Do Morals Matter: presidents and foreign policy from FDR to Trump

Hosted by the United States Centre as part of the Phelan Family Lecture Series

Online public event


Professor Joseph S. Nye

Professor Joseph S. Nye


Professor Peter Trubowitz

Professor Peter Trubowitz

In his new book, Do Morals Matter?, which he will discuss in this talk, Joseph S. Nye examines the role of ethics in US foreign policy during the post-1945 era. Working through each presidency from FDR to Trump, Nye scores their foreign policy on three ethical dimensions: their intentions, the means they used, and the consequences of their decisions. He evaluates their leadership qualities, elaborating on which approaches work and which ones do not.

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. (@Joe_Nye) is University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and former Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Princeton University, won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and earned a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and a Deputy Under Secretary of State. His most recent books include The Powers to Lead, The Future of PowerPresidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era, and The Power Game: a Washington Novel. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Diplomacy. In a recent survey of international relations scholars, he was ranked as the most influential scholar on American foreign policy, and in 2011, Foreign Policy named him one of the top 100 Global Thinkers.

You can order the book, Do Morals Matter? (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.

Peter Trubowitz (@ptrubowitz) is Professor of International Relations and Director of the US Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Associate Fellow at Chatham House.

LSE's United States Centre (@LSE_US) is a hub for global expertise, analysis and commentary on America. Our mission is to promote policy-relevant and internationally-oriented scholarship to meet the growing demand for fresh analysis and critical debate on the United States.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEUSNye

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download at Do Morals Matter: presidents and foreign policy from FDR to Trump.

A video of this event is available to watch at Do Morals Matter: presidents and foreign policy from FDR to Trump.

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This event will be hosted online


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