News and Events
Global Security Lecture Series
U.S. Grand Strategy in a New Era of Great Power Competition: America’s National Story
April 20, 2023 • 5:30pm
U.S. grand strategy has been shaped by national rhetoric about our nation’s place in the world, often to an extent that is under-appreciated. This is particularly true for the use of force abroad. National stories about our own nation can create pressure on leaders to pursue ambitious engagement overseas.
National stories can create political space and pressure on leaders to pursue ambitious engagement overseas, as in the case of the anti-communism narrative used during the Cold War, or the anti-terrorism narrative used after September 11. Other times, stories produce considerable constraints on grand strategy and policy alike, as with isolationism during the interwar years and the “Vietnam Syndrome.”
On April 20, Will Walldorf, associate professor from Wake Forest University, will answer two important questions: where is America’s story today and what are the implications of today’s narrative when it comes to dealing with a rising China, revisionist Russia, and the still active affiliates of al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Walldorf is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Affairs and Shively Family Faculty Fellow at Wake Forest University. He focuses primarily on international relations, United States foreign policy, and grand strategy. His latest book, To Shape Our World For Good: Master Narratives and Forceful Regime Change in United States Foreign Policy, 1900-2011 (Cornell University Press, 2019), explores the ways that broad, public narratives drive major U.S. foreign policy decisions
about forceful regime change.