American Security in a Multipolar World: Cooperation or Competition?

With the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the rising influence of China in the Far East, could we be witnessing the re-emergence of a multipolar world? And, if so, what will American national security require in this new paradigm?

Join The American Conservative on December 2nd at The Catholic University of America as we explore these questions with top experts in the field.

This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required. RSVP here.

Panel topics include:

A Retrospective on Afghanistan: Lessons Learned

Revisiting the Monroe Doctrine: Central and South America as a Security Issue

The Rise of China: How Should the West Respond?

The Rebirth of Nationalism as a Global Force

Confirmed speakers include:

Doug Macgregor, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Will Ruger, Charles Koch Foundation

Adam Weinstein, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

Jon Askonas, The Catholic University of America

John Fonte, Hudson Institute

John Gay, John Quincy Adams Society

Curt Mills, The American Conservative

Daniel McCarthy, Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Joe Kent, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.)

Robert Spalding, Hudson Institute

Michael Anton, Hillsdale College

Arta Moeini, Institute for Peace & Diplomacy

Colin Dueck, George Mason University

…and more.

Irving Babbitt In Our Time

Richard Gamble (Hillsdale College) joins Eric Adler (University of Maryland) and Bill Smith (CUA) to discuss the life and work of the twentieth-century scholar Irving Babbitt. We explore Babbitt’s unique defense of the humanities, his views on the ethical life, the way his work intersects with foreign policy questions.

Congress’ Principled Institutionalist

Author and editor Bill Kauffman discusses his work on “The Congressional Journal of Barber B. Conable, Jr., 1968-1984” (University Press of Kansas, 2021) and how this principled institutionalist approached the problems of his day and ours. Gil Barndollar joins.

Life as a Practitioner

We interview Charles McLaughlin, former Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council and a lifelong practitioner of foreign policy, about his own background and career path, what he has learned over the years, and his thoughts on some of the largest challenges facing the United States.

Democracy and Democratism

We’re joined by Emily Finley of Stanford University and Arta Moeini of the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy for an “upstream” discussion on the deeper philosophical sources of our foreign policy problems, with a particular focus on the problem of democracy and elite leadership.

Supremacy, Neutrality, Isolationism

American foreign policy shifted dramatically in the middle of the twentieth century. What happened, and why? Stephen Wertheim, author of Tomorrow the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy explains. We’re joined by Jonathan Askonas, Assistant Professor of Politics at CUA.

A Middle East Primed for New Thinking

In this episode, we speak with Andrew Gilmour, a retired 32-year veteran of the CIA and author of “A Middle East Primed for New Thinking: Insights and Policy Options from the Ancient World.” We’re joined by CSS’ own Gil Barndollar.

Reflection and Choice

Our own Justin Litke joins Gary Gregg of the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville and Aaron N. Coleman of the University of the Cumberlands to discuss their new, unique edition of the Federalist and the relevance of the debates over the Constitution’s ratification to our time.

Applications Open for 2021 Constitutional Fellows Program

The Constitutional Fellows Program

Offered by the The American Conservative and the Center for the Study of Statesmanship (CSS) at Catholic University.

**Applications for the Spring 2021 semester are open—apply now! More information below.**

The U.S. Constitution is everywhere cited, but how many really know what they are talking about? The Constitution assumes an entire view of human nature, society, and politics and has moral and cultural preconditions. Without people who respect and embody the spirit of the Constitution, the Constitution cannot be sustained. Truly to understand the text of the Constitution it is necessary to be familiar with its historical sources and the view of life that it implies.

The Constitutional Fellows Program is a three month course of study designed for Congressional staffers, journalists, and other policy professionals. Offered at a time when America’s constitutional order may seem to be crumbling, the program illuminates the meaning of the Constitution and the prospects for its reinvigoration.

Each session will have a seminar format and will be conducted by two or three leading experts. Students will prepare for each session by studying carefully chosen and manageable readings. Now in its third semester, the Constitutional Fellows Program has featured faculty members like Claes Ryn (CUA), William Smith (CUA), Rod Dreher (TAC), Patrick Deneen (University of Notre Dame), Oren Cass (American Compass), Daniel McCarthy (The Fund for American Studies), John Burtka (Intercollegiate Studies Institute), Bradley J. Birzer (Hillsdale College), Jonathan Askonas (CUA), Justin Litke (CUA), Joseph Baldacchino (CUA), Chris Owen (Northeastern State U.), David Hendrickson (Colorado College), Emily Finley (Stanford), Michael Federici (Middle Tennessee State U.), and more.

The topics of the six sessions will be:

The Moral and Cultural Context of American Constitutionalism

Ancient and Christian Origins of American Constitutionalism

Radical Democracy, Socialism, and Other Domestic Challenges

The Constitution and Foreign Policy

Constitutionalism and Economics

Contemporary Challenges for American Constitutionalism

Students who attend at least five of the six sessions will be certified as graduates of the Constitutional Fellows Program. Students who show particular commitment and distinguish themselves in discussion will be designated Honors Graduates.

Only a limited number of students can be admitted. For the Spring 2021 semester, the application deadline is January 29, 2021. To seek admission, send an application to The application should contain (1) a c.v., (2) a personal statement of about 500 words on why the applicant wishes to participate, and (3) at least one letter of recommendation from a person–usually a supervisor or a current or former professor–who can speak to the applicant’s suitability for the Program. Students who are admitted will pay a $25.00 enrollment fee.

While COVID restrictions may force early sessions into a virtual format, every effort will be made to hold program sessions in person in Washington, DC. Participants should be mindful of the expectation to attend in person in Washington, especially later in the semester.

Fall 2020 class of the Constitutional Fellows Program

Chandler Averette, National Republican Senatorial Committee

John Connolly, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Suanne Edmiston, Legislative Director for Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

Jorge Gonzalez-Gallarza Hernández, senior researcher at Fundación Civismo.

Paul David Harshman, system vulnerability analyst at the Department of Defense.

Robert Hasler, ministry associate with Ministry to State.

Jessica Kramer, freelance video host for Media Research Center.

Michael Marn, policy assistant at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

Quinn Marschik, policy advisor in the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs at the Department of Labor.

Dustin Messer, priest at All Saints Dallas.

Julie Mitchell, Outreach Assistant and Intern Coordinator at Media Research Center.

Sam Mulopulos, Legislative Assistant for Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)

Michael Rafferty, US Army (ret.)

Jacob Stubbs, Legislative Assistant in the U.S. Senate.

Daniel “Sully” Sullivan, Foundation Ambassador of the Shafik Gabr Foundation.

Sydney Thomas, Communications Director in the U.S. Congress.

Karen Testerman, US Marine Embassy Guard Unit.


Spring 2020 class of the Constitutional Fellows Program

Clare Basil, Legislative Correspondent for Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR).

Robert Bellafiore, Policy Advisor at the Joint Economic Committee.

Shane Devine, research assistant at the Capital Research Center.

Caroline G. Douglas, law author, university instructor, media host and guest.

Isaac Easton, Research Assistant for Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).

Tyler Fagan, Legislative Correspondent for Representative Jason Smith (MO-08).

Nicholas Grandpre, staff assistant in the office of U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT).

Dan Grazier, former Marine Corps captain, writer, and lecturer.

Amalia C. Halikias, Communications Director of the Joint Economic Committee.

James Haynes, research assistant in the Brookings Institution’s China Center.

Anthony Hennen, managing editor at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

Rebecca Sears Holdenried, external relations director for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Wells King, policy advisor to Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) on the Joint Economic Committee.

Christopher Krepich, communications director for Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner.

Sarah Lee, Communications Director and External and Media Relations Manager at the Capital Research Center.

Michael Lucchese, digital media assistant in the office of Senator Ben Sasse.

James Mazol, Policy Director for the Aviation and Space and Security Subcommittees on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Scott Reber, Legislative Assistant for Sen James E. Risch (ID).

Carlos Roa, senior editor at the National Interest.

John Shelton, legislative assistant in the United States Congress.

Amber Todoroff, policy associate at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.

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