The Future of American Grand Strategy

UPDATE: Due to the ongoing global pandemic the Future of American Grand Strategy conference will be conducted over Zoom.

This conference will have three purposes. First, it will explore why Americans voted for Trump, and what they claim they were trying to achieve with their vote. Second, it will assess the current debate over U.S. grand strategy, as well as what America’s grand strategy should be moving forward. Third, it will investigate public opinion and foreign policy attitudes as they relate to American grand strategy. These discussions will include the normative foundations, perceptions of costs and fairness, and elite rhetoric that either buttress or undermine American grand strategy and associated foreign policies.


Conference Schedule


9:30-9:55 a.m. Randall Schweller, Opening Remarks

9:45-11:00 a.m. Tim Luecke and Sonja Niemeier, “Why Trump?”

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. David McCourt, “The End of Engagement: Expertise, Domestic Politics, and U.S.-China Strategy Under Trump”

12:15-1:15 p.m. Lunch

1:15-2:30 p.m. Daniel Drezner, “Grand Strategy in a Fractured Marketplace of Ideas”

2:30-3:45 p.m. Hal Brands, “One War Is Not Enough”

3:45-4:00 p.m. Coffee Break

4:00-5:15 p.m. William Wohlforth, “Theory, Counterfactuals, and the US Grand Strategy Debate”



9:00-10:15 a.m. Sarah Croco, “Making them Pay: Using the Norm of Honesty to Generate Costs for Political Lies”

10:15-10:30 a.m. Coffee Break

10:30-11:45 a.m. Lindsay Cohn, “The Institutionalization of Foreign Policy Constraint: Cost Perception and Public Opinion”

11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m. Christopher Gelpi, “The Trump Taboo Test: Elite Rhetoric and the Normative Foundations of American Grand Strategy”

2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Kathleen Powers, “What’s Fair in International Politics? Equity, Equality, and Foreign Policy Attitudes”

3:30-3:45 p.m. Coffee Break

3:45-4:00 p.m. Randall Schweller and Andrew Byers, Concluding Remarks



Hal Brands: Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
Andrew Byers, Associate Director, Charles Koch Foundation
Lindsay Cohn: U.S. Naval War College
Sarah Croco: University of Maryland
Daniel Drezner: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Christopher Gelpi: The Ohio State University
Tim Luecke: The Ohio State University
David McCourt: University of California, Davis
Sonja Niemeier: University of Applied Science in Duesseldorf
Kathleen Powers: Dartmouth College
Randall Schweller: Ohio State University
William Wohlforth: Dartmouth College