Working Group on Foreign Policy and Grand Strategy

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Featured Commentary

How the Foreign Language Gap Can Be Bridged

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, November 1, 2014

In 2008, while campaigning for president in Powder Springs, Ga., then-Senator Barack Obama asserted, “We should have every child speaking more than one language.”

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Dealing with China

by Francis Fukuyamavia Analysis
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Francis Fukuyama argues that, while neither the Chinese economic nor political models are sustainable in the long run, “We need to assume that China will remain on its current growth trajectory” and “cannot assume a deus ex machina solution to our present problem.” The first step, he says, entails building a multilateral framework for dealing with China's territorial claims.

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Don't Ignore the Indo-Pacific

by Admiral Gary Rougheadvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Our Asian strategy shouldn't just be about China. 

Thucydides Trap

by Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberryvia American Review
Monday, August 4, 2014

Don’t presume that tensions between China, a rising state, and the United States, the status quo power, will lead to conflict

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China Ascendant?

by Stephen D. Krasnervia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Will the country’s rise disrupt the international order the way Germany’s did in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? 

US-China Relations
Featured Commentary

Should the US Be Bullish or Bearish on China’s Rise?

by Amy Zegartvia The American Interest
Friday, June 20, 2014

Stories about the “rise of China” were the most widely read news items of the twenty-first century, garnering more attention than 9/11, the Arab Spring, the death of Osama bin Laden, or the British Royal wedding.

Featured Commentary

Global Capitalism: A Vital Foreign Policy Tool

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, April 10, 2014
US flag on military helmet

Admiral Gary Roughead on Foreign Policy

by Admiral Gary Rougheadvia Hoover Institution
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In this special podcast from the Hoover Institution, Admiral Gary Roughead discusses the challenges of a coherent national defense and foreign policy. Topics include the lasting effects of the sequester, US leadership and engagement in the world, and modern decision-making environments. For more commentary on foreign policy, see the essay series from Hoover's Working Group on Foreign Policy and Grand Strategy.

Domestic Security and Foreign Policy

by Mariano-Florentino Cuéllarvia Analysis
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar argues for a broader formulation of the link between domestic considerations and foreign policy, one that takes into account the effect of international developments on domestic security and the effect of domestic developments on national security.

Domestic Foundations of Foreign Policy vs. Foreign Policy Distractions from Domestic Foundations

by James D. Fearonvia Analysis
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

James Fearon agrees that domestic developments pose few near-term constraints on the president but, picking up from Cuéllar, takes issue with the framing of the question itself, arguing that those developments should not be viewed solely through a lens of foreign policy implications.


Grand Strategy Essay Series

Grand Strategy Essay Series
Is it possible today to craft a single, grand strategy that would allow the United States to shape a radically changing world? This essay series, drawing on work from the group’s first meeting on October 18, 2013, dedicates itself to that question and to examining the components and viability of such a strategy.

Domestic Foundations of American Foreign Policy Essay Series

Domestic Foundations of American Foreign Policy

For this essay series, we asked the members of the working group to consider to what extent the president’s ability to implement a robust and coherent foreign policy is constrained by recent domestic political and economic challenges. This prompt elicited a surprising range of views about constraints, or lack thereof.

Dealing with a Rising and Troubled China Essay Series

For this essay series, we asked the members of the working group consider the two issues that are most relevant to incorporating China into a foreign policy strategy—political stability in China and strategic balance in the Pacific region.


The Hoover Institution's Working Group on Foreign Policy and Grand Strategy will explore an array of foreign policy topics over a two-year period. Our goal is to develop orienting principles about the most important policy challenges to better serve America's interests.

The certainties of the Cold War, such as they were, have disappeared. The United States now confronts several historically unique challenges, including the rise of a potential peer competitor, a rate of technological change unseen since the 19th century, the proliferation of nuclear and biological capabilities, and the possible joining of these capabilities with transnational terrorist movements. There has been no consensus on a grand strategy or even a set of principles to address specific problems. Reactive and ad hoc measures are not adequate.