More than at any time in modern history, this presidential election holds America’s role in the world in balance. The distance between the two candidates could not be wider: with Hillary Clinton representing a nuanced continuation of a foreign policy she helped develop in the Obama administration, and Donald Trump a stinging rebuke of the foreign policy status quo and a seemingly sharp turn to isolationism that hasn’t been seen in generations.
The United States isn’t the only nation grappling with these major questions. Economic turmoil and the influx of refugees have seen the rise of nationalist parties across Europe and elsewhere. Taking advantage of the West’s preoccupation, Russia seeks to reestablish greater control among the former Soviet republics, most notably in Ukraine, and disrupt European and trans-Atlantic unity.
On October 27, veteran journalist Indira Lakshmanan conducted a live podcast taping with two Brookings experts as they examined how America’s role in the world will change as the new administration takes office next year. As part of the Brookings-wide Election 2016 and America’s Future project, this event was the third in a series of live recordings distributed by the Brookings Podcast Network.
Brookings Senior Fellow Fiona Hill brings years of experience on Russia and Eurasia, and discussed the ideas presented in her recent policy brief on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Brookings Fellow Thomas Wright is an expert on Europe and U.S. alliances, and has argued about the dangers of isolationism to everyday Americans.
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