Conference explores ‘Grand Strategy and the American Century’

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The United States’ involvement in world affairs during the past 100 years, and the global issues it will face in the future is the focus of the conference “Grand Strategy and the American Century: Enduring Trends and Emerging Challenges,” to be held at Yale Thursday-Friday, March 30-31.

The conference, which is free and open to the public, is presented by the Yale Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy. It is one of several programs being held at Yale to honor the centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I.

“The past 100 years since U.S. entry into World War I in 1917 are often called the ‘American Century,’” write the organizers. “This period was marked by almost continuous growth in U.S. involvement in world affairs leading up to superpower status during the Cold War period, and ultimately to the position of preponderant power during the past quarter century since the fall of the Soviet Union. As such, the past century is a period of considerable continuity in U.S. grand strategy. At the same time, the United States has had to face evolving challenges to its core international goals, from the peril of German domination over Europe (twice), to the need to contain communism, to interstate terrorism. Indeed, the first quarter of the American Century were shaped by strong isolationism sentiment in the United States — a sentiment that now seems to be resurgent.”

The event will open with remarks by Elizabeth Bradley, outgoing director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, and Yale political scientist Nuno P. Monteiro, and will close with a wrap-up discussion led by the former director of the Grand Strategy Program, John Lewis Gaddis, and Beverly Gage, who will assume the directorship of the program on July 1. Panels will cover the U.S. participation in World War I, the interwar period, the Cold War and its end, and the “unipolar moment” of American dominance. They will analyze emerging challenges to U.S. grand strategy, such as cybersecurity, global pandemics, climate change, and human displacement and migration.

See the conference program.

See a list of participants.

All sessions will be held in the GM Room, Horchow Hall, 55 Hillhouse Ave.

See also: Yale remembers World War I

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