Departures Podcast with Stephen Walt

Well, here find ourselves in the beginning of week 5 of the pandemic lockdown, but who’s counting at this point? Instead of impatiently carving the numbers into the wall, let’s use this time to read great books and have enlightening discussions about them (for example, did you catch our last podcast with David Kilcullen?).

On this week’s edition of our Departures podcast, we’re very pleased to welcome Stephen Walt, a Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University, and the author of The Hell of Good Intentions:America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of US Primacy.

I really enjoyed Walt’s book and recommend you pick up a copy. In our wide-ranging discussion, we talked about the changing role of diplomacy and US grand strategy in a post-pandemic world.

For Professor Walt, sustainable US foreign policy successes are win-win, not the result of overwhelming pressure campaigns. For diplomacy to work, “even if you’re getting most of what you want on most of the issues, you shouldn’t expect to get 100% of what you want.”

Unlike some prevailing opinions out there, Walt sees a further retreat from globalization coming in response to COVID-19: “At least in the short to medium term, the end result is going to be a world that is less open, less free, and less prosperous.”

Check out the episode below, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, etc. Give us a review or let us know your thoughts.