Prof Bruce W.Jentleson, Prof Steven Weber, Dr Nicholas Kitchen (chair)
09 February 2011, 6.30pm, Room B212
Free-market capitalism, hegemony, Western culture, peace, and democracy — the ideas that shaped world politics in the twentieth century and underpinned American foreign policy — have lost a good deal of their strength. Authority is now more contested and power more diffuse. Hegemony (benign or otherwise) is no longer a choice, not for the United States, for China, or for anyone else.
Steven Weber and Bruce Jentleson are not declinists, but they argue that the United States must take a different stance toward the rest of the world in the twenty-first century. Now that we can’t dominate others, we must rely on strategy, making trade-offs and focusing our efforts. And they do not mean military strategy, such as “the global war on terror.” Rather, we must compete in the global marketplace of ideas—with state-directed capitalism, with charismatic authoritarian leaders, with jihadism. In politics, ideas and influence are now critical currency. At the core of our efforts must be a new conception of the world order based on mutuality, and of a just society that inspires and embraces people around the world.
Bruce W. Jentleson is Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University.
Steven Weber is Professor of Political Science and Information Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
B212, 2nd Floor Columbia House, London School of Economics.