This lecture by Benjamin Fordham will be streamed live on YouTube.

Click here to watch the livestream.

The Persistence of Republican Opposition to Multilateral Rules in American Foreign Policy

Lecture / via YouTube Livestream


The event takes place online and will be streamed live on YouTube

The last two Republican presidents' hostility to the acceptance of multilateral rules, such as those governing human rights and climate policy, is not as novel as it sometimes appears. It has deep historical roots in the foreign policy that Republican presidents developed before World War I. The increased importance of multilateral cooperation for American foreign policy during the middle of the 20th Century split Republicans on the issue but the conservative wing of the party remained consistently committed to it.

Ironically, congressional leaders' efforts to protect multilateral commitments by avoiding consequential debates on the issue for most of the postwar era contributed to the persistence of this position on the Republican right. This move spared conservative members of congress from confronting the costs of opposing multilateral institutions, giving them little incentive to challenge ideological orthodoxy.

Benjamin Fordham
is professor in the Department of Political Science at Binghamton University. During the 2019-20 academic year he is a visiting associate research scholar at the Princeton University Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance. His research interests concern the influence of domestic political and economic interests on foreign policy choices, especially on security issues such as military spending and the international use of force.

He has published articles on the role of domestic economic performance in decisions to use military force abroad, the effect of party differences on policy choices about the use of force and the allocation of the military budget in the United States, and on the influence of economic interests on congressional voting on foreign economic and security policy matters.

Please note:

After this lecture you are invited to ask Benjamin Fordham your questions. If you already have a question, you can send it in advance via e-mail to faltermeier@amerikahaus.de – the e-mail must have the subject line „Question for Mr. Fordham“.

Organizer: Amerikahaus - Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations

Contact: Dr. Markus Faltermeier

(Photo: NY Stock Exchange ©Ray, fotolia.com)


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