By the late 19th century this constitutionalist model was well embodied in the domestic politics of Europe’s advanced states but interstate relations remained essentially Hobbesian and after World War II, west European states sheltered by American power began building a different sort of interstate system one that was itself constitutionalist rather than Hobbesian and to build their union Europe’s states were treated from the traditional global preoccupations all this in sharp contrast from what has happened here during the cold war or where our government has turned resolutely outward to become a global empire by invitation to borrow a phrase from a Norwegian friend here [???]. Naturally this has affected our domestic constitution as well. Our own [???] model has grown increasingly into a centralized federal system able to project [???] power abroad. Thus while our domestic politics remains sort of uneasily constitutionalist, our foreign policy seeking hegemony draws its inspiration from Hobbs. The whole thrust of the book however is that today’s world is inhospitable to hegemonic projects. The US risks involving itself in the bitter struggle that in the end cannot win. In our post-soviet world this anxious pursuit of hegemony threatens our prosperity and crows our liberty. We should recognize, I argue this lingering unipolar view for what it is of facile doctrine that masks the two ardent taste for domination. Purging the American political imagination of this unipolar bias it seems to me as a task for liberals and conservatives alike. Liberals will have to overcome their traditional vice, which is enthusiasm for [???] abstractions roll forward regardless of what has trampled in the process.
The conservatives have an even greater task perhaps and that is to rediscover their own traditional virtues and constitutional respect for institutions and balance for good manners within and among nations together with a healthy reserved to overheated self-serving idealism. With luck [???] conservatives together can give us in America that is better adapted to the new century, an America that is less assertive, more self-confident. Indeed I suppose we can hope that is what is happening now. Finally Europe has its own transformation to make, to consolidate its own unity to accept the responsibilities of his own great resources. If America is you might say too strong for its own good, it is not least because Europe remains too week that European weakness is a standing invitation to an American overextension. Like all great powers the United States needs to be checked and balanced. With so much power concentrated in Washington something beyond a purely national constitutional framework is required keeping power in check at home requires balancing power abroad. Among states as among individuals balancing is often better done among friends than between enemies in a cooperative rather than a zero sum relationship. To be Europe stabilizing friend was America’s vital post war role. Europe it seems to me must now assume that role for our overstretched disoriented unipolar America. If America’s political imagination regains its balance and Europe rises to the occasion then there maybe a hope that the west can accommodate the new Asia and that the 21st century may reflect Europe’s new model for peace rather than its old model for war. Anyway that is the hope of this little book. Thank you.
Speaker 1: David I think President Obama might claim that he is practicing what you are preaching at least in his stated goals. A far more conciliatory cooperative approach to dealing not just with European allies, but even to rivals and potential adversaries like the Russians, staling back our stated aims in places like the Middle East and explicit rejection of the notion that we could impose democracy on an alien culture especially by force of arms. Secretary Gate’s dramatic effort to restructure our military forces for the kind of occasions you quite rightly say were more likely to face, which could mean would mean more boots on the ground in places like Afghanistan, but coupling that with a lot more attention to trying to alleviate the sources of support for terrorism. Even in his domestic policy trying to rebuild what he calls the foundations of our economic [???] with things like healthcare and education reform that could narrow the values difference with Europeans and make us more the kind of models who other countries they think we are rather than how they perceive it. It is early days [???] enormous domestic as well as international obstacles to accomplish in any of this, but how would you rate is first 107 days of trying to move us in that direction.