In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Frank Gavin, chair of the editorial board of the Texas National Security Review, sits down with Fredrik Logevall and Daniel Bessner, authors of “Recentering the United States in the Historiography of American Foreign Relations,” which appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of TNSR. This article discusses a trend in the academic history community, to try to seek explanations other than the role of the United States for major events in the world. While this had salutary effects on the field, it has also had the perverse effect of underplaying the role of United States — the most powerful actor in the post-1945 world — on global politics. It also has led to overstating the role of international developments on the conduct of U.S. foreign policy which, the authors argue, was primarily driven by American domestic factors. In this wide-ranging interview, Gavin, Logevall, and Besnner, discuss the process of working on the article, the movements in history to which they are responding, as well as the response that they’ve seen to the article.
Our Faculty Fellow Sheena Greitens has published an article in Foreign Affairs examining how Taiwan has historically provided economic and political aid to Hong Kong and the international implications of the Taiwanese national identity.
In response to the surprise announcement by the US President to reduce the number of American soldiers in Germany, our executive director Will Inboden appeared on The World and Everything in it: Washington Wednesday to offer his analysis of the situation and the history of US troops stationed in Germany.
The University of Texas History Department today announced that William Roger Louis, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture, will be retiring from the University on August 31, 2020. “Please join me in congratulating Roger on his retirement and in celebrating his illustrious career here at UT and in the historical profession generally,” said Jacqueline Jones, History Department Chair.
Roger Louis has taught at UT for 50 years. He currently serves as Historical Adviser at the Harry Ransom Center. He is a past president of the American Historical Association. With William S. Livingston, in 1975 he created the Faculty Seminar on British Studies, which until recently has never cancelled or postponed a single Friday afternoon session. He edited twelve volumes of Adventures with Britannia, which collected outstanding lectures delivered to the seminar.
Among his other accomplishments: He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford History of the British Empire; and as a regular reviewer for the Wall Street Journal, Times Literary Supplement, and English Historical Review. He received
the Civitatis Award (presented by the UT President “in recognition of dedicated and meritorious service to the university above and beyond the regular expectations of teaching, research and service”).
During his tenure at UT he has served as President of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers; Chair of the Historical Advisory Committee, US Department of State; Senior Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center; Visiting Scholar, Brookings Institution; Kluge Chair, Library of Congress; and Commander of the British Empire (awarded by the Queen for professional achievement). He received the Benson Medal of the Royal Society of Literature, recipients of which include E.M. Forster, Philip Larkin, and Lytton Strachey. He also has been the Chichele Lecturer, All Souls College, Oxford.
“Roger, I know I speak for the History faculty, students, and staff in thanking you for your service at UT and in wishing you the best during this next chapter of your life,” Jones added.
(Republished from UT History Department release)
The United States faces a unique confluence of crises right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented economic and social impact on society, and has caused many people to reconceptualize what “national security” means. At the same time, the nation finds itself convulsed by issues of racial injustice and the response to issues in our criminal justice system. This likewise causes a reconceptualization of what it means to be secure, and raises questions about the role of the military and security forces in the United States.
In this episode Doyle Hodges, the executive editor of the Texas National Security Review, sits down with a panel of policymakers and academics to discuss how academics and those who study questions of war and peace broadly defined, can best influence and help as the United States works its way forward during these parallel crises. The panel features Kori Schake, director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, Jim Goldgeier, the Robert Bosch senior visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor of international relations at American University, and Derek Chollet, the executive vice president of the German Marshall Fund.
© Clements Center for National Security 2019