Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy

TUE, APR 7, 2020 (53:26)

Joseph Nye, leading scholar of international relations considers presidents and their foreign policy from FDR to Trump, who come up short in the morality polls.

In Do Morals Matter?, Nye provides a concise yet penetrating analysis of the role of ethics in U.S. foreign policy during the post-1945 era.

Working through each presidency from Truman to Trump, Nye scores their foreign policy on three ethical dimensions: their intentions, the means they used, and the consequences of their decisions. Alongside this, he evaluates their leadership qualities, elaborating on which approaches work and which ones do not.

+ BIO: Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Joseph S. Nye Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor, is also the Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations and former Dean of the Kennedy School. He received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Princeton University, did postgraduate work at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and earned a PhD in political science from Harvard. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and Deputy Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology. In 2004, he published Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics; Understanding International Conflict (5th edition); and The Power Game: A Washington Novel.

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