American University: What is the National Interest?

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Political Theory Institute: “What is the National Interest?”


The Political Theory Institute at American University, a JMC partner program, will be hosting Lt. General H.R. McMaster to speak on foreign policy and the American “national interest.”

What should be included as “in the National Interest”? For what causes, if any, should we be willing to risk our lives and treasure? How can freedom be defended and advanced in a dangerous world?

Join PTI Director Alan Levine as he discusses these topics with former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen H.R. McMaster, a 2021 Sine Institute Fellow. McMaster is the author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World.

Monday, January 25, 2021 • 5:30 PM EST
A virtual lecture • American University

Free and open to the public, registration required.

Click here to register >>



Lt. General H.R. McMaster, US Army (Ret.), serves as the Chairman of the Board of Advisors at the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. General McMaster was the 26th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. He served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018.

From 2014 to 2017 General McMaster designed the future army as the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and the deputy commanding general of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

He is author of the award-winning book, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam. He has published scores of essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare in many publications including Foreign Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He was a contributing editor for Survival: Global Politics and Strategy from 2010 to 2017.

Learn more about Lt. General H.R. McMaster >>



The Political Theory Institute at American University’s School of Public Affairs encourages the serious study of the great questions of political theory and brings insights of political theorists to bear on current issues and events. American University has a long tradition of vigorous political debate. Behind every serious political controversy, however, lies a disagreement about political principles, justice, what constitutes “the good life,” or fundamental assumptions about human nature. A thoughtful and morally serious engagement with the controversies of the day, therefore, requires serious reflection on the underlying questions of political theory.

Open to all ideas and perspectives, the Political Theory Institute promotes vigorous and thoughtful discussion and critical engagement by American University faculty, the national and international political theory community, and policy makers with the problems confronting liberal democracies. It supports scholarship that informs and enriches the larger conversation about political ideas. Above all, the Political Theory Institute fosters a spirit of enlightened citizenship—at once thoughtful and engaged—that takes intellectual disagreements seriously without being ideological.

Click here for more information about the Political Theory Institute >>



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