Follies and fiascoes: Why does US foreign policy keep failing?



23 April 2014

When the Cold War ended, the United States was in a remarkable position of primacy: far and away the world's most powerful country. Yet it was also on good terms with most of the world's major powers. Despite these advantages, its foreign policy record since then is mostly one of disappointments and sometimes costly failures. These difficulties are partly due to America's structural position in the international system, but they also reveal some recurring weaknesses in America's foreign policy establishment and its overall approach to foreign affairs. Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renee Belfer Professsor of International Affairs, discussed these issues with a Q+A session following his address. 


  • Professor Stephen Walt
    Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University

    Stephen M. Walt was a visitor at the US Studies Centre in 2014. Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professsor of International Affairs at Harvard University. He is the author of several books and presently serves on the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and Journal of Cold War Studies. He also serves as Co-Editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, published by Cornell University Press.

    Walt was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in May 2005.