The American Imperative: Reclaiming Global Leadership through Soft Power

On Thursday, February 16, the Clements Center for National Security and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law will host international development expert Daniel Runde as he discusses his new book, The American Imperative: Reclaiming Leadership Through Soft Power. Join us at 12:15 pm, location TBD.

Mr. Runde argues that China and Russia fill vacuums—vacuums that are digital, healthcare-oriented, infrastructural, commercial, security-related, value-related, and ones that occupy the multilateral system. In turn, the US and its allies must invest in a positive agenda that meets the hopes and aspirations of its partners to fill such vacuums. Great-power competition, Mr. Runde maintains, is not going to be fought in Beijing and Moscow. Rather, it is currently being fought in the post-Soviet space, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. This competition is contested in areas of development and other forms of soft power. While power is undoubtedly expressed in more violent arenas—as seen in Ukraine—most of this contest will be through means other than war.  

Mr. Runde hopes to spark a national conversation about how and for what end we are going to use our non-military forms of our power overseas given the challenges and opportunities in front of us as a country. He calls for supporting broad based economic growth, supporting good governance and anti-corruption, long term training, differentiating our approaches in middle-income countries and fragile states and stronger US leadership in the multilateral system.  

Thursday, February 16 at 12:15pm to 1:30pm


Event Type



All Departments

Target Audience

Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni, General Public



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