Event Date: December 19, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm Location: Social Science Building FSS 4006, 120 University Private
Presented by CIPS
Liberalism is rightly understood as a theory of both domestic politics and foreign affairs. In contrast, conservatism is understood as largely being concerned with domestic politics, not international relations. Brendon O’Connor holds that conservatives do adhere to a set of foreign policy ideas that can be better explained and theorised. Conservative leaders in the United States tend to rely very heavily on nationalist thinking to guide their foreign policy, a stance that provides the basis for a nascent theory of conservative international relations. The status quo approach to foreign affairs for US presidents is for nationalist rhetoric to be generally moderated by liberal-realist ideas and policy positions. By contrast, Donald Trump has brought to bear a populist nationalism that unusually rejects American exceptionalism whist drawing on a very transactional and reductive form of realism and paleoconservative ideas. This tendency to attempt to put into action nationalist instincts and ideas is the key characteristic of conservative international relations thinking.
Brendon O’Connor is an Associate Professor at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He has published books and articles on anti-Americanism, US foreign relations, and US welfare policy. His most recent books are Anti-Americanism and American Exceptionalism: Prejudice and Pride about the USA and Ideologies of American Foreign Policy which was co-authored with John Callaghan and Mark Phythian.