WATCH: “Will the West Survive?”-talk by Seth Singleton
Since the second world war the Atlantic alliance of Europe and North America – the West – has been the bedrock of world affairs. Within its area it brought peace and prosperity. The Atlantic alliance did not exist before 1945 and is now under stress. “The West” no longer dominates the world economy as it once did and argues about China – geopolitical threat or business opportunity? Europeans and Americans diverge in their worldviews and policies, for example toward climate change. Trump’s America First dismissed the West and Europeans worry that the Biden Presidency may be a temporary reprieve. The European Union is also divided; governments often disagree.
Strong alliances rely on shared values and beliefs – do they still exist? How can the West adapt to a new era? And what will the world be like if it doesn’t?
Seth Singleton most recently taught international relations at the University of Maine. He studied Russian history and literature at Harvard and political science at Yale. He has held grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Council on Soviet and East European Research, the Kennan Institute, the Fulbright program, and the Open Society Institute. He has lived in Tanzania, Ecuador, Russia, and Vietnam and consulted in China, Mongolia, and Bolivia. He has been faculty research associate at Harvard and academic dean in universities in the US and overseas. Teaching is what he most enjoys, and he appreciates Maine students for their intelligence, curiosity, open-mindedness, ambition, and insistence on making the world a better place.