On 11 March 2015, UNU will host “US Foreign Policy: What Does Barack Obama Believe?“, a conversation with journalist James Traub. This event will start at 6:30 PM at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.
US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy has mystified, and frustrated, those who seek to place this policy in such familiar categories as “realist” or “idealist”, with some now even calling him an “isolationist”. But what are the mechanisms and truths behind the Obama administration’s policy goals versus outcomes?
Mr. James Traub will join UNU Rector David M. Malone for a conversation exploring the essence and evolution of Obama’s foreign policy. The conversation will examine Obama’s early ambitions of transforming America’s image in order to achieve breakthroughs on global issues like climate change, nuclear non-proliferation and helping fragile states, and the adversity to these initiatives both at home and abroad, raising the question of whether subsequent policy has been a reaction — possibly an overreaction — to that adversity.
The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy the food and drinks that will be served while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.
Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 10 March) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the registration page.
James Traub is a journalist specializing in international affairs. He is now a columnist and contributor for foreignpolicy.com. He worked as a staff writer for The New Yorker from 1993 to 1998, and then as a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine from 1998 to 2011. In recent years, he has reported from, among other places, Afghanistan, Angola, Congo, Egypt, Georgia, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.
Mr. Traub has also written extensively about national politics, urban affairs, and education. His most recent book is The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not The Way Bush Did). In 2006 he published The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power. He has recently completed a biography of John Quincy Adams, to be published by Basic Books.
He teaches classes on American foreign policy and on nation-building at New York University, Abu Dhabi. He is the host for the Ethics Matter series of public conversations at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. He is a Fellow of the Center on International Cooperation at New York University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
2F Reception Hall
United Nations University
53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925