Harrington lecture will focus on dysfunction of U.S. foreign policy

Stephen Walt Prof. Stephen M. Walt will deliver the Harrington Public Affairs Lecture on April 18.

Clark University’s Harrington Public Affairs Lecture Series will sponsor “Follies, Failures and [#$%@]-Ups: Why is U.S. Foreign Policy So Dysfunctional?,” a lecture by Stephen M. Walt of the Harvard Kennedy School. The talk will be held on Thursday, April 18 at 4 p.m. in room 320 of Jefferson Academic Center. It is free and open to the public.

The lecture will examine how, when the Cold War ended, the United States was in a remarkable position of primacy and on good terms with most of the world’s major powers — yet its foreign policy record since then is mostly one of disappointments and sometimes costly failures. These difficulties are partly due to America’s structural position in the international system, but they also reflect a number of deeper problems in America’s entire foreign policy establishment.

Professor Stephen Walt, the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, is a political scientist specializing in international relations. He has been a Resident Associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. He serves on the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and Journal of Cold War Studies, as co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs (published by Cornell University Press), and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in May 2005. He blogs at walt.foreignpolicy.com.

Walt is the author of The Origins of Alliances (1987), which received the 1988 Edgar S. Furniss National Security Book Award. His other works include Revolution and War (1996), Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy (2005), and, with co-author John Mearsheimer, The Israel Lobby (2007). Professor Walt earned a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

The Harrington Public Affairs Lecture Series is funded by the Francis A. Harrington Public Affairs Fund. Mr. Harrington was a Worcester native, civic leader, vice president and director of the Paul Revere Insurance Companies and a member of Clark University’s Board of Trustees.  In 1963, Mr. Harrington gave a generous gift to Clark to establish a permanent endowment whose income is to be used for lectures, seminars, scholarships, fellowships and other programming in public affairs. The Political Science Department offers these lectures on a yearly basis.