Clements Center
Clements Center


The Last Shah

Feb 26, 2021

In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Paul Edgar, associate director of the Clements Center, sits down with Ray Takeyh to discuss his book, The Last Shah: America, Iran, and the Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty. Takeyh argues that, contrary to popular belief, the 1953 coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq was not the most pivotal event in shaping Iran’s destiny. He argues that Mossadeq’s expulsion was the result, at least in large part, of disapproval of fellow Iranian elites rather than a strictly successful CIA coup. Instead, Takeyh states that understanding the rise of the revolution and the downfall of the Shah should focus more on the period in the early 1960s when Pahlavi became increasingly autocratic and separated from his advisers.

Henry Kissinger and American Power

Feb 19, 2021

In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Thomas Schwartz of Vanderbilt University, discusses his book, Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography. Few figures in American history are as controversial or divisive as Henry Kissinger. Schwartz argues that Kissinger, while mostly associated with international diplomacy and international affairs, is best understood by understanding him as a domestic political figure whose moves were calculated based on his approval ratings and how he played within the domestic political audience. Schwartz also makes the case that Kissinger’s relationship with President Richard Nixon involved rivalry as well as partnership, and was carefully calculated on Kissinger’s part to present an image that put him in the best and most favorable light to the American public.

Border Dilemmas

Feb 15, 2021

In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Dulce Garcia, executive director of Border Angels, an organization that provides outreach to asylum seekers and border crossers, joins the podcast to discuss the challenges faced with immigration policy and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Garcia talks about the security implications of immigration and asylum policy, and the human implications of the choices that are made regarding these topics.

This talk was sponsored by the Strauss Center and was part of their Brumley Speaker Series.

George Seay interviews LBJ Professor and Centennial Chair in National Policy Admiral Bobby R. Inman for podcast "Seay the Future"

Feb 11, 2021

Follow the link to listen to the latest from Seay the Future with George Seay and previous Director of the NSA and the Deputy Director of the CIA Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.). 

The "China Nightmare"

Feb 08, 2021

In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Will Inboden, executive director of the Clements Center at the University of Texas at Austin, sits down with Dan Blumenthal of the American Enterprise Institute to discuss his book, The China Nightmare: The Grand Ambitions of a Decaying State. Blumenthal’s thesis is that China is a rising power with extraordinary strategic capabilities that make it a strong competitor for the United States. Where his thesis may diverge from conventional wisdom is that he argues China is also beset by significant vulnerabilities including questions of how to deal with dissent and pluralism within their own population, demographic effects of the “one child” policy, and risks posed by a stagnating economy.

Blumenthal adds that the most dangerous time in the competition between great powers does not come when one is rising and one is declining, but when a state like China sees the risk that their status may go away and feels the need to lock in gains.