Departures Podcast with Michael Cox, author of ‘Agonies of Empire: American Power from Clinton to Biden ‘

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The sharpening polarization taking place in the United States over the past several election cycles has gradually calcified the nation’s institutions into obstructionist forces which are impeding Washington’s ability to project its influence abroad.

Now, many are asking, is the United States really the “indispensable” power it perceives itself to be, or are we witnessing the beginning of its abdication? These are the questions that Michael Cox, an Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics, wrestles with in his fascinating new book, “Agonies of Empire: American Power from Clinton to Biden.”

Professor Cox joins Robert Amsterdam on the podcast this week to discuss his study of US foreign policy across the past five presidential administrations, with particular attention paid to the less recognized achievements of geoeconomic statecraft during certain periods followed by less successful doctrines of later presidents.

Cox brings a uniquely British perspective to the ways in which the American people expect their leaders to exercise power, interrogating a number of sweeping presumptions from the cultivation of patriotism, the discontent over globalization (despite benefitting immensely from it), and the strange “parochial-ness” of this lone superpower, and many other interesting questions unearthed across this period of history.