Irving Babbitt In Our Time

November 16, 2021
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.
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Life as a Practitioner

August 2, 2021
Charles McLaughlin, a lifelong practitioner of foreign policy, talks about his own career path, what he has learned over the years, and his thoughts on some of the largest challenges facing the United States.
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Democracy and Democratism

June 10, 2021
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.
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Supremacy, Neutrality, Isolationism

May 10, 2021
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.
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A Middle East Primed for New Thinking

May 5, 2021
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.
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Reflection and Choice

April 28, 2021
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.
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The False Promise of Preventive War

December 16, 2020
Can 'preventive war' succeed and is it justifiable? What if it had been employed against Germany in 1936, or at other moments against rising powers?
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Joe Biden’s Personnel and Policy

December 1, 2020
On this episode, host Justin Logan is joined by CSS Senior Fellow Gil Barndollar and Professor of Politics Jonathan Askonas to examine what Joe Biden's appointments to his national security team might mean in terms of America's overall foreign policy. Will his administration see a return to traditional diplomacy, or embrace sweeping, potentially hubristic ambitions?
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Empire Salon: Democracy and Imperalism

October 22, 2020
Managing Director William S. Smith spoke to the Committee for the Republic about his book, "Democracy and Imperialism: Irving Babbitt and Warlike Democracies." Remarks originally delivered via Zoom on October 14, 2020.
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Catholicism and U.S. Foreign Policy

September 17, 2020
On this episode, host Justin Logan is joined by Michael C. Desch, who is Packey J. Dee Professor of International Relations at the University of Notre Dame, as well as Jonathan Askonas, Professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America.
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Who Are We?

September 17, 2020
On this inaugural episode of the CSS podcast, host Justin Logan is joined by Claes G. Ryn, Professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America and editor of the scholarly journal Humanitas, plus William S. Smith, Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship.
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CSS’ Gilmour to Appear at Harvard Club

January 16, 2020
This presentation, based on his recently published book, uses insights from the ancient world to support critical thinking and policy formulation toward a region in which the United States continues to have significant interests.
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A Thanksgiving Message from CSS

November 24, 2019
Unilateralism represents a reversal of the old spirit of constitutionalism and checks-and-balances. Just as, domestically, particular interests need to accommodate other interests, so, internationally, states need to check and balance each other.
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New Publication From CSS Founding Director

July 17, 2019
Founding Director Claes G. Ryn's A Common Human Ground: Universality and Particularity in a Multicultural World is out now with new new preface from the University of Missouri Press. In this book, Professor Ryn sets forth a philosophy of human interaction that he applies to foreign policy and international relations. The book is available for purchase now.

New Staff at the Center

December 5, 2018
Justin T. Logan has been appointed Director of Programs and Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship.
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CSS Launch Event: Panel Discussion and Introductory Remarks

November 6, 2017
Full video from our Launch Event on September 13, 2017. Featuring a conversation on U.S. foreign policy with Dr. Claes Ryn, Doug Bandow, and The Most Reverend Timothy Broglio, J.C.D. Introductory remarks by John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America.
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Louis Fisher: War Powers and Unconstitutional Wars from Truman to the Present

September 22, 2017
The Center for the Study of Statesmanship at Catholic University hosted its first lecture on April 19, 2017, given by constitutional scholar Louis Fisher. Most recently Fisher has worked as a Senior Specialist in Separation of Powers at the Library of Congress, and lectured on the War Powers and unconstitutional wars.
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Center for the Study of Statesmanship Kicks Off

September 22, 2017
With a mix of fanfare and gravitas, Catholic University formally launched the Center for the Study of Statesmanship (CSS) Sept. 13 at the National Press Club in downtown Washington, D.C. Invited speakers and the center’s directors discussed the modern political and diplomatic climate and why the need for such an endeavor — one that places a premium on restraint and the decentralization of power in foreign affairs, as well as the questioning of assumptions that lead to conflict — is so very great today. University President John Garvey, in his welcoming remarks, called the center “intellectually exciting and morally necessary,” both in the global context and as part of the University’s efforts to “form our students to become the next generation of virtuous leaders.” A crowd of about 75 people watched a brief video about the CSS and listened as Doug Bandow, columnist for and a foreign policy scholar at the Cato Institute; Most Rev. Timothy Broglio, archbishop of the Military Services, USA, and a former Vatican diplomat; and Claes Ryn, professor of politics and CSS executive director, fielded questions from the center’s managing director and research fellow, William Smith. Topics ranged from the treatment of Christians in the Middle East to the Trump administration’s game of nuclear brinksmanship with North Korea to the seemingly endless conflicts facing the United States. Both Bandow and Archbishop Broglio decried the punishing toll of being a nation continually at war — for the last 16 years. “The cost is extraordinary,” said Bandow, “in lives, in money.” Archbishop Broglio offered a unique insight into the minds of those who serve in the military, whom he called “the community that’s most interested in peace, because they pay the price when war is the reality.” Ryn eloquently traced the tradition of American statesmanship, going back to the Founding Fathers and the founding document, the U.S. Constitution, which he said “put a very heavy emphasis on the need to restrain human beings, because you can’t trust them with too much power.” But that restraint has seemingly been lost, he lamented, with the rise of American exceptionalism, which posits that America is so virtuous by nature it has no need of self-discipline in its quest to remake the world, instead awarding itself vast new powers along the way. Only through the intervention of parents, church, and community can more admirable human traits, such as courage, courtesy, virtue, and modesty, be cultivated, he said. “This is where Catholic tradition comes into play,” Ryn said, bringing the conversation back full circle to the center and why it’s so appropriately housed at Catholic University. “When the going gets rough, when the passion gets high, what’s going to avert war? In the end, the only people who can step back from the passions of the moment are the people with this kind of character who can recognize that human beings are on the other side.” Archbishop Broglio, who has served the Vatican as a diplomat in Ivory Coast, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, and is also a member of the center’s council of advisors, agreed. “One of the most important things is the insertion of Catholic social teaching and Catholic philosophy into the realm of statesmanship and foreign affairs,” he said. “I think it’s very exciting.” With a mission to employ research, teaching, and public discussion to “defuse conflict and foster respectful foreign and domestic relations,” the timing could hardly be better. Once the center is fully staffed with professors and visiting fellows, Smith envisions it becoming an important voice in the broader conversation, “a think tank within a university,” he said. Specific areas of study will include diplomacy, military affairs, intelligence, and constitutionalism, among others. The center will offer faculty research grants and graduate study opportunities, and make its presence felt through conferences, seminars, speeches, and publications. Its 12-member council of advisors includes historians, current and former members of the U.S. Congress, and news media figures. Calling the CSS “kissing cousins to some of our Libertarian colleagues” in terms of advocating American constitutionalism and the exercise of limited power, Smith was quick to note that the center would come at its positions “though a different philosophical perspective,” reaching its conclusions through a Christian and Catholic lens. The center falls under Catholic University’s Institute for Human Ecology, which itself was created in response to Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home. For more information on the Center for the Study of Statesmanship, visit Click here to go to the original article

Catholic University Kicks Off Foreign Policy Center

September 11, 2017
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) President Donald Trump has adopted a tough line on North Korea and announced the deployment of more American troops to Afghanistan, actions that seem to signal a resumption of an interventionist and confrontational foreign policy. At that same time Catholic University is launching a Center for the Study of Statesmanship (CSS), whose purpose is to explore the sources and prospects for leadership in keeping with the spirit of restraint and compromise characteristic of American constitutionalism. At an event at the National Press Club on Wednesday, Sept. 13, speakers will offer brief remarks about current American foreign policy challenges and the role that the center can play in enriching and redirecting public discussion. Those who will offer remarks include:
  • Most Rev. Timothy Broglio, archbishop for the Military Services, USA and a former Vatican diplomat who will discuss the impact of American interventionism upon Christians in the Middle East as well as the stresses and strains of U.S. interventionism upon the U.S. military and their families
  • Doug Bandow, a columnist for and a foreign policy scholar at the Cato Institute who will discuss recent policy failures of U.S. interventions and the future of American foreign policy under President Trump
  • Claes Ryn, professor of politics and executive director of CSS, who will discuss dubious assumptions behind interventionism and how a new U.S. foreign policy of restraint is in the American constitutional tradition.
Speakers will be available to the media following the brief program. The event runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The National Press Club is located on the 13th floor in the Fourth Estate Room at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C. CSS comes under the umbrella of Catholic University’s Institute for Human Ecology, which was established to take up Pope Francis’s call in Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home to study the relationships of human beings to one another and the world around them. The center will promote research, teaching, and public discussion about how statesmanship can defuse conflict and foster respectful foreign and domestic relations. Ryn has written extensively on the dangers of abstract ideology in foreign and domestic affairs and about the moral and cultural preconditions of good relations among persons, peoples, and civilizations.
MEDIA: To schedule an interview or attend this event, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at or 202-319-5600. ABOUT: The Catholic University of America is the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Established in 1887 as a papally chartered graduate and research center, the University comprises 12 schools and 26 research facilities and is home to 3,241 undergraduate and 2,835 graduate students. Need an expert? The University Experts Guide features faculty from more than 100 disciplines.