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August 29, 2007

Charles A. Kupchan To Discuss U.S. Foreign Policy and the Collapse of Bipartisanship, Sept. 20

Americans are living in an era marked by political partisanship and polarization. What happened to the bipartisanship of previous decades, and how does this political climate affect U.S. engagement in global affairs?

Charles A. Kupchan, holder of the Henry Alfred Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress, will discuss the topic in a lecture titled "Dead Center: The Collapse of Bipartisanship and Its Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy" at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sep. 20, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

According to Kupchan, there’s been a dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy, with today’s more assertive unilateralism marking a sharp break with the multilateral traditions of the Cold War. Kupchan will argue that this recent turn in U.S. statecraft is the product primarily of the demise of America’s bipartisan center, although the Bush presidency and international terrorism have played a role. Kupchan will examine why bipartisanship and political centrism have eroded and assess the likely impact on the foreign policies of the next presidency.

In his lecture, Kupchan will draw on an article, co-authored with Peter Trubowitz, titled "Dead Center: The Demise of Liberal Internationalism in the United States," which appears in the fall issue of International Security, a quarterly journal produced by Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Kupchan is professor of international affairs at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. During the first term of the Clinton administration, he was director for European affairs on the National Security Council (NSC). Before joining the NSC, he worked in the U.S. Department of State on the policy planning staff. Prior to his government service, he was an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University.

Kupchan’s books include: "The End of the American Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-first Century" (2002), "Atlantic Security: Contending Visions" (1998), "Nationalism and Nationalities in the New Europe" (1995) and "The Vulnerability of Empire" (1994). He has also written numerous articles on international and strategic affairs.

Kupchan received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and master of philosophy and doctoral degrees from Oxford University. He has served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs, Columbia University’s Institute for War and Peace Studies, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the Centre d'Études et de Recherches Internationales in Paris, and the Institute for International Policy Studies in Tokyo.

Created through the generosity of friends of the former secretary of state to honor him and emphasize the importance of foreign affairs, the Kissinger Chair offers outstanding thinkers and practitioners a unique opportunity to pursue advanced research in the largest and most international collection of library materials in the world. For more information about the Kissinger Chair or any of the other fellowships, grants and programs offered by the Kluge Center, visit

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PR 07-171
ISSN 0731-3527

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