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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Mearsheimer Video ScreencapOn October 4, 2019, John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, visited the Mershon Center to speak about his latest book, The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities (Yale, 2018).

Before his talk, Mearsheimer sat down to discuss some of the themes of his book. Catch those highlights in a new video from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Mershon Center.

In The Great Delusion, Mearsheimer takes on the widespread belief in the West that the United States should spread liberal democracy across the world, foster an open international economy, and build institutions. This policy of remaking the world in America's image is supposed to protect human rights, promote peace, and make the world safe for democracy.

But Mearsheimer argues this is not what has happened. Instead, the United States has ended up as a highly militarized state fighting wars that undermine peace, harm human rights, and threaten liberal values at home.

In the book, Mearsheimer explains why liberal hegemony, the foreign policy pursued by the United States since the Cold War ended, was doomed to fail. It makes far more sense, he maintains, for Washington to adopt a more restrained foreign policy based on a sound understanding of how nationalism and realism constrain great powers abroad.

Thanks to the communications team at the College of Arts and Sciences for help in creating the Mearsheimer Visits Mershon video. Watch it here