stephen wertheim

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Written interviews


How Military Superiority Made Americans Less Safe


Vox, December 29, 2020 (interview with Alex Ward)


If America’s postwar planners from World War II — had they been around today or even in the 1990s — they would say, “Wait a minute.” They would’ve realized how fraught it is to take on a world-ordering role by force, akin to what we understood the British Empire had done in the previous century. After all, they worried to themselves that what they were planning contained a measure of imperialism in it.



Plus une volonté de restauration que de réforme


Le Courrier, December 10, 2020 (interview with Alexis Rapin)                  


Ma crainte est que l’administration Biden n’aille pas assez loin et échoue à prioriser l’engagement pacifique plutôt que la domination armée.



American Military Supremacy is Not Inevitable


The Politics of Everything, The New Republic, December 2, 2020 (interview with Laura Marsh and Alex Pareene)


The original argument for U.S. military primacy was premised on the idea that totalitarian powers might conquer much of the world. But once totalitarian conquerors disappeared, U.S. armed dominance came to be, in my view, something like an end unto itself.



When America Decided to Rule the World


The Washington Post, November 2, 2020 (interview with Ishaan Tharoor)


The trouble is that the United States now conflates its vital interests with its power position in the world. In effect, armed dominance has become an end unto itself. As many Americans once recognized, that is an imperialistic cast of mind. It also corrupts strategy.


italian edition



The Myth of American Primacy


The National Interest, October 31, 2020 (by Zach Brown)


The United States has acquired more and more enemies around the world. We’ve seen endless wars across the Greater Middle East. We’ve seen hatreds unleashed by those wars turned inward against immigrants, against political opponents, possibly against democracy itself.



Los problemas actuales de EEUU están muy relacionados con sus guerras interminables


El Confidencial, October 30, 2020 (interview with Carlos Barragán)


Deberíamos ser capaces de separar la batalla contra los nazis en la II Guerra Mundial, incluso de la Guerra Fría si quieres, de un proyecto más general de la dominación estadounidense que se consideró sin ningún objetivo final. Han pasado ya tres décadas desde el colapso de la Unión Soviética y nuestra política exterior está alejada de lo que realmente quieren los votantes estadounidenses. Con sus acciones, EEUU ha hecho menos seguro parte del mundo.



How the U.S. Became the World’s Police


Teen Vogue, October 19, 2020 (interview with Sarah Souli)


The project of American supremacy has corrupted its own original purposes. It was originally instituted in a situation where it seemed like the way to have the freest, most liberal, most engaged world was, tragically, to have the United States enforcing decent terms of world order. Now the U.S. and its use of force seems to stand in the way of free exchange, of decent international rules and norms.



Stephen Wertheim: “No se puede descartar la posibilidad de un conflicto armado entre EE.UU. y China”


Clarín, September 22, 2020 (interview with Juan Décima)


La crisis y la disfuncionalidad que actualmente se ve en EE.UU. se retrotrae en parte a la década del 90 y a una cuestión que nunca se resolvió tras la caída de la Unión Soviética. Básicamente, que a partir de ese momento la fuerza militar de Estados Unidos se convirtió en un obstáculo para la libertad que en un principio decía defender.



Can We Democratize Foreign Policy?


Dissent, December 18, 2019 (interview with Daniel Bessner)


Free-floating intellectuals can speak truth to power. Then what? What will power do with truth? Probably deny it or ignore it. It takes power to beat power, and in today’s United States, it takes institutions to organize power.



Did We Take Trump Too Seriously?


The New York Times, July 26, 2017 (interview with Max Strasser)


We need to take him seriously — especially his administration and supporters. He wouldn’t be president today if he hadn’t tapped into a powerful politics, what I called the “politics of civilization.” In fact, he is dangerous precisely because he makes it hard to take his politics seriously. He inspires a Pavlovian ridicule. But that reflex to ridicule is allowing some people to avoid trying to understand his policies and to avoid developing a real critique of them.



Audio/Video Interviews


Stephen Wertheim on America and the World


In Lieu of Fun, December 29, 2020 (interview with Kate Klonick and Benjamin Wittes)



Trump the Dove?


Know Your Enemy, December 26, 2020 (interview with Sam Adler-Bell)



Why America Chose Global Hegemony


Departures, December 23, 2020 (interview with Robert Amsterdam)



Truman Book Talk: ‘Tomorrow, the World’ with Stephen Wertheim


Truman National Security Project, December 8, 2020 (interview with Rachel Rizzo)



Empire in Denial


Radio Open Source, December 3, 2020 (interview with Christopher Lydon)



Why Biden Can’t Go Back to the Foreign Policy Status Quo


Majority Report, December 2, 2020 (interview with Sam Seder and Emma Vigeland)



Tomorrow, The World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy


CATO Daily Podcast, CATO Institute, December 2, 2020 (interview with Caleb O. Brown)



American Military Supremacy is Not Inevitable


The Politics of Everything, The New Republic, December 2, 2020 (interview with Laura Marsh and Alex Pareene)



What Comes After WTF? The Future of American Leadership in the Biden Era


Deep State Radio, November 30, 2020 (interview with Rosa Brooks, Ed Luce, David Rothkopf, and Kori Schake)



Can the U.S. Restore Its Place on the Global Stage


The Mehdi Hasan Show, Peacock, November 25, 2020 (interview with Mehdi Hasan)



Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy Team


The Big Picture, SiriusXM, November 25, 2020 (interview with Olivier Knox)



Stephen Wertheim on the Decision to Rule the World


Talk Nation Radio, November 17, 2020 (interview with David Swanson)



The Roots of U.S. Global Hegemony


The Wright Show on, November 17, 2020 (interview with Robert Wright)



The Slander of ‘Isolationism’: How America Became Addicted to Military Intervention and How We Can Get Over It


The Berggruen Institute, November 19, 2020 (interview with Nils Gilman)



Tomorrow, the World: A Book Talk with Stephen Wertheim


The German Marshall Fund, November 17, 2020 (interview with Martin Quencez)



A Whole New World (Order)


War on the Rocks, November 16, 2020 (interview with Doyle Hodges, Rebecca Lissner, and Mira Rapp-Hooper)     



Tomorrow, the World: A Discussion with Stephen Wertheim and Andrew Bacevich


The Quincy Institute, November 10, 2020 (interview with Andrew Bacevich)



The Origins of U.S. Supremacy


The Empire Has No Clothes, November 2, 2020 (interview with Daniel Larison, Matt Purple, and Kelley Vlahos)



Rethinking American Primacy


Press the Button, October 27, 2020 (interview with Michelle Dover)



Tomorrow, the World


The Lawfare Podcast, October 27, 2020 (interview with Jack Goldsmith)



Stephen Wertheim and Afroditi Giovanopoulou


Digging a Hole: The Legal Theory Podcast, October 27, 2020 (interview with Samuel Moyn and David Schleicher)



Tomorrow: Tomorrow, the World


Foreign Exchanges, October 26, 2020 (interview with Derek Davison)



The Origins of U.S. Military Supremacy and How to End It


Majority Report, October 20, 2020 (interview with Sam Seder)



The End of America’s Forever Wars


New Statesman World, October 16, 2020 (interview with Emily Tamkin and Jeremy Cliffe)



American Supremacy: Stephen Wertheim on the Decision for Military Dominance


None of the Above, October 14, 2020 (interview with Mark Hannah)



The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy and Whether the Republic Will Survive the Empire


Background Briefing, October 13, 2020 (interview with Ian Masters)



Responsible Statecraft


Future Hindsight, December 6, 2019 (interview with Mila Atmos)



A Statecraft of Peace


The Open Mind, PBS, September 30, 2019 (interview with Alexander Heffner and Trita Parsi)



Challenging the Friends of Endless War


Cato Daily Podcast, Cato Institute, September 11, 2019 (interview with Caleb O. Brown)



Diplomacy and U.S. Foreign Policy


Washington Journal, C-SPAN, July 29, 2019 (interview with John McArdle and viewers)



Quincy and the Blob


Foreign Exchanges, July 26, 2019 (interview with Derek Davison)



Can ‘Radically Anti-War’ Democrats Beat President Donald Trump in 2020?


Morning Joe, MSNBC, July 3, 2019 (interview with Willie Geist and Mark Hannah)



What’s a Little Disastrous Foreign Policy Between Friends?


The Wright Show on, January 18, 2019 (interview with Robert Wright)



The Trump Doctrine and its Mandarin Detractors


The Dig, June 29, 2018 (interview with Daniel Denvir)



Ain’t No Party Like a World Order Party


War on the Rocks, May 14, 2018 (interview with Rebecca Lissner, Mira Rapp-Hooper, and Ryan Evans)



America Was Never Exceptional, but We Used to Think It Was


The Dig, September 19, 2017 (interview with Daniel Denvir)



Panels and Debates


Is China the New Enemy? Confront or Cooperate?


Arena Stage Civil Dialogue, June 22, 2020



Come Home, America?


Foreign Affairs issue launch, Council on Foreign Relations, March 9, 2020



Ending Endless Wars


Foreign Policy-Quincy Institute Forum, February 26, 2020



Even Foreign Policy Experts Can Become Democratic


The American Conservative Foreign Policy Conference, November 7, 2019



America’s Role in the World: A Debate


Dartmouth College, May 7, 2019