Agonies of Empire: American power from Clinton to Biden

Hosted by the Ralph Miliband Programme, LSE IDEAS and the Phelan United States Centre

Online public event


Professor Michael Cox

Professor Michael Cox

Professor Caroline Kennedy-Pipe

Professor Caroline Kennedy-Pipe

Professor Peter Trubowitz

Professor Peter Trubowitz


Dr Robin Archer

Dr Robin Archer

Join us for this event which marks Michael Cox's new book, Agonies of Empire - American Power from Clinton to Biden.

The defeat of Donald Trump in November 2020 followed by the attack on the US Congress on 6 January 2021 represented a tipping point moment in the history of the American republic. Divided at home and facing a world sceptical of American claims to be the ‘indispensable nation’ in world politics, it is clear that the next few years will be decisive ones for the United States. But how did the US, which was riding high only 30 years ago, arrive at this critical point? And will it lead to the fall of what many would claim has been one of the most successful empires of modern times?In this volume, Michael Cox, a leading scholar of American foreign policy, outlines the ways in which five very different American Presidents – Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump and now Biden - have addressed the complex legacies left them by their predecessors while dealing with the longer-term problems of running an empire under increasing stress. In so doing, he sets out a framework for thinking critically about US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War without ever losing sight of the biggest question of all: can America continue to shape world affairs or is it now facing long-term decline?

Meet our speakers and chair

Michael Cox is an Emeritus Professor of International Relations at LSE. He was a Founding Director of LSE IDEAS and currently sits on the steering committee of the Ralph Miliband Programme. He has also served as Chair of the United States Discussion Group at Chatham House, as Senior Fellow at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, and as Chair of the European Consortium for Political Research.

Caroline Kennedy-Pipe is Professor of War Studies at Loughborough University. Caroline has published extensively on Russia, the Cold War and its legacies but also studies war, strategy and terrorism. She has managed funded research projects on IEDS, on suicide bombers and on drone warfare. Currently, Caroline works on Arctic Security, Russia and the High North as well as writing a book urban warfare.

Peter Trubowitz (@ptrubowitz) is Professor of International Relations and Director of the Phelan US Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Associate Fellow at Chatham House. His research largely focuses on issues of international security and US foreign policy. His publications include Politics and Strategy: Partisan Ambition and American Statecraft and Defining the National Interest: Conflict and Change in American Foreign Policy.

Robin Archer is the Director of the postgraduate programme in political sociology and the Director of the Ralph Miliband Programme at LSE.

More about this event

The Ralph Miliband Programme (@rmilibandlse) is one of LSE's most prestigious lecture series and seeks to advance Ralph Miliband's spirit of free social inquiry.

LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.

LSE's Phelan 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.

You can order the book, Agonies of Empire: American Power from Clinton to Biden (UK delivery only), from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEAmericanPower

Live captions

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How can I attend? Add to calendar

This online public event is free and open to all but pre-registration is required.

Registration for this event on Zoom will open after 10am on Tuesday 8 February.

For any queries email

This event will be streamed live on Facebook


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