President Donald Trump has swept away many pillars of postwar U.S. foreign policy. His
transactional approach to diplomacy is a sharp break from traditional American support for the
liberal world order. From trade strategy to the Middle East, President Trump has radically changed
U.S. behavior on the world stage. Few would say that these changes have been a success. Some
would say, however, that Trump initiatives, such as a tough line on trade with China, have been long
overdue. This coming November will find the voters issuing their verdict on the Trump presidency.
The Democratic party nominee will propose new avenues of American engagement with the world.
Whoever wins will face the same challenges of climate change, relations with Russia and China,
terrorism, energy security, international trade and migration. But on another level, the President
will have to stake out policies that bear on American ethics. These include unilateralism versus
multilateralism, and the pursuit of shared values with our allies. The President must also address
global populism and nationalism, and rising authoritarianism. The seminar will take up all these
issues, including the nature of Presidential leadership.
Optional Reading: Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World.
Walter Russell Mead, Routledge, 2002 (ISBN: 978-0415935364)
A Democratic Foreign Policy: Regaining American Influence Abroad. Richard Ned Lebow,
Palgrave MacMillan, 2019. (ISBN: 978-3030215187)
Christopher Murray ’75 served for 40 years as a diplomat with the United States Department of
State. His assignments included service as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo, Political
Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO Forces in Europe and Deputy Chief of Mission
at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels. He was also posted in Lebanon, Algeria, Syria,
Tunisia, Jamaica and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His assignments at the State Department
in Washington, D.C., dealt with U.N. political affairs, non-proliferation, the Horn of Africa and NATO.
After graduating from Lawrence, Ambassador Murray received a J.D. from Cornell Law School.