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Stephen M. Walt

Stephen M. Walt

Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: (617) 495-5712
Fax: (617)-495-8963
Email: stephen_walt@harvard.edu

 

 

By Program/Project

 

International Security (continued)

May 4, 2016

"The (Con)Fusion of Civilizations"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[C]ivilizations are not actors and they do not make decisions for war or peace. Even now, the main actors in world politics are states and the most powerful political ideology in the world is nationalism. Nationalism explains why the number of countries continues to rise, why supranational institutions like the European Union are in trouble, and why China and its neighbors are increasingly at odds over seemingly minor chunks of territory in the open seas."

 

 

April 25, 2016

"Why Is America So Bad at Promoting Democracy in Other Countries?"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"What doesn't work is military intervention (aka "foreign-imposed regime change"). The idea that the United States could march in, depose the despot-in-chief and his henchmen, write a new constitution, hold a few elections, and produce a stable democracy — presto! — was always delusional, but an awful lot of smart people bought this idea despite the abundant evidence against it."

 

 

April 18, 2016

"Trump's Rear-View Politics"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"Gazing solely in the rearview mirror also discourages us from thinking about the actual problems we face today and devising constructive and creative solutions to them. Case in point: The United States is not going to go back to being a society with a comfortable Anglo-Protestant majority, no matter how much some people might want it to be. It's not going to be a country where gay people are back in the closet. It is not going to have a nuclear monopoly; it's not likely to turn its back on global trade (and if it does, it will be poorer), and it's not going to be able to dictate terms to anybody who gets in our way."

 

 

April 7, 2016

"Obama Was Not a Realist President"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[A]fter seven-plus years in office, this most articulate of presidents never articulated a clear and coherent framework identifying what those vital interests are and why and spelling out how the United States could advance broader political ideals at acceptable cost and risk."

 

 

(Gage Skidmore CC)

April 1, 2016

"No, @realDonaldTrump Is Not a Realist"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[R]ealists in academia and in the policy world support the basic principles of free trade and oppose the protectionist ideas Trump routinely invokes. Realists favor free trade not because they believe economic interdependence guarantees peace, but because they regard economic power as the foundation of national strength and international influence, and they believe protectionism and autarky are strategies that weaken a state's economy over time. Trump is correct that one needs a strong economy to be a great power — let alone a global superpower — but his ideas on how to preserve that status are so … well, 17th century."

 

 

March 24, 2016

"Monsters of Our Own Imaginings"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"Because it lacks abundant resources and its message is toxic to most people, the Islamic State has to rely on suicide attacks, beheadings, and violent videos to try to scare us into doing something stupid. The Islamic State cannot conquer Europe and impose its weird version of Islam on the more than 500 million people who live there; the most it can hope for is to get European countries to do self-destructive things to themselves in response."

 

 

March 14, 2016

"Europe Can Still Save Itself"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...Europe must acquire is a demonstrated capacity to regulate and control access to the continent so that the pace does not exceed its capacity to absorb and assimilate the new arrivals."

 

 

March 3, 2016

"It's Time to Abandon the Pursuit for Great Leaders"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"I suspect the appeal of the Great Leader also reflects the present shortcomings of existing democratic institutions in Europe and North America, the transparent hypocrisy of most career politicians, and the colorlessness of many current office-holders. If you strip away the well-scripted pageantry that tries to make presidents and prime ministers seem all-powerful and all knowing, today's democratic leaders are not a very inspiring bunch."

 

 

February 17, 2016

"How to Get Tenure"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[E]ven being the greatest teacher since Socrates isn't going to get you promoted if there isn't a solid research record behind it. But that's not to say teaching is irrelevant, especially in an era when budgets are tight and departments need people who can attract enrollments and do more than one thing."

 

 

February 2, 2016

"The Big 5 and the Sad State of Foreign Policy in 2016"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"The United States is still the strongest country in the world, and whoever sits in the Oval Office can still make a huge difference, both in the people he or she appoints and the decisions he or she makes. And that's what saddens me most as I contemplate this election: Instead of being excited by a smart new leader with a promising vision for addressing our current challenges, I've been reduced to hoping that the foreign-policy establishment will rein in the various candidates' worst instincts."

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.