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

In his new book, Do Morals Matter?, which he discussed 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 scored their foreign policy on three ethical dimensions: their intentions, the means they used, and the consequences of their decisions. He evaluated their leadership qualities, elaborating on which approaches work and which ones do not.



Joseph Nye 128x128
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.




Peter Trubowitz
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


Podcast & Video

 A podcast of this event is available to download from LSE Player

The recording of the Facebook Live of this event is available to watch at Do Morals Matter: presidents and foreign policy from FDR to Trump.



This event was held on 4 June 2020 and was part of the US Centre's Phelan Family Lecture Series.


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