2022 World Affairs Council of the Year
Network of Independent World Affairs Councils of America

Webinar | Election Year: Foreign Policy and American Domestic Politics

The Tennessee World Affairs Council

Global Dialogue

Via Zoom

2024 Election Year: Foreign Policy and American Domestic Politics


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Dr. Thomas A. Schwartz


Dr. Breck Walker

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST


At the water’s edge?: Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy in an Election Year

At the beginning of the Cold War, Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg announced his support for Democratic President Harry Truman’s Marshall Plan for Europe by proclaiming that “Politics stops at the water’s edge.”  In more recent times, however, American domestic politics appears to have had a strong effect on foreign policy, particularly in election years.  In this webinar, we will discuss the potential impact of America’s election year politics on the important issues of foreign policy, including the Middle East, Ukraine, and China.

About the Speaker:

Thomas Schwartz (Vanderbilt) - From John McCloy to George Bush: America's Foreign Policy Establishment, European Unity, and German Reunification, 1945-1990 • Politik • John-F.-Kennedy-Institut


Thomas Alan Schwartz is the Distinguished Professor of History and Professor of Political Science and European Studies at Vanderbilt University. Originally from Rochester, New York, he studied at Columbia and Oxford Universities, and completed his doctoral dissertation at Harvard University under the supervision of Professor Ernest R. May and Professor Charles Maier.

He is the author of the books America’s Germany: John J. McCloy and the Federal Republic of Germany (Harvard University Press) and Lyndon Johnson and Europe: In the Shadow of Vietnam, also Harvard University Press. He was the co-editor with Matthias Schulz of The Strained Alliance: US-European Relations in the 1970s, (Cambridge University Press). His most recent book is Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography, published by Hill and Wang in 2020. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the German Historical Institute, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Nobel Institute. He served on the Historical Advisory Committee of the Department of State and was the President of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations.


Breck Walker | TNWAC

About the Moderator:

Dr. Breck Walker, PhD

Member of the Board, Tennessee World Affairs Council

Breck Walker received his PhD in Diplomatic History from Vanderbilt in 2007. His dissertation was on the foreign policy of the Carter administration. He taught at Sewanee, the University of the South, 2007-2012, and on the University of Virginia’s Semester at Sea Program in Spring 2013 and Fall 2015. He worked as a historian in the Historical Office of the Office of Secretary of Defense 2013-2016, researching and writing a book on early Pentagon cyber policy. Prior to becoming a history professor, Breck worked for twenty years as an investment banker, the last ten as co-head of the Corporate Finance Group at J.C. Bradford & Co in Nashville. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas, and J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University. Breck serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee World Affairs Council.

THE MISSION of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tennessee World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare Tennesseans to thrive in our increasingly complex and connected world.

THE VISION of  the Tennessee World Affairs Council is a well-informed community that thinks critically about the world and the impact of global events.