Dr Erik Baum, “The domestic political situation is the most influential factor in the US foreign policy”
January 31, 2023
All Knowledge Areas
Professor Duncan Richard Shaw’s American Foreign Policy class at our Madrid campus received an engaging speaker recently. Professor Erik Baum, of Suffolk University, gave a masterclass titled “The Positive and Negative Aspects of US Foreign Policy Today”.
Under the initial premise that “you can’t separate the foreign policy from what happens domestically”, Professor Baum analyzed some of the recent events that have taken center stage in American foreign policy and the media, such as the war on Ukraine, the immigration issues, climate change and the semiconductor crisis, to see how they had been perceived by the American population and handled by the US Government.
Baum referred to Gallup’s published information, to illustrate the fact that foreign policy matters are not high on the list of perceived problems by the American population. Inflation and the economy in general are high on that list. He explained that this is because US civil society sees foreign policy issues as far removed from their daily lives. Rather, it is big corporations and businesses the ones pushing the government on foreign policy matters.
Dr Baum expressed positive views on Biden’s reaction to the war on Ukraine, “because he took care of things without interfering”, having learned from the latest US involvement in world affairs. Baum concluded with the hope that this could mark a new era for US involvement in world affairs, using diplomacy rather than strength.
Students were engaged and contributed to the session with their own opinions on this topic.