Prof. Ruchi Anand Shares her Views on US Foreign Policy Prospects Under Trump's Presidency

Monday, 30 January 2017

Professor Ruchi Anand is featured in a documentary about Donald Trump’s presidency, produced by the French national TV network France 5. This 70-minute film focuses on the reasons and consequences of Trump’s presidency, exploring both the domestic and international issues at stake.

During the two months between Trump’s election and his inauguration, journalist and film director Romain Besnainou travelled to the US to meet with Trump supporters and opponents, and collected expert views from scholars and researchers, probing the deep split in the US population and examining such issues as the economy, security, education, and immigration. Ruchi Anand was asked to comment on the subject of international relations and to analyze the prospects of US foreign policy and diplomacy especially toward China, Russia, and the Israelo-Palestinian relations.

Ruchi Anand on France 5She says: "Donald Trump's victory is a historic watershed that came as a shock to many especially since he lacks the knowledge, experience and biographic paper trail Presidential profile. It became possible owing to domestic disillusionment, i.e. the electorate became tired of intellectual elites and ushered in an era of an illiberal, populist ideological system with unprecedented disdain for organisational structure and norms. I agree with Walt that the Trump victory is, "a social science experiment of historic proportions"! Trump is neither conservative, nor neoconservative, nor is he realist in the real terms, nor idealist, nor isolationist. Without a grand strategy, so to speak, the only 'certainty' with the Trump Presidency is ambiguity and uncertainty, and trying to predict Trump's foreign policy is a rather impossible exercise. With a Jacksonian tendency in his grand strategy, reflected by his stance of economic nationalism and anti-immigration and reeking of a white and Christian identity for the USA, Trump views foreign policy as a zero-sum game like a chessboard rather than a jigsaw puzzle. Although he promises to 'make America great again' many of his moves seem to be unconstitutional and have evoked parallels with Philip Roth's Plot Against America. The Trump victory is a vital sign of the collapse of the post-war liberal consensus, a sort of 'end of the end of history'! One has to wait and watch if institutional safeguards of the US democratic system (and potentially his own administration) will be able to truncate his unleashed power with adequate roadblocks."

Ruchi Anand has developed an expertise on US Foreign Policy for over fifteen years, doing research and teaching at the Junior State of America summer program at Georgetown and Princeton University, and at the American Graduate School in Paris. She is the author of Self-Defense in International Relations (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), where she gives a critical examination of the US war on Iraq and Afghanistan, and just finished writing a chapter evaluating Obama's two mandates from a French perspective, to be published by Palgrage McMillan as part of a collective book gathering various national perspectives on the subject.

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Tammy Fortier USA
Ph.D. candidate
School of International Relations

quote leftThe Ph.D. program at AGS provides both roots and wings : essential skills needed to ask effective questions, negotiate problems, find solutions ; and the challenge to go out into the world acting firmly, fairly and consistently in creating opportunities.quote right

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