FDR used his understanding of history to advance liberal democracy. Trump uses historical ignorance to advance demagoguery. To succeed, both leaders depend on the acceptance of their ideas by a more-or-less informed electorate. Are we now finally experiencing what Francis Fukuyama famously called the “end of history” in 1989? Will historical ignorance—rather than the end of ideology—spell just the opposite of what Fukuyama predicted—the demise of western liberal democracy?
About the speaker: CYNTHIA M. KOCH is Historian in Residence and Director of History Programing for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation at Adams House, Harvard University. She was Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York and subsequently Senior Adviser to the Office of Presidential Libraries, National Archives, Washington, D.C. From 2013-16 she was Public Historian in Residence at Bard College, where she taught courses in public history and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Her most recent publications are “They Hated Eleanor, Too,” “Hillary R[oosevelt] Clinton,” “Demagogues and Democracy,” and “Democracy and the Election” are published online by the FDR Foundation http://fdrfoundation.org/.
Previously Dr. Koch was Associate Director of the Penn National Commission on Society, Culture and Community, a national public policy research group at the University of Pennsylvania. She served as Executive Director (1993-1997) of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was Director (1979-1993) of the National Historic Landmark Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, New Jersey.
During World War II, as FDR developed his vision for a post-war global order, he made a surprising decision. Against the wishes of his closest ally, Winston Churchill, FDR envisioned a world where China played a leading role as a great power. Given China’s dim prospects at the time, Roosevelt’s prediction was remarkably foresighted.
Come learn about the main trends that will affect China’s strategic behavior in the near future with the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE), a joint EU-NATO project.
Experts from over a dozen EU and NATO countries will be at Adams House in April preparing a set of reports on the internal and external factors that will drive China’s strategic behavior over the next few years. The experts* have agreed to share their initial findings with the Harvard community on Friday, April 26, 11:00am-12:30pm, in the Lower Common Room of Adams House (26 Plympton St., Cambridge).
*Gunther Hauser, Una Bērziņa-Čerenkova, Matti Nojonen, and Juliette Genevaz will be presenting on behalf of the 14 experts
More information on the Hybrid CoE, below.
The European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE), joint EU-NATO Center of Excellence is an international hub operating through our networks of practitioners and experts. Our goal is to build member states’ and institutions’ capabilities and enhance EU-NATO cooperation in countering hybrid threats.
20 participating countries: Austria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK, the US.
Hybrid threat can be characterized as coordinated and synchronized action, that deliberately targets democratic states’ and institutions systemic vulnerabilities, through a wide range of means
The functions of Hybrid CoE include the following:
to investigate and examine hybrid influencing targeted to Western democracies by state and non-state actors and to map participants vulnerabilities and improve their resilience and response
to conduct tailored training and arrange scenario-based exercises for practitioners aimed at enhancing the member states individual capabilities, as well as interoperability between and among member states, the EU and NATO for countering hybrid threats;
to conduct research and analysis into hybrid threats and methods to counter such threats;
to engage with and invite dialogue with governmental, non-governmental experts and practitioners from a wide range of professional sectors and disciplines aiming at improving situational awareness of hybrid threats.
(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
Bradley W. Hart, California State University, Fresno –
(THE CONVERSATION) Americans have spent the last 18 months wondering about Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Charges have already been filed against 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering with the 2016 presidential campaign, as special counsel Robert Mueller continues investigating the extent of the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.
A Senate report concluded that the Russians’ interference was aimed at influencing the outcome of the election.
If true, the president would not be the first U.S. politician that foreign powers tried to help.
In fact, two campaigns, in 1940 and 1960, featured bold attempts by hostile foreign powers to put their preferred candidates in the Oval Office.
While neither was successful, both highlight a vulnerability in the American political system…
Eleanor Roosevelt is an American icon. In her time, she was a progressive, but as Mary Jo Binker points out in the introduction to her new book, “If You Ask Me,” the term “progressive” has changed with the times.
The book is a compilation of Roosevelt’s advice columns, ranging topics from etiquette to war and peace. It’s a delightful look back at a pivotal chapter in American history, and much of the timeless advice is just as applicable to our present chapter as it was then.
On politics, Roosevelt believed in positive rights, such as the right to a job, good wages, education, health care, and so on. She chaired the UN drafting committee for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is fundamentally different from the U.S. Constitution, which only secures negative rights, meaning it limits government’s interference in our freedoms.
In 1943, Congress passed a measure to repeal the discriminatory exclusion laws against Chinese immigrants and to establish an immigration quota for China of around 105 visas per year. As such, the Chinese were both the first to be excluded in the beginning of the era of immigration restriction and the first Asians to gain entry to the United States in the era of liberalization. The repeal of this act was a decision almost wholly grounded in the exigencies of World War II, as Japanese propaganda made repeated reference to Chinese exclusion from the United States in order to weaken the ties between the United States and its ally, the Republic of China. The fact that in addition to general measures preventing Asian immigration, the Chinese were subject to their own, unique prohibition had long been a source of contention in Sino‑American relations. There was little opposition to the repeal, because the United States already had in place a number of measures to ensure that, even without the Chinese Exclusion Laws explicitly forbidding Chinese immigration, Chinese still could not enter. The Immigration Act of 1924 stated that…
Franklin D. Roosevelt at his townhouse in Manhattan surrounded by family members on Nov. 9, 1932, after he won the presidency in a landslide election. On either side of him, from left to right: Sara Delano Roosevelt, his mother; James Roosevelt, his son; and Anna Eleanor Dall, his daughter. —Photo Credit: Associated Press
“He” was a middle-aged man, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The place was the library in the Manhattan townhouse where he struggled to regain the use of his body — by literally crawling on the floor — after he was all but paralyzed by polio in 1921, when he was nearing 40.
Ms. Goodwin was there because of something that happened years later: Roosevelt sold the townhouse to Hunter College for $50,000. On Tuesday, during a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the moment the Roosevelts handed over the keys, Jennifer J. Raab, the president of Hunter, called it “surely the real estate bargain of the 20th century.” (Maybe, maybe not. That amount, in today’s dollars, would be $726,000, far less than a townhouse on the Upper East Side would probably go for now. One in the next block is on the market for $24.5 million, according to the real estate site Trulia.) …