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John J. Mearsheimer: The Great Delusion

January 30, 2020 at 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Location:2228 conference room Richcraft Hall

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John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

During the period between the end of the Cold War (1989) and Donald Trump becoming president (2017), it was widely believed in the West that the United States should spread liberal democracy across the world, foster an open international economy, and build institutions. This policy of remaking the world in America’s image was supposed to protect human rights, promote peace, and make the world safe for democracy. But this is not what happened. Instead, the United States ended up as a highly militarized country fighting wars that undermine peace, harm human rights, and threaten liberal values at home. John Mearsheimer explains why liberal hegemony, the foreign policy pursued by the United States after the Cold War ended, was doomed to fail, and indeed contributed to Donald Trump winning the White House. He maintains that it would have made far more sense for Washington to have adopted a more restrained foreign policy based on a sound understanding of how nationalism and realism constrain great powers abroad.

John J. Mearsheimer is a renowned International Relations theorist who has published numerous books including his latest The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities.

This event is part of the FPA Speaker Series and is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Rose Maguire Lecture Series in the College of the Humanities.