Kupchan will be joined by Elizabeth Cobbs of Texas A&M and Trygve Throntveit of the Wilson Center to discuss the extraordinary impact of Wilson's presidency on the course of American isolationism, and what we can learn to avoid both strategic overreach and the abdication of global responsibility today.

Charles Kupchan is Professor of International Affairs in the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University, and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2014 to 2017 Kupchan served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council in the Obama White House. He was also Director for European Affairs on the NSC during the first Clinton administration. Before joining the Clinton NSC, he worked in the U.S. Department of State on the Policy Planning Staff. He is the author of No One’s World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn (2012), How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace (2010), among others and numerous articles on international and strategic affairs. He has served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs, Columbia University’s Institute for War and Peace Studies, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the Centre d’Etude et de Recherches Internationales in Paris, and the Institute for International Policy Studies in Tokyo. During 2006-2007, he was the Henry A. Kissinger Scholar at the Library of Congress and was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Consistent with its mission as a national memorial to the 28th U.S. president,  the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program is launching “Woodrow Wilson - Then and Now," a new series of scholarly conversations exploring the significant and complicated legacies of the man and his presidency for our own day. Moderated by Trygve Throntveit, Global Fellow for History and Public Policy, the series will be a platform for an inclusive and critical discussion of Wilson’s biography, his White House tenure and his longterm impact on US foreign and domestic politics.


Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Event Feedback