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The World That Awaits President-Elect Trump

The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs asked five of its faculty to outline the most pressing global challenges that Donald Trump will face when he takes office in 2017.

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During the 2016 primaries, Donald Trump claimed he had more foreign policy experience than any of the GOP contenders. In fact, he has traveled widely to meet with presidents, prime ministers, financiers, and developers over the past decade as part of his highly profitable business of licensing the Trump name to large real estate developments around the world. On the campaign trail, Trump’s provocative statements about foreign policy have become part of the public record. From pressuring NAFTA members to bombing ISIS, his pledges have caused a stir in the arena of foreign relations. Publicly, candidate Trump threatened to close borders to Mexicans, slap tariffs on Chinese goods, restrict Muslims in the United States, among other vows. Without a record of public service to draw on, it is difficult to know how these declarations might translate into a Trump foreign policy. To understand what lies ahead for the new president, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs asked its Faculty Associates in international relations to comment on the challenges and opportunities that await in five regions of the world: Africa, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Latin America, Europe, and China.

@HarvardWCFIA

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Q & A on Scholars and the Public Eye

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Condensed from interviews with Noah Feldman, Jennifer Hochschild, and Dani Rodrik.

 —with Noah Feldman

Q. How was writing for a popular audience viewed within the academic world earlier in your career and has that attitude changed?

A. When I started teaching in 2001, some of my senior colleagues thought that the fact that you wrote something that a non-academic would want to read was active evidence that what you’re writing couldn’t be of value to scholars. Happily, things have really changed enormously now. Now many scholars understand the real question isn’t “what is the genre a person is writing in?” It is “what’s the content of the argument a person is making?” And a subtle, sophisticated, and scholarly argument doesn’t always have to be wrapped up in inaccessible jargon.

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Epicenter is an online publication that provides commentary and analysis on issues that transcend borders. Our team of writers and editors works with academic specialists to help bring clarity to complex global issues. The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs is committed to Harvard's tradition of fostering innovative, timely, policy-relevant scholarly activities that help us all make sense of the world.