Determining America's Role in the World

Determining America's Role in the World

Defending freedom at home depends on America strengthening alliances and partnerships with other democracies against threats to their sovereignty posed by forces of authoritarianism. The Hoover Institution has regional experts, as well as scholars in diplomacy, military, technology, economics, immigration, energy, and other policy perspectives that are integral to the nation’s security and prosperity.

What happens when you have democracies in the world? They don’t employ child soldiers. They don’t harbor terrorists as a matter of state policy. They don’t invade their neighbors. If you’re realistic about authoritarians, they do all of those things. And oh, by the way, they don’t have the one important shock absorber that democracies have. People can’t change their circumstances peacefully. And so when an autocracy fails, you get an explosion.

Condoleezza Rice

What our Fellows are saying

H. R. McMaster

Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow

Stephen Kotkin

Kleinheinz Senior Fellow

Russell A. Berman

Senior Fellow

“America’s allies on the Eurasian landmass and across the islands of the Indo-Pacific region are invaluable not only to deterring aggression, but also to engaging in critical competitions short of conflict. Strengthening ally defenses and augmenting them with American defense capabilities reduces burdens on the United States while bolstering allies’ security. But our allies provide us with competitive advantages that extend beyond deterring potential aggression. From a geopolitical perspective, allies on the rimland” of the Eurasian landmass pose dilemmas for Russia and China and have the greatest potential to prevent what would be devastating wars. Alliances are also tools for accumulating greater moral as well as military capability than the United States has on its own.”

—Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow H. R. McMaster in Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World(Harper, 2020)

“American leaders frequently err, but they can learn from their mistakes. The country has corrective mechanisms in the form of free and fair elections and a dynamic market economy. The United States and its allies have strong institutions, robust civil societies, and independent and free media. These are the advantages afforded by being unashamedly and unabashedly Western – advantages that Americans should never take for granted.”

—Senior Fellow Stephen Kotkin in Foreign Affairs, April 2022

“In planning for a response to an invasion either of Ukraine or of Taiwan, American strategy should not focus exclusively on the core aggression but also complicate the adversary’s situation by planning for second fronts. At the very least, this threat should enter the enemy’s calculations and contribute to an amplification of deterrence. However, in the worst-case scenario of real war, these second fronts will force the aggressor to burn through resources, divide its attention and contribute to its defeat at the hands of the United States and its allies.”

—Senior Fellow Russell Berman and Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia Michael R. Auslin in The National Interest, February 24, 2022

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Larry Diamond

William L. Clayton Senior Fellow

Larry Diamond is the William L. Clayton Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, the Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy at the Freeman Spogli…

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Victor Davis Hanson

Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; his focus is classics and military history. Hanson was a…

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Russell A. Berman

Senior Fellow

Russell A. Berman, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a co-chair of the…

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Condoleezza Rice

Tad and Dianne Taube Director | Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy

Condoleezza Rice is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and a Senior Fellow on Public Policy. She is the Denning Professor in Global…

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HR McMaster Hoover Headshot

H. R. McMaster

Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow

H. R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is also the Bernard and Susan Liautaud…

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General Jim Mattis

Davies Family Distinguished Fellow

General Jim Mattis, US Marine Corps (Ret.), is the Davies Family Distinguished Fellow, after having served as the nation’s 26th Secretary of Defense in…

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Amy Zegart

Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow

Amy Zegart is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) at Stanford…

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Stephen Kotkin

Kleinheinz Senior Fellow

In addition to his Hoover fellowship, Stephen Kotkin is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also the…

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Niall Ferguson

Milbank Family Senior Fellow

Niall Ferguson, MA, DPhil, FRSE, is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the…

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