De izquierda a derecha: Tatiana Serafin, Debak Das, Stephanie Santos, Robert Preuhs, Nikolas Gvosev, en la Universidad Estatal Metropolitana de Denver, 28 de septiembre de 2023.

De izq. a dcha: Tatiana Serafin, Debak Das, Stephanie Santos, Robert Preuhs, Nikolas Gvosdev, en la Universidad Estatal Metropolitana de Denver, 28 de septiembre de 2023. CRÉDITO: Kevin Maloney.

Redefinir la política exterior estadounidense para la próxima generación

12 de octubre de 2023 - 80 minutos de escucha

Este episodio en directo de The Doorstep se grabó el 28 de septiembre de 2023 en la Metropolitan State University de Denver, con la colaboración de la Josef Korbel School of International Studies de la Universidad de Denver.

¿Conecta un "interés nacional" articulado en gran medida desde la perspectiva de Washington DC con los intereses y preocupaciones de los ciudadanos de un país grande y diverso? A medida que nos acercamos al final de varios ciclos importantes en los asuntos mundiales -el final de la era posterior a la Guerra Fría y el comienzo de la Cuarta Revolución Industrial- los copresentadores de Paso a Paso, Nick Gvosdev y Tatiana Serafin, observan a una nueva generación de estadounidenses que están trabajando para redefinir los objetivos y el propósito del compromiso global de Estados Unidos.

¿Cuáles son los efectos dominó de los desafíos simultáneos relacionados con las "policrisis" (cambios medioambientales, incluidos el clima extremo, la escasez de alimentos y agua, y las pandemias)? A medida que Estados Unidos experimenta cambios demográficos, ¿qué tipo de cambios cabe esperar en su política exterior?

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: Welcome everyone to this special edition of The Doorstep podcast a two-part episode that we did at Metropolitan State University (MSU) at Denver as part of our outreach and traveling, taking the doorstep to the road. I'm your co-host, senior fellow at Carnegie Council Nick Gvosdev

TATIANA SERAFIN: And I'm Tatiana Serafin, also senior fellow here at Carnegie Counicl, so excited about our fall Doorstep podcast series that literally takes us to the doorstep of campuses around the country. At MSU Denver we were so excited to meet many students that expressed some of their concerns and issues around foreign policy and how it impacts their day-to-day lives we are going to speak to them and to some wonderful speakers toda.

In the first part of our session we met with uh Janine Davidson, the president of MSU, to talk about diversity in foreign policy making and foreign policy outreach. And in the second part of our conversation we were joined by Debak Das, Robert Preuhs and Stephanie Santos, professors looking at various aspects of the role the diversity plays in foreign policy. We can't wait to share this with you and we look forward to your feedback.

Part One

JANINE DAVIDSON: Hi everybody, I'm Janine Davidson and I'm the president of MSU Denver. I'm really delighted to have you all here today.

This is The Doorstep podcast, which I was listening to just this morning, actually, from Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and we are so fortunate to have with us Nick Gvosdev and Tatiana Serafin. They're the co-hosts of this podcast. Dean Fritz Mayer from the Korbel School at Denver University (DU) was going to be here, but he has COVID, so I get to stand in for him and I'm super excited about that. I also apologize that you don't get to see Fritz and you're stuck with me. But I think we're going to have a really good conversation.

A little bit about MSU Denver, for those of you listening, and also for those of you in the house, we are the proud third-largest university in the state of Colorado. We have about 17,000 students here. We're the largest Hispanic serving institution in the state. We play a really special role when it comes to diversity; 55 percent of our students are students of color and 60 percent of our students are first in their family generation to go to college, which is a mission that we take very seriously and we're super proud of actually.

And so, our role, really, I see it as preparing Colorado's workforce and civil society for the future, which as I think we'll probably discuss a little bit today, is only going to get more complex, more global, and require a lot more ability of the next generation to be able to solve complex problems in service to society and the world. No pressure, but you can do it.

A little bit about my background. Yes, I'm the president here, but I have also a foreign policy and a national security background. I used to work in the Pentagon. I currently serve as the chair for the Defense Policy Board, which is the board that advises the secretary of defense in the Pentagon. And I'm also on the board that advises the secretary of state. And so, it's very interesting in that role because most of the people on those boards come from the coasts, as we say here in Colorado. Many of them, most of them in the Washington, DC or New York area.

And so, there's a couple of us that talk about here we are coming out from the flyover states and it's really important that the folks in Washington who are making these decisions, have our perspectives. And so, that's why I love having these kinds of events because I do think that that's super important. And especially with the conversation today and the work that you all do with Carnegie Council, which is really about diversifying the voices that go into that decision-making, which is something I'm very passionate about.

At MSU Denver, we have a growing starting institute for public policy. We have our lead here, Shawn Lebert. One of the big parts of that is that we want to start sending students to Washington, DC in the summer, about three or four of them every year to get that perspective for them. A lot of our students have never even been out of Colorado, but also so that the lawmakers and policymakers in Washington can hear from us because our voices are super important.

This is where I'm also going to put a plug in for the humanities, right? And I think you guys talk about this a lot on your podcast, either in some way or another, but there's a lot of emphasis in higher education and education in general for STEM, which I'm a huge fan of. We have a really robust cybersecurity program and engineering programs, and everything else. But when we talk about the problems that are plaguing the planet, whether it's climate change, pandemics, war, income inequality, economic disruptions, it's not usually the math and the science that we're getting wrong as a society. It's all the other stuff. It's the interpersonal stuff. It's the having a sense of history and understanding how to solve these problems.

That's another reason why I am really proud of the students that are in this room today and that you take an interest in these issues because that's what's really going to help us move into or solve these problems on a global scale. Diversity, diversity, diversity. Super critical to have those voices and have those opinions reflected in society. So that's why I'm excited to partner with you all on this.

Speaking of partnerships, the other reason we're here today is really talk about the partnership that MSU Denver has been developing with the Korbel School, which I'm super proud of. And I'm sad that Fritz isn't here today because a lot of this I think was his idea, or you guys co-created it with Rob in our school of political science. But it's pretty exciting that Korbel Graduate School of International Studies IS really one of the top schools in the nation in the graduate area. And what we've done is said that our students who graduate from our program will have sort of preferred admissions into that program and a cut rate on tuition. Am I right? 50 percent off? That's a pretty big deal. And they're also working on articulation agreements so that some of the credits and courses that you take here can transfer in

That's a pretty big deal and I'm really, really proud of the work that you all have done to set that up. I really hope some of these students take advantage of it because it's a world-class program and we're really excited to partner with you guys.

Dean Mayer was supposed to explain all that, so I'm glad I got that right. I guess now we are going to move into our program.

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: Well, thank you very much, Janine. We really appreciate the invitation to come here. And just to let people know about how, as you noted, this foreign policy community establishes connections over time. We've known each other now for at least 15 years or so, a decade or more, and very modest description of your biography.

So I hope I don't embarrass you by noting that one of the most critical posts you held was as under-secretary of the Navy. And you came up to Newport to the Naval War College in 2016 and you gave an address, one that I actually still show clips of in my seminars, because you saw where things were going. In your address you said to the assembled students—and this was at a time when we thought peace and prosperity, everything's going wonderfully—and you said we had to be aware. And you said to the audience, "A pandemic is coming." It's 2016. "Pandemic is coming."

We have supply chain vulnerabilities, we have the potential for an energy shock, and that sooner or later, Russia was going to make some pretty aggressive moves and China as well. And we look where we are in 2023. And perhaps not—you didn't want any of this to come true—but it did. There's a sense that you were seeing this, some others were, but that for the most part, the American foreign policy establishment assumed smooth sailing ahead.

This is why I wanted to tie it back with what you were saying about perspectives, diverse voices, people coming in from not only just differing groups, but even from different locales in the country. What is it that you see about that encouraging that diversity that may help the United States achieve better foreign policy and national security outcomes?

TATIANA SERAFIN: I met some of you in class today, so excuse the repetition. But for those of you who are here, welcome. First of all, welcome from Carnegie Council. I'm Tatiana Serafin, senior fellow at Carnegie Coucil. I am also co-host with Nick of the podcast The Doorstep, which we're taping today with you all. Thank you for participating. I also teach journalism.

My perspective on foreign policy is how we communicate. And I think communication is important. Words matter, words matter. And so, where I come from when we are talking about anything, when we are even talking about diversity, what does that mean? That is probably the most overused term in 2023 ever. But what does it mean and what are we really doing about it? Words matter.

I am so excited to be here with you to get outside the bubble that Janine was talking about because there is this sort of East Coast, West Coast: "Oh, we're the center of the universe." But no, we're not. And we are traveling now around the country. We were in Texas a few weeks ago. We're here with you. We'll be up to Ohio. We hope to do more in the spring to really understand you and your voice because words matter. So, thank you for participating today.

If you are interested in journalism, and I hope all of you are, please see me afterwards where I think we're going to have a reception together.

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: I think Janine knows me, but for those who don't, I'm here, and my hat is Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. I also happen to edit a foreign policy journal called Orbis, of which Janine is on the board. MSU Denver did a special issue with us, in which Rob and other of his counterparts and colleagues contributed to including something that got this conversation started, which was the work on, wait a minute, does it matter? Do different Americans from different ethnic class, geographic backgrounds actually have different perspectives on what U.S. interests are, what they ought to be, how the U.S. ought to be engaged in the world?

So this is a case where one of my affiliations, the Orbis affiliations created the idea, which now we're doing with Carnegie Council, with the support of the Carnegie Corporation to come out and have these conversations. And coming back, would we have a different approach if the U.S. national security establishment looked more like America and if the U.S. national security establishment was based in Denver, Austin, or San Jose as opposed to Washington?

Since we can't relocate the federal government, is there an argument then for ensuring that these pipelines exist? Because as much as we talk about diversity, and we've discussed this before on our podcast with Ambassador Charles Ray, who's worked on these initiatives to try to get the State Department to look more like America. And yet it often still looks like what they call HYP, Harvard, Yale, Princeton.

Nothing wrong with any of those fine institutions, but do people from those institutions miss things that, again, Janine, you saw trends that were happening, whereas a lot of people were very confident that we were headed towards smooth sailing into the 2020s.

JANINE DAVIDSON: Well, maybe the Naval War College thought we were heading towards smooth sailing in that particular time, but there were a lot of people talking about these issues. But I think you're absolutely right that you've got lots of people all over the country with different perspectives, and I think a big one on the diversity front, what we can drop anchor on as we like to say in the Navy, would be immigration. Where I do think that the different ethnic makeup of America really has people with different perspectives on that.

But when it comes to things like climate change, or the China threat or the Russia threat, it was very interesting in 2016 because I was seeing the Russia threat very clearly, and there were a few of us that were. It was a sense of history. A lot of people I think in Europe have forgotten what big major power war is like because since World War II, it's been pretty calm on the European continent. And the idea that somebody would be that aggressive and do that kind of thing, it's sort of like, "No, that wouldn't make any sense." But let me just say the history is filled with things that don't make sense because people do a lot of very stupid things and that's why historians know this, right? And you bring those perspectives in.

I would say also folks that I know that are part of the Russia diaspora in America, they knew. People that were from the Baltic region, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, people from Poland, people from Georgia that I had met in my travels, and that we know people in America that are from those parts of the country, they knew. And so, you're right. How did we get those voices in there that I would say that. I think if we found ways to have more of those conversations, that stuff might come to light a little bit more.

The other piece of it is, is that the military in particular, the national security apparatus, they get a little like those kids on a soccer field. You know when they all come around that one ball, right? What was the one ball back then? It was China, and they weren't looking at Russia. The other parts were looking at the Middle East, and now they're all looking at China again. And so, you can watch them try to say, "Oh, we need to get out of Russia, out of Ukraine and out of that conflict."

But anyway, the point is it goes both ways. So yes, we need those voices in the room, but then the other thing that happens is there is expertise. Don't discount the expertise that is in that apparatus that are seeing things, especially economics. I think a lot of Americans were really surprised during the pandemic that the supply chain affected their day-to-day lives.

Now, there's plenty of people in Washington who gamed out the pandemic and knew that that would happen, but why didn't that information get to the American people? The American people really don't have a sense of why what's happening on the Taiwan Straits and in the South China Sea matters to them. And we tell you that it does. We can have a whole other conversation about that if you want to. But if and when that kicks off, the American people need to support whatever happens in order to reestablish security in that region. And I know you talk a lot about soft power, but in that particular situation, soft power and hard power are very interrelated.

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: And so, building on that, and really as you're saying, really it's the genesis of the whole doorstep concept, right? ThaT what happens somewhere else actually impacts you in your own life, your family's life, your local community, businesses, so on and so forth. When you're talking about pipelines, bringing people in, what do you see as the challenges for a DC-based, amd to some extent New York-based community, accepting these voices? And saying a voice that comes from MSU Denver and a perspective of someone who has a first generation immigrant background that says, "Look, we have a perspective on the I35 corridor from running from Canada to Mexico, trade climate, water issues that this needs to be brought in?"

And not just in a kind of box-checking exercise, but really the idea of national security, as human security, economic security, health security. How do you ensure that an MSU Denver voice will be given the same respect, for lack of a better word, than someone saying, well, as Tatiana and I are both alums of Georgetown School of Foreign Service, we have "to the manor-born," right? Of course we have a perspective on foreign affairs because we are here. But how do you say, "Hey, the MSU Denver voice should be right there next to the Georgetown SFS voice?"

JANINE DAVIDSON: Well, thank you. We do things like this. We partner with great people like you. We open the door to our students to get to Washington, and when they get there, they seal the deal because our students are amazing. And they do. They seal the deal and people say, "Oh, I hadn't thought about that." Every little thing matters.

I'll tell you, we're at a really, I think, fortunate time, believe it or not. For whatever reason, this particular administration came in with this mindset, by the way. So Jake Sullivan, who's the national security advisor; Salman Ahmed, who's the policy planning person at the State Department working for Antony Blinken—during the Trump administration, they were out in the think tank-y world and they did something similar to what you're doing now. Well, they just had the question: How do we make Americans aware of foreign policy? How do we make foreign policy relevant to Americans?

They really thought about that. I don't know that they came up with exactly the right or all the answers, but they brought at least that open-mindedness back into Washington. And so, when I go to the State Department three times a year and we have these meetings with the secretary, they're very open to it and they're like, "We just really want to diversify our foreign service. We know it's important. We want to get out there." So they didn't even know what an HSI was. Now they do.

We've had them here on campus; now they're aware. We've started the pipeline. It's just this one campus, but it's a super important campus because it is smack in the middle of the country, it's uber-diverse, and we've got increasing connectivity to the global community with our economy, and our airport, and things like that. And so, it's little by little and then you have these big breakthroughs. So I'm hoping for a big breakthrough, but I think it's going to be generational.

TATIANA SERAFIN: I wanted to kind of go off on your supply chain. They knew, but the world word didn't get out. And so, we talked in the classes, and I want to tell you, your students are super news literate. I'm very impressed with their breadth and depth of consuming news and challenging the news and thinking about the news.

But what do you think the media, right? And I don't like using terms like "the media," but in general, what can we do better to cover these kinds of issues or to make the connection? So just as you are making the connection between the university and to high levels, what can the media do better to make those connections, to make sure that that story was out there? Because in some of the classes, we heard, "Well, foreign policy is the federal government." And we're here to say no foreign policy is the state and local government.

JANINE DAVIDSON: No, that's really true. I think that sort of good news, bad news, there's so much information out there that it's sort of overwhelming. When our grandparents got up in the morning and they read the local paper, and if they lived in a major metropolis like New York, LA, Washington, DC, Chicago, that daily newspaper was also very globally focused in a lot of ways. That's how I grew up, either in the California area or the Washington, DC area. And now there's just the news is everywhere and there's a lot of misinformation as well.

I think if you want to call the mainstream media, the TV media, it's not really media anymore. It's a lot of opinion. And so, I think it comes more down to education. I mean, the information's out there. The major news outlets, the think tanks have fantastic information. It's helping students, especially young students in high school and whatever, understand or figure out the difference between what's legit, what's not legit.

On the supply chain and things like that, I think you have to go top down and bottom up. So the business leaders need to understand this, right? I mean, they're the ones working these supply chains. They're watching right now, the tensions in China, and they're already making moves. I think ten years ago they might not have, right? But then they saw what happened in Ukraine where you had this big ripple with grain and oil and energy, and then you saw, again, the pandemic. It was a wake-up call.

So, really trying to, when that happens, so short answer to your question: I always say people don't eat until they're hungry and then they eat everything in sight. I mean, people that are very smart people in the Denver area that run businesses, and have their heads down and taking care of their family, highly educated; probably couldn't find Ukraine on a map until it happened. And then they were passionately like, "What is happening?"

And then we had events, and then we had articles, and I was on TV, and that kind of thing. So when the event happens, you got to be first with the context, not just not with the event and not just with the opinion, because that's when people, I think, are going to really want it. So, that's what I would do.

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: Thank you very much for this conversation and for what you've said and the confidence that this pipeline is working. We'll hope to be back to continue the dialogue with you.

JANINE DAVIDSON: Thank you very much. One day, MSU Roadrunners will be running the world.

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: We've just finished a wonderful conversation with Janine Davidson and it really gets us thinking about how a U.S. foreign policy establishment that looks more like America might have better outcomes for U.S. global engagement. We're going to transition now to the second part of our special podcast from the campus of MSU Denver where we're going to look at how different doorsteps depending on what doorstep you're at may lead you to different perspectives and priorities as to what you think the United States ought to be doing in the world.

TATIANA SERAFIN: I think our speakers really represent some great viewpoints. Professor Das takes us through viewpoints from the Global South and what foreign policy looks like globally, not just from a U.S. perspective. Professor Santos delves into gender inequity and other issues that we need to be looking at when we're looking at different approaches to foreign policy such as feminist foreign policy. And Professor Preuhs takes us through what issues he found in his research and in his https://www.fpri.org/article/2...that led to our discussion here at MSU Denver. We also want to thank the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver for their guest speakers and we look forward to your comments from this section of our podcast as well.

Part Two

ROBERT PREUHS: This is phase two or discussion two of our event today. And I appreciate, of course, your attendance. As Nick was mentioning, this emerged from some work we've done. Dr. Rucki's here, myself, and Dr. Makley. We're co-editors of this Orbit journal issue that has led to fruition in terms of these types of questions.

So today, we are going to talk about what foreign policy discussions often don't talk about—at least that's our theme here—and in particular a focus on diversity within the United States, as Janine, Dr. Davidson has talked about earlier, but also different perspectives from across the world with a particular focus on the Global South.

As a brief introduction for myself. I'm Robert Preuhs. I'm the chair and professor of political science here at Metropolitan State University. Most of my research focuses on domestic politics. I'm a little out of my element, but where I center that research is really in differences across racial and ethnic groups with focuses on preferences, but also it focuses on how those preferences emerge, and are listened to and reflected by legislative institutions.

To my right is Dr. Stephanie Santos. She is an assistant professor of gender women and sexualities here at Metropolitan State University. And her research really looks at labor flows, particularly in Southeast Asia and Thailand. She's going to talk a bit about what that looks like when we're starting to think about formulating policies outside of a much more traditional kind of perspective.

And then to her right is Dr. Debak Das, who is an assistant professor at the Korbel School of International Studies. His focus is on South Asia and he does a lot of national security, particularly issues with nuclear agreements and disagreements across countries in that sphere. So we're really happy to have you, and I'll turn it maybe over to our guest or our host. Would you like us to start?

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: Thank you all for joining us for this special edition of The Doorstep Podcast. And really to bring at this question, I want to maybe, as an overarching question, put this forward, which is both the composition, but also then the perspectives that come from having diversity within the foreign policy national security establishment. If it looks more like America, what changes might you expect in how the U.S. engages in the world? Would we see more of a North-South engagement? Because traditionally the U.S. has conceived of itself in horizontal terms. We think across the Atlantic, across the Pacific. We don't think in terms of North-South as much.

Just as one point, and maybe where this is changing is that during the UN General Assembly on the sidelines, President Biden announces this new Atlantic compact, this Atlantic pact, which for the first time says the South Atlantic matters as much as the North Atlantic. And we want countries like Brazil or Nigeria or Morocco to be just as part of an Atlantic community. Whereas before we always said Atlantic community really meant Euro-Atlantic, not the Atlantic as a whole. So is there a sense that shifts in how we staff, how we organize, what issues rise to the fore would lead to a change in how the US positions itself globally?

ROBERT PREUHS: Sure. And so, I'm going to start out actually in addressing that question by taking a look at public preferences here within the United States across racial and ethnic groups. And what we find is that there actually is a difference. We are defined, of course, in our current political system as highly polarized, and we think in terms of Democratic and Republican affinities and policy orientations.

But digging under the surface—and this is something that we often do miss—is some real variation in terms of public policy preferences within each of the parties and particularly within the party that is the most representative in terms of diversity. And that's the Democratic Party here. We really can think of Republicans as ideologically oriented Republicans, but also then group interest Democrats with a large coalition with fairly different preferences, not completely diverging, but certainly difference. That is going to become more important. What struck me also, MSU Denver has a connection in the Southern Command as their new leader or their new commander is MSU Denver alumni as well, General Laura J. Richardson.

So let me start. Where are these differences across racial and ethnic groups within the United States? And I want to start by just kind of pointing out that within the parties there's a pretty broad difference. The public opinion on foreign policy and support for different policy preferences on that had traditionally stopped at the border, at the water's edge, and we were in agreement. New narratives are arising and we now have polarization certainly affecting to a greater extent foreign policy preferences than it has before. Those preferences aren't immune anymore to partisanship and partisan affect.

Within the coalition, particularly the Democratic coalition, we tend to see a more moderating effect. And this is across a number of policies. So this is just a quick shot of some of the overall top lines for levels of support to authorize additional funding for support to support Ukraine in theor war with Russia. This is recent data 2023. Keep in mind, Democrats and Republicans certainly differ by quite a bit, but once you start to break down those coalition memberships, and primarily African-Americans within the Democratic Party, and to a lesser extent, but still fairly strong, Democrats within the Latino community, really look a awful lot more like independents and a little bit closer to Republicans than their white counterparts.

Another issue is climate action, and certainly within the climate action community there is some variation. But if we take a look at white non-Hispanics versus Black non-Hispanics versus Hispanics, what you tend to see is the most support among whites for strong climate action with a trade-off in terms of cost. So these are types of policies that really kind of open up this potential for different and differing policy perspectives, but it also opens up the potential for coalition memberships that may be outside of this polarized partisanship. And I think that's something we can talk about a little bit more as well.

Finally, and this is just some research that I'd done a few years ago is actually from our Orbis piece that we published a couple of years ago, if you look at the really broad spectrum of policies—and this is just a snapshot from about 2018 and 2019 data; this is just Democrats—you can see that for the most part when we take a look at the Democratic Party, the members of those coalitions, those communities differ. And these differ significantly even after we've controlled for a whole slew of usual independent effects or independent variables.

We're seeing these differences. We're seeing an opening among Latinos and African-Americans in particular for some coalition-building that could help produce a new narrative, which is essentially something that's lacking right now and seems focused primarily on this Republican/Democrat divide, which is of course influencing even more some of our politics and division. So, I'm going to stop there. We'll move on.

STEPHANIE SANTOS: Good afternoon everybody. Thank you for being part of this activity on our campus today. My name is Dr. Stephanie Santos, and I am an interdisciplinary scholar and I use humanistic because of our discussion earlier about the humanities. So I use humanistic and qualitative research methods to study how labor and capital flows from Southeast Asia to the Global North and vice versa. And so, my work is very much influenced.

So in terms of thinking about new narratives of foreign policy and international relations, maybe I'll put forward a new old narrative. So my own work is very much influenced by feminist international relations theorists, including Cynthia Enloe, who advocates for a grassroots approach towards thinking about international relations. So what does it mean to do international relations as if vulnerable people's lives mattered? I also built on Chandra Mohanty's studies of globalization, particularly her invitation to think about globalization, not as a process or processes that happen over there, but as something that was being discussed earlier. That's about state policy, that's about local city policies as processes that happen in the United States in Colorado, and right here in Denver.

In the first half of this year, I was conducting field work with digital workers in Southeast Asia just in time for the explosion of interest into processes of artificial intelligence, right? Most of the dominant media accounts, constructions, however, framed this issue around the supposed existential threats of an unchecked and super powerful artificial intelligence. This framework of course reflects what AI scholar Timnit Gebru has called the "Boys Club Culture" that's resulting from the lack of diversity in high-tech.

So in keeping with Cynthia Enloe's invitation, I spent the Fulbright semester thinking about artificial intelligence from the situated knowledge of digital workers in Southeast Asia. So what do we learn about artificial intelligence if our starting point was not Silicon Valley, but instead the digital sweatshops where the vulnerable people who do the work behind artificial intelligence?

What we find then is that a lot of artificial intelligence is actually a lot of very intense and devalued labor that is rendered as invisible, as machinic, as part of automated processes of code. So I interviewed content moderators, for example, who were charged with clearing social media, cleaning social media of violent imagery, and it's a job that subjected the workers to a steady stream of gore and traumatic images.

I spoke with the people who use Game Boy controllers to remotely drive food delivery robots around Toronto and Los Angeles. And this is a job that requires people to work in close proximity to one another in unventilated spaces, all to enable the contactless food delivery that keeps us here in the Global North safe. A lot of the constructions of keeping the world safe, for example, in keeping with our discussions about how words matter, how journalistic accounts matter, these are framed as how AI, how machinery, how technology is keeping us safe. It's not AI and machinery, but people in the Philippines, in Indonesia and Thailand, in India who are doing this labor. I also spoke with freelance workers who are tasked with labeling pedestrian crossings, lanes and curbs in order to train algorithms for driverless cars. So again, this is work that is done by people and workers.

And so, building on feminist principles of international relations, this is an invitation that if we center the people who are doing this work, the threats of artificial intelligence is much less like a powerful rogue Skynet, for example. The threats are things that are along a much longer genealogy of thinking about labor, for example, labor relations, and also thinking about environment and so-called clean energies. If we center their experiences, we can think about, for example, the conditions under which people who do the work of artificial intelligence labor. So their working conditions mirror and are exported from similar working conditions here in the United States.

What does it mean to think about labor conditions, working conditions of devalued workers in the U.S. and in places like Thailand, India and the Philippines as something that can be in solidarity with one another instead of oppositional interests? Similarly, with the environment, a lot of these, so-called clean technologies, for example, are very destructive to environments. Cobalt mining, for example, is very destructive and it involves child labor. The brining of batteries, lithium batteries is destructive to rivers from Indonesia to Chile, for example.

What does it mean to think about international relations in foreign policy as something as a bridge, for example, or as shared interests from which we can continue to act and think in solidarity? So that's an invitation that I would like to extend and I hope it's something that we can continue talking about. Thank you.

DEBAK DAS: Thanks. Hi everyone, my name is Debak Das. I'm an assistant professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. So first of all, I'd like to thank Nick, Tatiana, and especially Rob for organizing this, for being here, giving us this opportunity to actually speak to everyone over here.

To answer somewhat indirectly, next question. For the last couple of years as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has gone on, I've thought of a number of things. My primary work is in the world of nuclear security. So of course the question of the use of nuclear weapons and Ukraine has been very high on the agenda in terms of my scholarly work. But the other thing that's also been important in terms of thinking about is this role of the Global South and Ukraine.

As soon as the conflict started in March, there was a vote in the UN soon after. The questions that kept getting asked were: What's going on with the Global South? Why don't they support the U.S. on this war? Why aren't they actually voting with the U.S. or with the West in condemning Russia? And as it turns out, it's more complicated than just supporting the U.S. And so, if you look at some of the votes over here, the number of countries that actually abstained was fairly high, the number of votes against Russia fairly high as well. But why are all those countries abstaining?

In particular, if you look at Africa for example, the number of abstentions is fairly high. And what's interesting here is that we need to think about these things in terms of nuance, in terms of what are the historical experiences of these countries? What are the socioeconomic index indicators in these countries? Who are these countries trading with? And more importantly, what are the geopolitical contexts that these countries are operating under, right?

So recently there's been a lot of talk about BRICS and this concern that there's this alternative world order that's being created by these countries with Putin in the middle. And then you've got India and China sort of leading the pack with South Africa and Brazil being a part of this. And the thing is, well, yes, this is a grouping, but it's one of many different multilateral groupings in the world. The United States as well as other Western powers have stakes in some other groupings. I'm thinking of groupings like the Quad, which operates in the Indo-Pacific against China.

The more important thing to note here is that the Global South is not one unified entity at all, right? India and China are bickering on the borders. There are soldiers who are fighting each other not with guns, but with sticks, with nails and things like that tied around them. So those are two countries with a billion people each and some fighting each other. India does not necessarily get along very well with South Africa, given recent foreign policy relationships. And so, there's all sorts of other things happening within the world of the Global South, which is to say it's not all bad news.

If you look at the map below over here, those are votes that happened in the UN after the Russian annexation of Crimea. And if you look at that compared to what the votes were on March 2, 2022, there are more countries which are voting with the West against Russia, against this territorial infringement, against the war, if you will, than there were in 2014. So, the trend line there is upward, but at the same time, there are a considerable number of countries which are not in fact voting against Russia. India and China of course stand out over there and they make up for a large part of that buy aggregate population statistic, which has been put out by the Peterson Institute.

One thing that we as scholars of international relations have to be thinking about—and I encourage all of you who are following the news to think about—is why is it that these countries aren't actually voting with the United States? The United States, as well as especially DC, often falls into this trap of thinking of everything in terms of U.S. national interest, right? It's in our national interest, this is morally correct. Why won't you vote with us? And so, the call is to step back from that position to think about the national interest of all these other states.

Why might they be voting with you? What are the overlapping areas of concern that you have with the United States? Or if you're the United States, what are the overlapping areas of concern that you have with these other countries? So, what are the geopolitical particularities? What are the economic and social inequalities that these countries are facing? And more importantly, what are the historical intervention and historical experiences of these countries with the West? How might you start addressing those? How might you put some of those worries aside, start placating them or working together with them? So, with those opening remarks, I'll hand it back to our hosts.

TATIANA SERAFIN: Thank you so much. Words matter. Remember what I said. I'm curious because all of you kind of mentioned this nexus of power moving from Silicon Valley, from the Global North, from DC. So with this change or perceived change that's going to change the way the world perceives the U.S. In classes today, I asked, what do you expect from the government? What do you think in your various areas of study have you seen that the world expects from the U.S. that maybe the U.S. isn't getting because we're always thinking about our national interest? Anyone?

ROBERT PREUHS: Well, I can start, but from the U.S. perspective, I think the diversity in those preferences really highlights some of the considerations, particularly in humanitarian issues. But this real balance not just of economic opportunity and economic interest, which is still apparent across all groups by the way, but also with that more humanitarian, Democratic balance; how do we balance those two elements?

So for instance, we can pull out a spike among Latinos in terms of favorability for intervention post-2018 Venezuelan election crisis. We can pull out traditionally historic support represented both among individuals but also among elected officials, and this is why it's so important to get that pipeline going, for support for Haiti, for references to why we're not going into places in Africa that are equally troubling to various constituencies as say Ukraine. And so, I think as we diversify and as we try to pull those elements in recognizing that those points can be part of the narrative, and the discussion and the dialogue of foreign policy, partly because we as Americans are so diverse and have some of these different issues.

STEPHANIE SANTOS: Building upon what you were saying in terms of diversifying the pipeline, diversifying people who have direct effect or access to institutions, so foreign affairs. You make me think too of thinking about where we are, the population of the students who are with us in this university. So many of us have complicated notions of what it means to be American and relationships to the term home. Even thinking about what are in my interest as an American, and then as somebody who is from the Global South, somebody who is of Southeast Asian descent, they're not necessarily things that I can parse out and separate.

I think part of my invitation and hope as more Roadrunners, as more people from institutions like MSU get into foreign policy work is to rethink maybe this dichotomy. So, what does it mean to think about overlapping interests, especially in terms of the environment? For example, I cannot separate my own interests as a resident who has strong family ties and also strong personal and political ties to people in the Global South to Southeast Asia, from thinking about rights, duties, and expectations here in the United States.

I also think that for people in the Global South, at least the populations who I was working with—vulnerable workers who don't have access, for example, to institutions of redress the same way when Facebook was sued by their US-based content moderators, they had to acknowledge the trauma that was inherent in the labor and pay damages to their U.S.-based workers. But those damages did not extend or apply to workers in the Global South.

So thinking too about how we can think about damages, how we can think about reparations, how we can think about protections, and how they extend to workers and residents whose labor, whose loss of land, for example, whose displacement from their homes are very much related, so are very much interrelated to our work and our digital lives here in the Global North.

DEBAK DAS: I think what other countries are looking for from the United States IS twofold. One, stability. And two, is following through on your commitments. I'm thinking in particular of two examples. The first example is Afghanistan, right? It's all good to say the United States stood up for Ukraine and did the right thing. That's true.

But six months before that, we saw what happened in Afghanistan. If you look at the reports of where women in Afghanistan are today, what the state of many of the institutions in the United States was building in earnest and in good faith, the state of those institutions today, that's all crumbled, right? What does it mean to be in a war for 20 years and then in a short span of two years and really on the ground, one fine day say, "Yeah, we are out"?

The second example I'm thinking about is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), right? Which by all accounts was a great deal. You had the Iranian program capped at 3.67 percent of uranium enrichment. The United States turns around and gets out of the agreement. So these aren't necessarily stable actions of a state that claims to have an important leadership role in the global community. Now of course, these are certain particular incidents that had to do with a particular tour presidential term in the United States.

But at the same time, if you are the world looking at what's happening in the U.S. from the outside, you're looking at other institutions not being able to hold as well as follow through on commitments that have been made on the world stage. So those are things I think that the world kind of looks at towards the U.S. for.

Just connecting to the other panelists, I'd also say that there is a tendency given the demographic of people who run things in the United States, a very strong hegemonic tendency. And I think what we need is more folks from the pipeline to get up there to get into these positions of leadership and break that tendency of hegemonic leadership, and meet people and from different states and from other parts of the world where they are instead, looking at them from a porch.

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: If I can build on that just because as you were saying that a question was already formulating in my mind that I'll address to actually the entire panel. But starting with that question of hegemony, which is when we've often talked off the record with staffers and people who go to Washington, a sense that you come in and you may say, "We need to pay more attention to Latin America. We need to pay more attention to what's happening in Sub-Saharan Africa. We need to pay more attention to what's happening in Southeast Asia. We need to pay more attention to certain functional issues." And yet they get to Washington, and there's a sense that's all very well and good, but this is the default position, and that is still largely trans-Atlantic, largely hard security in some ways, So is it just simply a matter of more people coming or is it a matter of changing?

I wanted to also draw to a podcast we did earlier this year with Kristina Lunz talking about feminist foreign policy, where, as she said, it's not a question of just simply looking at the policy outcomes, it's that different people bring different experiences and therefore bring different questions to the table. That is, they look at something starting with women, but for all of these different communities is that they may just look at the same set of realities but come up with very different questions about starting points.

So is there still something about that within the U.S. foreign policy establishment? A set of default positions to which people are converted or are expected to adhere to in order to be "taken seriously?" If you're going to be seen as a serious person on foreign policy, here's the set of issues or perspectives you're expected to have, and how does that change over time?

DEBAK DAS: So let me start off on this. So I think you're right in terms of this sense of a default sort of foreign policy objectives, and I think it's a question of priorities. It seems to me at least from having done a fair amount of historical archival work as well, the United States' default position has been to be in some form of competition with another geopolitical power for the last 70 years.

And so, these geopolitical powers might change, they might come and go. And for a little bit in the early 90s, it was a real existential crisis because what do you do? The Soviet Union collapsed, but then China comes along and all is well. The United States can reorient itself and find itself in a strategic competition with another emerging power or emerging great power.

I think kind of building off what you said, Nick, is the question of priorities. Of course, priorities are shaped by the constituents, right? Priorities are shaped by the people who are in the decision-making chairs. And so, as that demographic starts to change, priorities will start to change. So maybe we'll stop thinking about geopolitical competition as being the only priority and maybe start thinking about socio and economic indicators or world development indexes as being priorities.

That's the number one thing that maybe the United States is concerned about. Geopolitical competition in the Indo-Pacific? Maybe that'll come second one day. I'm not terribly optimistic about that happening, but it's a thought.

STEPHANIE SANTOS: Right. It's generational.

DEBAK DAS: Exactly.

STEPHANIE SANTOS: So that's something we were talking about earlier as well.

DEBAK DAS: Exactly.

STEPHANIE SANTOS:
Building from your question, especially about feminist interventions into international relations, you also make me think of a previous discussion that I was having about Asian studies and doing Asian studies, for example, in minority-serving institutions. And what is the role, for example, that minority-serving institutions could contribute to a discipline that has its origins in Cold War logics, for example, and how could we rethink maybe, or expand or reorient this? Part of the answer is the perspectives of the people who are coming in.

We were talking earlier about pipeline approaches, so these grassroots approaches, but also if there was a top down, for example, like policy push towards opening up ideas and discussions about who makes foreign policy and what issues emerge. So in particular, for example, thinking about Asian studies, something that emerged for us in that discussion was that the idea of thinking about geopolitical powers and hegemonies wasn't very significant.

Most people of Asian descent think of themselves as part of a larger diaspora, for example. And so, thinking diasporically, so thinking about, for example, the knowledge production that results from Southeast Asian Americans who are based in the U.S, who think about U.S. history in regards to wars in Southeast Asia, for example, and what kinds of knowledge would emerge from that? What kind of relationships and what kinds of policy changes, for example, might we be able to incorporate, evaluate and place interest to?

This is, again, where I'm bringing my humanities flag. So I enjoy reading charts and I enjoy doing critical data studies, but also this is one form of knowledge, a very important creation of knowledge. But also the people who are minorities in these who come out in terms of minority positions, lesser positions are usually always the same, right? There are people who don't have access to political or economic power

These narratives, we will find often are in cultural production, are in literature, are in media, including popular media and social media. So what would it mean then, for example, to take these forms of cultural production seriously as we do studies about even hegemonic issues in foreign affairs, and also what can come up from this increase?

ROBERT PREUHS: I'm going to take it back a little bit because when we take a look at public opinion, at least in those constituencies, yes, there's a generational element to it, but not the generational elements. Not nearly as great particularly among Latinos and African-Americans than it is among Whites. So as we diversify, which is to some extent adding that level of voice to power structures, the preferences are still in partly economic adding some civil rights and human affairs type of elements.

But when it comes down to it, part of the drive for say African-Americans or Latinos to be a bit more moderate on a number of policies including sporting tariffs and pushes against China, it's really based in large part on economic interest. And that's partly framed within economic inequality here in the United States. But in terms of fundamentally shifting policy orientations to something outside of a U.S. interest based, I'm not sure I'm real hopeful that that's actually going to happen.

TATIANA SERAFIN: I want to mention something and then we're going to go to you, the audience.

You mentioned generational change. You mentioned that it's crossed the divide. So let's stop just focusing on Democrat and Republican. Let's stop being binary. I hate binary. Let's stop being binary. Words matter.

Millennial Action Project. Check it out if you don't know it. We had Layla Zaidane on our podcast. She works with Millennial and Gen Z candidates for office across the divide, focusing on issues that matter to different groups, and really focusing on the generational change of local state, not just congressional, but local and state officials creating that network. So if you are interested in that policy area and in local state politics.

She also works on federal level. But Millennial Action Project is a really a great organization that I think spans what we're talking about and who they're trying to shift the narrative. So let me shift the narrative to you guys. What questions might you have for our illustrious speakers? Don't be shy. We want to hear from you.

QUESTION: I am going to try to formulate this on the fly. So you guys had discussed BRICS specifically at one point, and I know with China, or at least with Xi not going to BRICS this year due to, I guess more powerful BRICS members, it could be viewed as a lowering of Xi's power, at least in China globally. So then China and globally, with that competition between India and China, in what way should the U.S. look towards trying to grab more influence in the Global South, now that with although BRICS strengthening and creating divides in that group? If that makes sense.

DEBAK DAS: Thanks for that question. Since I mentioned BRICS, I'm going to try and take that question. I think it's interesting to think about BRICS with Xi in it being as this counter position, in a counter position to China. I don't think that's necessarily the case. I think the expansion of BRICS, which you're seeing right now, a part of that is a part of a broader narrative that China has been talking about for a while now, which is creating this alternative world order. The Asian Development Bank is a part of that story. The Asian Infrastructure Bank is a part of that. The Belt and Road Initiative is also a part of that.

I think one thing that the United States needs to keep in mind when it comes to this particular issue is that it shouldn't be trying to get influence in the Global South. It should be trying to help partners in the Global South be independent in terms of energy independence, in terms of infrastructural independence. Because a lot of the investments that you see from China and Africa, for example, are infrastructure investment projects.

If you look at the role of China in Sri Lanka, for example, where it's been building up these ports and then eventually taking over certain ports for a hundred-year lease or something of that sort, likewise, in Pakistan, the thing is, there are other ways in which the United States and other countries which are sort of aligned towards checking China, those countries could get together and try and bail out some of these countries when they are in need, right?

When it comes to the particular India-China conflict, I think the United States has a huge potential here to be able to, one, wean away India from dependence on Russian imports, especially arms, especially oil. And then, of course, build this coalition where you might actually have a greater amount of geopolitical influence in the Global South, especially in the Indo-Pacific iregion with India. But that means being more mindful of the interactions that you're having and being more mindful of the kinds of groups that you're creating.

Here I'm thinking of Australia which very clearly led to countries like India and other countries in Southeast Asia to say, "Well, you're not going to have nuclear-powered submarines roaming about the Indian Ocean, and you've cut this deal with the Australians. Where do we stand in this? So are we being alienated here? Is there a special relationship? And do we come secondary?" Right? So those are things that you need to be thinking about as you are thinking of a holistic approach towards trying to come to China. Thanks.

QUESTION: Speaking of things that other countries suspect out of the United States, the very loose policy and guns in the United States is affecting our Global South with the iron flow of guns going into Central and South America. Besides the pipeline of having a diverse group of people going into foreign policy in the United States, have you thought about different and perhaps more immediate solutions to this?

TATIANA SERAFIN: With guns specifically?

QUESTIONER: Specifically guns that are arming drug cartels and gangs in Central and South America?

ROBERT PREUHS: I think this gets to the heart of where domestic politics and polarization are going to be a major blockade to some policies, right? It flows in a couple of ways. One, we have gridlock, which we might see or some of us might see in terms of gun control and stopping that flow, but also internally dealing with the supply and flow side. But it also is problematic for signaling. And so, as other countries are trying to figure out what we're going to do, which is an important part of our international system and our relations, they're not necessarily sure too because we have these very polarized positions, particularly on gun control, at least by the parties. If you look overall, there's a bit more balance.

I'll also say that within the notion of diverse preferences in the United States, there's a lot of variation within groups in terms of gun ownership, Second Amendment support. As we diversify those policy decisions, it's not clear that we actually will get say more support for gun control and internal regulation as we diversify. That's part of it. But we just can't get away from some of that polarization.

STEPHANIE SANTOS: Can I add to that? I don't have a direct answer for what to do with the flow of guns, but one thing that I feel your question makes me think about, especially in relation to foreign policy and international affairs, is the issue of borders and mobility. So there's often an anxiety, for example, of porous borders, and certain groups of people and COVID getting through, right?

I feel like it's important to also bring attention to what is mobile, like capital is mobile, certain ideas are mobile, cultural products, weapons and guns are mobile. I feel like that's maybe an area and a focus that we could look at as well. What does it mean? What is created at borders? What kinds of spaces are borders? And then what gets through?

QUESTION: My question is for Tatiana. Earlier you said that international policy or international government should be state government and local government as well. I think that you were referring to unity among those, but could you elaborate on that, please?

TATIANA SERAFIN: Thank you so much for the question, and excuse me for not being clear on what I meant. So I think when we were in class today, we got some answers that said that the federal government is responsible for foreign policy, and that happens over there in Washington. Thanks.

What we're trying to say and why we're here speaking with you is actually you decide foreign policy and that local leaders are engaged in foreign policymaking and state leaders are engaged in foreign policymaking. It is about how we define and look at the word foreign policy. I have beef with the word foreign because foreign means other, separate, something I don't want to touch or understand.

When actually we are all connected by our digital landscape that gives us free information flows by, if you're an American citizen, being able to travel more freely than certain other citizenships. There's many types of connections we have. We can go through the list. But in particular, what is happening more and more is that governments, state and local governments are creating ties because they recognize that they can create policies in the international space. So, yes, if you traditionally think foreign policy is about war, then yes, okay, but foreign policy is also about trade.

We just came from Texas A&M couple weeks ago where they're really concerned about trade, trade at the border, the lines at the border, what happens because there's so much product going back and forth, legal product going back and forth. So state representatives are going to meet with governments, right? Governors are going to meet with governments.

I'm from New York City, our representative from Queens, AOC by name, by shortened name, took a whole delegation of house reps to Latin America to four different countries because our constituents wanted her to. New York City is a very diverse city and the constituents, the diaspora said, "Hey, you need to create and make sure we have links, cultural links, trade links." We all expect . . . Oh, my god. We just had the best lunch today. We had the best Mexican lunch today, right? Food goes across borders. Where do you get some stuff? We also bought some Russian coffee, right? Think about where things come from. Trade. Huge, right? And that's an opportunity to state and local level for us to think about foreign policy in Europe.

I'm going to give one last example and then we'll go to the next question because I know we are ending soon, but there's a bunch of cities that are getting together, Warsaw, Budapest, Prague. The mayors are getting together because they realize their pockets of, I'll say, independent thinking in an otherwise autocratically moving national tendencies. I don't know if I massaged that enough, but they're meeting as units. So cities, mayors meeting to discuss foreign policy and interconnections and linkages.

Last one. Okay, last one. I like to give examples. Once I start you can't stop me. Last one. I know that supporting Ukraine is an issue whether or not you do it, but at a local level, you had these links being created from local communities, buying ambulances, buying food supplies, buying medical supplies, local towns and cities in the US and then sending them directly through context to Ukraine. So it was people to people, connections. So nevermind state, local, it was people to people connections. And I think this is all made possible because of the world that we live in today and the interconnections.

QUESTION: For Debak Das, you touched up really quickly about how kind of I say the priorities of the issues, and especially with so many different diversities, like you say. And that's your very big point is diversity will be one of the solutions in order to help fix a lot of the issues. With all the diversity, how would you prioritize? With all the issues, how would you be able to pick, let's fix this first or fix that? And especially everybody's so passionate about their own issue and whatever they're specialized in. So I just kind want to see your answer on that because you guys talk about it a lot.

DEBAK DAS: I'll take a credential crack at it. I think one way that you might actually have reprioritization when you have a diverse room is that there's something called groupthink, right? We think of things individually, but if the five of us get into a room and think as a group, pretty soon as we converse, we might come to a conclusion. These are the top three things that we think about as being the most important.

Now, how might that happen? Something might be number one on Tatiana's list, and something might be number three on Nick's list, and something might be number five on Stephanie's list, and it might be number two on my list. And so, there are many ways in which groups operate. We might just rank each of the things that we are interested in and see where we land once you put those ranks together. So that's kind of an initial rank voting system, if you will.

There are other things to think about in terms of we don't always personally know what are the stakes of every issue or thing that's happening in the world. I might know something about my part of the world. I might know something very deeply about one particular issue. And everybody in this table, everybody in this room has certain issues that they know better than the other person. When you get into a room and you actually hash it out and talk about it, you might have automatic reprioritization.

It's about being exposed to those views. It's about being exposed to different sensibilities, different priorities, and different issues, which might then bring a collective together. So, that's how I think diversity is probably going to change.

QUESTIONER: So in that case then, if, let's say for that example, five people and then you vote or whatever. So in a sense that there's still not enough balance and there's still a potential for a hegemony to develop because of that. So I guess my question is how do you prevent that from happening and have everybody feel equally satisfied without feeling like you have to vote or one has to, what's the word, compromise themselves?

STEPHANIE SANTOS: I love the logistical question, so I'll take a crack at this in the sense that building from Debak's example. I feel like given the interrelatedness of these issues, so even, for example, we decide that an issue that we need to address, like right now, there's an urgency to thinking about environmental issues. That's an issue that would also have effects on labor. That would affect, for example, displaced refugee populations. That has effects on diasporas as well.

First of all, focusing on one issue, focusing on resources, for example, on one issue, doesn't mean that that other issues don't get addressed as well, given these interrelatedness. And I think one of the keys then is whose voices you center? So centering marginalized, vulnerable voices, having a clear vision, not just towards representation, but a clear vision towards social transformation and social justice would sort of contribute towards a actionable policies that have the potential.

So here I'm building from Combahee River Collective. If you build from the point of view of people who are multiply marginalized, so whose lives are in the intersections, then the knowledges and the policies that grow from that have possibilities of contributing to social change in various issues and areas.

ROBERT PREUHS: Right. I think in terms of those ultimate decisions, I mean, you're going to have disagreements and some folks will be happier than others. But at the same time, making sure that there's a voice at the table and a strong voice to, if not recenter those discussions, at least to inform those discussions so others can make that conscious decision of what are the pros and cons and the benefits? Because the way it works now, and often case with a hegemonic kind of orientation is there's not even consideration.

I'm quite as hopeful that we can recenter everything, but I'm certainly not hopeful that we'll come to a consensus. But I think as we reframe narratives, then bringing more folks to the table, and then we build coalitions and you reach out to others with similar interests and you move forward towards your goals through that kind of group-based coalition.

QUESTION: I saw that the Army War College published a study about the Russian-Ukrainian War, and basically how the amount of people being lost due to casualties and the amount of people needed to be reconstituted. The thought for large scale combat operations with the U.S. might need to move or basically the armed forces might need to move towards an all voluntary force towards partial conscription. What are your thoughts on that?

ROBERT PREUHS: I mean, this encapsulates war is the ultimate doorstep issue, right? When you are asked, not just simply to pay more or suffer privation, but you are asked to kill and possibly die in the service of your country. And this, I think, article was meant, it was a series of academics, not an official position, it's academic inquiry, but it's designed to get people thinking. War is not just going to be push buttons and drones, and a video game approach.

Are we prepared as a society for the human cost? Are we prepared to make the argument to people about why sons, daughters, husbands, wives, and others might be asked to make this sacrifice? And not to say, "Well, technology will solve it for us," or, "It's not really going to be too many people, and so we can just afford to do it."

In one of the classes, we talked about this, that one of the things you as students are going to be facing is there needs to be a real conversation in this country about the war power. We've let that kind of lag for many decades. I'm just saying, well, the president can kind of make a judgment call. And we don't really go to war anymore. We haven't been at war since World War II legally in a legal sense. We have interventions and police actions and other things, but we don't fight wars.

Not even what Russia's doing. Russia says it's a special military op. They're not at war. They're doing a special military operation. But the end result is what's the argument? If you're going to make that, how do you conceptualize the interest and whose interest do you center? Who's going to be asked to fight the war? If you're going to do conscription because the Civil War conscription was there unless you could pay your $300 or buy a substitute.

So conscription was viewed very differently by different classes in the union based on whether or not you'd actually be called to fight. Is that going to be something we would see in the 21st century? Because we've gotten very used to the all volunteer force as one that, well, I'm not going to be asked to do this. They volunteered. They knew what they were getting into.

It gets back to this foreign policy is not something that happens over there. And that article, I think is meant as a wake-up call. And I hope it gets people thinking about what it means to ask people to do that. And again, that it's not something abstract to you because looking around the room and knowing a number of you are selective service registered, that this isn't just an abstract issue, but one you should be thinking about. And again, should be informing how you vote, and that you should vote, and you need to be thinking about these issues. So, Tatiana, do you want to wrap?

TATIANA SERAFIN: Amazing. Thank you. Denver, MSU.

NIKOALS GVOSDEV: We hope you've enjoyed this special two-part Doorstep podcast and we certainly welcome your feedback. Certainly also for those of you who might be interested in having The Doorstep come to your campus or area, please drop us a line and we'll see if we can work you into our schedule as we continue our listening and conversation tour around the country

TATIANA SERAFIN: I've been so excited to do this tour Nick. We started off in Houston. I do want to mention at Texas A&M, the Bush School of Government welcomed us. We started this off also earlier this year at Marymount Manhattan College and continues for Global Ethics Day on October 18 and we invite all of you to please join us and look at our website look at our socials for information. We're going to have live events here in New York City and you and I, Nick, we're going to be at Ohio State University talking to same issues and finding out what your concerns are. Please join us.

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Carnegie Council para la Ética en los Asuntos Internacionales es una organización independiente y no partidista sin ánimo de lucro. Las opiniones expresadas en este evento son las de los panelistas y no reflejan necesariamente la posición de Carnegie Council.

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23 DE MAYO DE 2024 - Podcast

Las elecciones estadounidenses de 2024 en un mundo postpolítico, con Tom Nichols

Tom Nichols, redactor de "Atlantic", regresa a "The Doorstep" en su penúltimo episodio para hablar de los preparativos de las elecciones presidenciales estadounidenses de 2024.

13 DE MAYO DE 2024 - Podcast

La continua explotación del comercio mundial del azúcar, con Megha Rajagopalan

En colaboración con la Academia de Justicia Social del Marymount Manhattan College, Tatiana Serafin y la periodista del "New York Times" Megha Rajagopalan debaten sobre los derechos humanos y el comercio mundial del azúcar.

APR 25, 2024 - Podcast

Protección del ciberespacio, con Derek Reveron y John Savage

Derek Reveron y John Savage se unen a "The Doorstep" para hablar de su libro "Security in the Cyber Age". ¿Cómo podemos mitigar los efectos nocivos de la IA?