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In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy after the Berlin Wall and 9/11

Melvyn P. Leffler, former Wilson Center public policy scholar will discuss his latest book which considers how policymakers react to dramatic developments on the world stage.

Date & Time

Oct. 13, 2011
4:00pm – 5:30pm

Location

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy after the Berlin Wall and 9/11

Melvyn P. Leffler, former Wilson Center public policy scholar and Edward R. Stettinius professor at the University of Virginia will discuss his latest book, In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy after the Berlin Wall and 9/11 which considers how policymakers react to dramatic developments on the world stage. Few expected the Berlin Wall to come down in November 1989; no one anticipated the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September 2001. American foreign policy had to adjust quickly to an international arena that was completely transformed.

 

Leffler and co-editor Jeffrey W. Legro have assembled an illustrious roster of officials from the George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations—Robert B. Zoellick, Paul Wolfowitz, Eric S. Edelman, Walter B. Slocombe, and Philip Zelikow. These policymakers describe how they went about making strategy for a world fraught with possibility and peril. Complementing and contextualizing these policy-veteran contributions, a group of eminent scholars address these same topics. Bruce Cumings, John Mueller, Mary Elise Sarotte, Odd Arne Westad, and William C. Wohlforth probe the unstated assumptions, the cultural values, and the psychological makeup of the policymakers, examine whether opportunities were seized and whether threats were magnified and distorted. Together, policymakers and scholars impel us to rethink how our world has changed and how policy can be improved in the future.

 

Joining Leffler on the panel is Ambassador Eric S. Edelman, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; Ambassador Paul Wolfowitz, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense; and Philip D. Zelikow, White Burkett Miller Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in History at the University of Virginia.

 

Robert Litwak, Wilson Center Vice President for Programs and Director of International Security Studies will chair the event. 

 

 

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History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program uses history to improve understanding of important global dynamics, trends in international relations, and American foreign policy.  Read more

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

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