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A US Foreign Policy for the Left?

  • UCLA 6275 Bunche Hall (map)

Instead of endless military engagements, stationing of combat forces across the globe, and the deployment of economic sanctions as war by other means, what would a left US foreign policy consist of? Can radicals in the US offer a positive overseas agenda, not just critiques of militarism, imperialism, and war? In order to succeed politically, does a left-wing movement have to accept the idea of the US as “the indispensable nation”?  What does the rise of far right authoritarian populist governments across the world imply for a radical  US overseas strategy? Can the left provide a foreign policy agenda that actually meets the challenge of rapid climate change?


Daniel Bessner  Assistant Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington, is the author of Democracy in Exile: Hans Speier and the Rise of the Defence Intellectual (2018). His writings on US foreign policy have appeared in N+1, The Nation, and The New York Times.

Benjamin Kunkel  is a co-founder of the journal N+1 and the author of Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis (2014). He has recently written on the ecological crisis of the 21st century for the London Review of Books.

Stephen Wertheim  visiting Assistant Professor at Columbia University, is the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of US Global Supremacy in World War II (forthcoming). His writings on US foreign policy have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Nation, and the New York Times.

Commentator: Asli Bâli, UCLA Law School, is Faculty Director of the Promise Institute of Human Rights.