Foreign policy

Peter Katzenstein on healthcare, anti-Americanism and soft power

Renowned political scientist Peter Katzenstein gives an analysis of how the controversial healthcare reform package passed in the US will affect how the US views itself. Professor Katzenstein goes on to discuss anti-Americanism over the past decade and the considerable "soft power" that America continues to wield.

Keywords: Obamacare; Affordable Care Act; healthcare reform; anti-Americanism; soft power


Top secret leaks, executive power and democracy

Judith Ehrlich co-directed the Academy Award nominated documentary The Most Dangerous Man In America which tells the story of US government official Daniel Ellsberg's leak of classified information about five Presidents' involvement in the Vietnam War. Known as the "Pentagon Papers", Ehrlich says that the leak changed the relationship between US citizens and their government. In this interview Ehrlich also discusses the continued significance of leaks and how executive power remains highly concentrated in the Obama administration.

Keywords: Vietnam War; Daniel Ellsberg; Pentagon Papers; whistleblowing; Barack Obama; Wikileaks


US intelligence since 9/11 and Wikileaks

Amy Zegart is a recognised voice on intelligence reform in the US. In 1999 she wrote Flawed By Design, a book examining the weaknesses in America's national security agencies. Her award winning 2007 work Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI and the Origins of 9/11 was the culmination of five years of research. In this interview Zegart notes that while there have been some improvements since 9/11, reform of the US intelligence community is stalling in important areas. Zegart also discusses the recent Wikileaks controversy and says that the news from it is not all bad for America's national security system.

Keywords: CIA; NSA; FBI; intelligence; 9/11; Wikileaks; intelligence reform; national security


Peter Beinart on American foreign policy hubris

Peter Beinart is a recognised expert on American foreign policy. An associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York, Beinart is also a senior political writer for the popular blog The Daily Beast. In this interview Beinart explains the title of his most recent book, The Icarus Syndrome: a history of American hubris, and discusses the challenges facing President Obama which include two unfinished wars and the attempted revival of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Keywords: US foreign policy; Barack Obama; Middle East; 9/11


The Arab-Israeli conflict with Daniel Kurtzer

Professor Daniel Kurtzer is no stranger to the roadblocks that have stood in the way of a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, yet he continues to hold out hope of a remedy to the conflict. In this interview the former US Ambassador to Israel and Egypt gives a condensed summary of the key issues in the current Middle East peace process, and endorses strong and articulate leadership from America.

Keywords: US foreign policy; Barack Obama; Middle East; Israel; peace talks


Ian Shapiro on US democracy, inequality and foreign policy

Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University and visitor to the US Studies Centre, Professor Ian Shapiro is one of America's foremost political scientists and speakers. In this interview, he discusses the prospect of a second global financial crisis and the threat that both Afghanistan and Iran pose to the foreign policy goals of the US. He begins by discussing inequality in America and how money plays a crucial role in determining US presidents and their policies.

Keywords: GFC; US foreign policy; Middle East; Iran; income inequality; campaigning; financing


Thomas Schwartz on the legacy of Kissinger

In this interview, professor of history at Vanderbilt University Thomas Schwartz discusses his latest work on the Nixon-Kissinger revolution in foreign policy. Professor Schwartz suggests that Kissinger's legacy continues to be felt in the foreign policy stances of President Obama and Mitt Romney. He begins by discussing the importance of the Nixon-Kissinger relationship, not just in foreign policy but also in how we perceive the role of the president.

Keywords: Richard Nixon; Henry Kissinger; US foreign policy; Cold War; Barack Obama; Mitt Romney; president


Carol Giacomo on US-Russian tensions over Ukraine

In this interview, New York Times editorial board member Carol Giacomo discusses the Russian invasion of Ukraine and how it will impact the already strained relationship between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama. She begins by discussing the importance of Crimea to both the Ukraine and Russia.

Keywords: Russia; Ukraine; Crimea; Vladimir Putin; Barack Obama


Kathleen Burk on the US-UK relationship

Centre guest Kathleen Burk is the professor emerita of modern and contemporary history at University College London. In this interview, she discusses the shared history of the United States and the United Kingdom, beginning by considering whether the relationship should be considered a special one.

Keywords: US-UK special relationship; Transatlantic ties


Richard Samuels on the US-Japan relationship

In this interview, Ford International Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Richard Samuels discusses Japan's foreign policy and its role in securing East Asian stability and its relationship with China and the US. He begins by discussing the importance of Japan to both China and the US.

Keywords: Japan; China; East Asia


The influence of lobbyists on US foreign policy

Lecturer Gorana Grgic speaks with Thad Kousser the 2015 Fulbright Flinders University Distinguished Chair in American Political Science about the unexpected links between lobbyists and US foreign policy. Kousser visited the Centre in May.

Keywords: lobbying; corporations; ethnic groups