How Diplomacy Could Change the World

Posted at: 10/24/2012 10:44 PM
Updated at: 10/24/2012 10:54 PM
By: Dayna Landgrebe

Some of the nation's brightest minds on diplomacy are giving their take of the future of U.S. foreign policy right here at UMD.

On Wednesday night, former U.S. Diplomat Thomas Hanson and UMD political science professor Dr. Paul Sharp were talking about diplomacy, it's relation to U.S. foreign policy, and even the 2012 election.

"We face a lot of very difficult trade-offs as a nation. You saw in the debate [that] foreign policy issues quickly became domestic policy issues. We have a lot of deficits. Are we going to be able to spend as much on the military going forward as we were?" said Hanson.

Hanson spent 25 years as a U.S. Diplomat, and said the need for more focus and resources on diplomacy is critical. It even plays a part in potential jobs for UMD students ahead.

"Many students here at UMD are interested in foreign affairs careers, and were hoping they'll be a period for expansion going forward. More diplomats are needed as we bolster our diplomacy," Hanson said.

The pair recently finished co-authoring their book, "American Diplomacy." And both Hanson and Sharp argue the effectiveness of diplomacy is undervalued in the U.S. by governments, the foreign policy community and academics.

"The American public isn't just thinking about foreign policy, Republican and Democrats, but is thinking a little bit more about the place of their country in the world, where it's heading and how it be that path more smoothly," Sharp said.

Wednesday's talk was presented by UMD's Royal D. Alworth, Jr., Institute for International Studies. For a schedule of upcoming events, click here.