Make Us Great Again: The Causes and Consequences of Declinism in Great Powers


Thursday, November 19, 2020, 12:15pm to 2:00pm


Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center—Online

This seminar explores the causes and consequences of declinism in great powers. Why does the topic of the nation's international decline emerge in the political discourse of great powers? Why do leaders choose to focus on the nation's decline during some periods and not others? What are the foreign policy consequences of such declinist discourse?

After outlining a theory of declinism's emergence and its consequences, this seminar focuses on 1970s Britain, the emergence of the New Right, and the declinist narratives of politicians like Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph.

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