Pax Americana: Report from a Work-in-Progress


The American World Order is today in crisis. The election of Donald Trump has imperiled the future of the Pax Americana, but Trump's election is not so much the cause of the present crisis as the symptom of a deeper malaise. This talk will argue that deep historical perspective can help us to understand both the structural dynamics that have brought the Pax Americana to the brink of unraveling and the variety of policy choices that might help to prolong a liberal international settlement consistent with American values and US national interests.

Daniel Sargent (Department of History, University of California/Berkeley) is the University of Toronto Department of History’s Harold Strom Visiting Professor for 2018-19. This visiting professorship is designed to allow students and faculty at the University of Toronto to interact for a week or more with younger scholars who have demonstrated a talent for important and innovative work in a broadly-defined International Relations field. Sargent fits the profile for the award perfectly: A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s (2015) has already been recognized as an influential cutting-edge study. It builds impressively on themes explored earlier in The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective (2010), co-edited by Sargent with Niall Ferguson, Charles Maier, and Erez Manela.