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An Interview with Joseph Nye

Summary:
This week in Say More, PS talks with Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a professor at Harvard University. Project Syndicate: Donald “Trump’s electoral appeal may turn on domestic politics,” you wrote in September, “but his effect on world politics could be transformational, particularly if he gains a second term.” Well, he hasn’t gotten his second term. Is this enough to ensure that we really are at “the end of an historical accident”? What changes cannot be undone, at least not easily?Joseph Nye: Had Trump been re-elected, the damage to the international system of multilateral institutions and alliances would have been very difficult to repair. As one European friend told me, “it is hard to hold one’s breath for four years; eight

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This week in Say More, PS talks with Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a professor at Harvard University.

Project Syndicate: Donald “Trump’s electoral appeal may turn on domestic politics,” you wrote in September, “but his effect on world politics could be transformational, particularly if he gains a second term.” Well, he hasn’t gotten his second term. Is this enough to ensure that we really are at “the end of an historical accident”? What changes cannot be undone, at least not easily?

Joseph Nye: Had Trump been re-elected, the damage to the international system of multilateral institutions and alliances would have been very difficult to repair. As one European friend told me, “it is hard to hold one’s breath for four years; eight years is impossible.”

But Joe Biden has promised to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and the World Health Organization, and to strengthen America’s strained alliances. This bodes well. Nonetheless, it will take time to restore trust, not least because more than 70,000,000 Americans cast their votes for Trump. This suggests that Trumpism will live on, even without Trump.

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Nye, Jr. recommends

We ask all our Say More contributors to tell our readers about a few books that have impressed them recently. Here are Nye, Jr.'s picks:

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