The Catholic University of America announced the establishment of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship in the spring of 2017.
The Center promotes research, teaching, and public discussion about the meaning of statesmanship and how it can defuse conflict and foster respectful foreign and domestic relations. The Center explores the sources and prerequisites of sound leadership and how to counter such influences as intemperance and blinding ideology.
The Center studies the deeper origins of moderation, humility, compromise, and circumspection, placing special emphasis on the moral and cultural dimensions of restraint and broad views. Specifically, the Center considers how American constitutionalism, with its emphasis on limited and decentralized power, virtue, and deliberation, relates to statesmanship in foreign and domestic affairs. The Center examines the moral, political, social, and financial costs of imperial ambitions, military interventions, and nation-building.
Claes G. Ryn, Professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America, is the Founding Director of the Center.
“In American thinking, the pendulum has swung between unrealistic idealism and amoral realism, not least in foreign policy,” Ryn says. “Scholarship at the new Center will address an unmet intellectual need by exploring the preconditions and prospects for statesmanship that combines morality and realism.”
Made possible by generous donors, including the Charles Koch Foundation, the Center pursues its mission through professorships and visiting fellows, bringing its research to bear on diplomacy, military affairs, intelligence, constitutionalism, and other fields. It offers faculty research grants and supports graduate study. Anchored in scholarly research, the Center sponsors conferences, seminars, and public speeches and works with other organizations, in the nation’s capital and elsewhere, to enrich and influence public debate.