San Francisco Fellowship 2018: Session Six

Conservatism and American Foreign Policy

Date: Monday, November 5, 2018
Guest Discussion Leader: Victor Davis Hanson

Americans have grown war-weary and tired of military engagements abroad. Yet America has vital interests and an abiding commitment to the survival of western civilization. The readings in this session explore the necessity for American foreign policy to combine spiritedness and moderation and to avoid the twin pitfalls of democratic crusadism and escape from our responsibilities in the world.

Required Reading:

https://nrinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Fonte.pdf

https://nrinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Nau.pdf

https://nrinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Tarcov.pdf

Discussion Questions 
 
1) What is the dichotomy between realism and idealism?
 
2) What role does prudence play in American foreign policy?
 
3) What ideas to American liberals and conservatives share? Where do they differ? How do these differences impact their perspective on foreign policy solutions?
 
4) Describe conservative internationalism, liberal internationalism, realism and nationalism (both similarities and differences). Based on Nau’s description of each, how would you identify yourself?
 
5) What are the four groups among American conservatives? How do their beliefs manifest in their views of foreign policy?
 
6) What roles do force and diplomacy play in today’s foreign policy climate?
 
7) How would a “global rule of law” impact American sovereignty?
 
8) How is global governance a threat to limited government and individual rights?

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