In his recent Harper’s cover piece, “Empire Burlesque,” Daniel Bessner traced the evolution of the foreign policy vision that defined the so-called American century and how it has been reshaped by failures and a changing world order, including a new multipolarity and the rise of China. He draws a distinction between the liberal internationalists and the “restrainers,” the two dominant foreign policy camps in Washington, and he calls for planning a future beyond the American century. But can America act like a normal country?
Bessner, an Associate Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington and co-host of the podcast American Prestige, joined Dispatches with Rania Khalek to discuss this and more.
Daniel’s article: https://harpers.org/archive/2022/07/w…
TIME CODES 0:00 INTRO 2:26 End of the American century 6:00 Election of Trump, rise of China 8:48 Liberal internationalists vs the restrainers 13:29 Liberal internationalists are winning 15:59 Isn’t capitalism the real problem? 19:29 Is restraint enough? 24:30 Expansionism 28:39 Great power rivalry trumps international cooperation 30:04 “Authoritarianism” 33:02 The left and foreign policy 37:33 Predicting the future 41:02 Is it possible to dismantle the American empire? 43:03 Evolution of the pro-war think tank industry 48:50 Is America causing its own demise?
Categories: American Decline