Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Welcome to Congress. Here's How to Run the World.

| Jan. 07, 2019

The 116th session of the U.S. Congress began last week. Not surprisingly, it attracted a fair bit of media attention, focusing mostly on Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi resuming the speakership of the House of Representatives; the entry of a number of younger, female, nonwhite, and outspoken members; and the implications of Democratic control of the House for the Trump administration (and President Donald Trump himself).

As some of you may know, the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School has long hosted a two-day bipartisan orientation program for new members of Congress, intended to help get them up to speed before they take office. This year, I was privileged to participate on a panel on foreign policy, along with former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, former Senate staffer Christian Brose, and former Department of Defense official Kathleen Hicks of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The new members asked us some excellent questions; we had a lively but cordial discussion, and a bunch of the new members went away with copies of my book (whether they’ll read it or agree with it is another matter).

The sessions are off the record, so I won't divulge what my fellow panelists said or what the new members had to say in response. But I'm free to reveal what I told them, in the five minutes each of us were allotted for opening remarks. What follows is an edited version of the notes I prepared beforehand....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Walt, Stephen M."Welcome to Congress. Here's How to Run the World." Foreign Policy, January 7, 2019.

The Author

Stephen Walt