Open to the Public, Talks & Lectures
26 Oct 2018
Babbio 122

CAL Dean's Lecture Series: U.S. Foreign Policy in an Era of Great Power Competition and Populism

Speaker: Lowell H. Schwartz, Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Over the last five years a critical shift has occurred in the international environment, the return of great power competition. This shift in many ways is the most important geostrategic development since the End of the Cold War. It is forcing policymakers to reappraise many of the U.S. national security objectives and the foreign policy tools the United States has been utilizing for decades to pursue them. At the same time the Western World has seen the rise of nationalist populism, which is challenging many of the assumptions underlying U.S. foreign policy.

How are policymakers reacting to these developments? What adjustments in U.S. foreign policy are necessary to adjust to this more hostile and less cooperative international environment? In what ways will diplomatic tools such as arms control and non-proliferation policies need to adapt for this new era?


Lowell H. Schwartz is a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is responsible for all issues related to non-proliferation, (including Iran and North Korea), arms control, and international security issues. As part of his responsibilities he reviews, conducts oversight, formulates and shepherds Committee legislation on: Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs, U.S. military and civilian nuclear cooperation agreements, and bilateral and multi-lateral arms control treaties and agreements.

Before joining the committee, Dr. Schwartz was a Full Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation. During his career at RAND Corporation he worked primarily in three areas: the evolution of strategic warfare from a bipolar to a multipolar world, including nuclear strategy and arms control; how public diplomacy/ strategic communications can help shape public opinion abroad; and the potential impact of future security environments on U.S. national security strategy and defense planning. In 2009, and 2010, Dr. Schwartz worked for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs (OSD/ISA) as an adviser on arms control and European Security.

He has coauthored fifteen RAND studies including A View From Russia: Towards a Better Understanding of Russian Foreign Policy (2009) and The Challenge of Nuclear Armed Regional Adversaries (2008). He has a Ph.D. in War Studies from King's College London and has an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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