‘The Obama Era: Reflections on US Foreign & National Security Policy’


The Obama Era


Prof. Robert S. Singh

Professor of Politics, Birkbeck, University of London

Prof. Emeritus Chris Brown

Emeritus Professor of International Relations at LSE

Robin Simcox

Research Fellow, The Henry Jackson Society

TIME: 6 – 7pm, Wednesday 10th June 2015

VENUE: Committee Room 8, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

To attend please RSVP to: researchassistant4@henryjacksonsociety.org      


When Barack Obama took over the Presidency from George W. Bush, his supporters anticipated a complete reversal of his divisive predecessor’s policies. An era of multilateralism, closer co-operation with the UN and a new emphasis on ‘soft power’ was anticipated.

Yet, with Obama’s presidency in its twilight years, much of this has gone unfulfilled and the foreign policy challenges the US faces are arguably graver than ever. The fallout from the Arab Spring, an aggressive Russia, rising China and the emergence of the Islamic State has presented enormous new challenges to the limits of American power.

The response to this has included calling for the end of authoritarian regimes, war in Libya and airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. With this being the case, the extent to which President Obama’s time in office marked a break from the past will be keenly debated; and as candidates emerge for the 2016 election, how to resolve the challenges that Obama has been unable to will be a crucial question.

By kind invitation of John Glen MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a panel discussion with Robert S. Singh, Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London; Chris Brown, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science; and Robin Simcox, Research Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society. The speakers will discuss the national security and foreign policy legacy of the man who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at the very beginning of his presidency, scrutinising the successes and failures of his administration and delivering a verdict on whether he has lived up to the expectations placed on him.



Robert S. Singh is Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London, where he has been a member of the since April 1999. Before coming to Birkbeck, he held fixed term College Lectureships at Oriel, University, Christ Church and Queen’s Colleges, Oxford (1991-94) and permanent Lectureships in Politics at Trinity College, Dublin (1994-96) and the University of Edinburgh (1996-99). His research interests are in the politics of US foreign policy. Among other books, he is the author of Barack Obama’s Post-American Foreign Policy: The Limits of Engagement (Bloomsbury, 2012), and, with Timothy Lynch, the forthcoming After Obama: Renewing American Leadership, Restoring Global Order (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Chris Brown is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of numerous articles in international political theory and of International Society, Global Polity (2015), Practical Judgement in International Political Theory: Selected Essays (2010), Sovereignty, Rights and Justice (2002 – Chinese translation 2013), International Relations Theory: New Normative Approaches (1992), editor of Political Restructuring in Europe: Ethical Perspectives (1994) and co-editor (with Terry Nardin and N.J. Rengger) of International Relations in Political Thought: Texts from the Greeks to the First World War (2002). His textbook Understanding International Relations (2009) is now in its 4th and final edition and has been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Portuguese and Chinese, with a Basque edition forthcoming.

Robin Simcox is a Research Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society. He has spoken on a variety of platforms, including testifying to the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, and at the White House, National Counterterrorism Center, British Parliament, US Special Operations Command and the European Parliament. Simcox was previously a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Cohesion, a think tank studying extremism and terrorism in the UK.



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