Abstract: In 1977, the Carter administration began working to implement a new guiding strategy for US foreign policy, oriented toward the promotion of human rights and the management of economic interdependence among the advanced industrialized countries. Carter’s world order politics reflected both the oversights of the Nixon years and the influence of the Trilateral Commission. To manage economic globalization, the Carter administration promoted policy cooperation, its efforts culminating in the Bonn summit of the G-7 in 1978. To promote human rights, the Carter administration devised guidelines for tethering military and financial aid to foreign nations to human rights standards, and applied them with particular rigor in Latin America. By late 1978, however, Carter’s world order politics was already encountering difficulties: the administration’s human rights policy lacked consistency; policy coordination failed to stabilize the liberal world economy; and Iran, a longtime US ally, was imploding.
About the Speaker: Daniel Sargent is assistant professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his BA from Christ’s College, Cambridge in 2001 and his PhD from Harvard University in 2008. He has held fellowships at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University and at International Security Studies at Yale University. He is the author of A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s (Oxford University Press, 2015) and a co-editor of The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective (Harvard University Press, 2010). He is now working on two book-length projects: a history of international economic governance in the modern era and a study on the uses of history and historical thinking in U.S. foreign policy. To purchase A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s, please follow this link to Oxford University Press.
Audio for Daniel Sargent presentation on "World Order Politics: The Carter Administration’s Bid for a New U.S. Foreign Policy (and What We Can Learn From It)," International History Seminar, 02/17/2015