Patrick Doherty

Patrick Doherty

Patrick C. Doherty, co-director of the Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University, will lead the next Public Affairs Discussion Group on Friday, April 17, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Clark Hall, Room 206. The topic of Doherty’s discussion will be “Is It Time For A New U.S. ‘Grand Strategy?’”

Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been controversy about the purpose of U.S. foreign policy. For many years policy-makers were influenced by George Kennan’s concept of “containing” the Soviet Union. In an attempt to fill a vacuum, there have been a series of attempts by foreign policy intellectuals to define a new narrative or “Grand Strategy” so as to distinguish “enduring, core strategic interests” from “others that are less central.”

President Barack Obama is skeptical. He told The New Yorker’s David Remnick, “I don’t really even need George Kennan right now,” and instead that he needed the right strategic partners. Yet Obama has promoted ideas, such as addressing global warming, which could be viewed as core strategic issues for diplomacy and the nation but generally are not. They would have better prospects if fit into a “national strategic narrative” about the nation’s interests.

The Weatherhead School of Management’s new Strategic Innovation Lab seeks to “catalyze and support the transition to a new U.S. grand strategy for the 21st century.” Doherty was most recently a senior fellow in international security at the New America Foundation. He will discuss the case for having a strategy and why it should focus on economics and sustainability as much as on traditional tools of foreign policy.

Since 1989, faculty, emeriti, students and staff have gathered on Fridays for a brown-bag lunch and to discuss topics in public affairs.

For updates and more information about the Friday lunch schedule, visit fridaylunch.case.edu.