Past Event

Expert Panel: U.S. Foreign Policy, Geopolitics and Human Rights

March 12, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Online Event

The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University, present:

Expert Panel: U.S. Foreign Policy, Geopolitics and Human Rights 

Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer, PEN America

Leslie Vinjamuri, Director of the US and Americas Program, and Dean, Queen Elizabeth  II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House, Royal Institute of International Affairs; and Associate Professor in International Relations, SOAS, University of London

Alexander Cooley, Director, Harriman Institute; Claire Tow Professor of Political Science
Barnard College, Columbia University

Jack Snyder, Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Relations, Columbia University

Friday, March 12, 2021

Advance registration required. Registrants will be sent a Zoom link prior to the event. 

In a dramatic reversal, democracy and human rights are back at the center of the US foreign policy agenda. This return to a values-led approach puts the spotlight on America’s core differences with its main geopolitical competitors, which are among the world’s leading human rights abusers. Will it be possible to resurrect the idea of a ‘separate track’ strategy in which the US seeks to cooperate with its rivals on the big global challenges—not least pandemic prevention, climate change, and trade and technology—while calling them out for their human rights practices? This panel situates current real world challenges in the US foreign policy agenda in the context of long-standing debates about how best to sequence the goals of human rights advocacy, economic statecraft, and power politics.  In relations with such important powers as China, India, and Saudi Arabia, how should tradeoffs for pushing a human rights agenda be evaluated?  Is there a risk of backlash if the US and its democratic allies promote human rights in such states, or will playing the human rights card burnish the luster of the American brand in world affairs?

Contact Information

James Paisley