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The Ronald Reagan Centennial Conference: Conference Video

"Reagan in a World Transformed, 1981–2011"

Downloadable Content

Video: H.264 MP4 | Audio: MP3

Official Welcome

Governor Gerald L. Baliles, Director, Miller Center of Public Affairs
Michael Castine, Board of Trustees, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

Panel One: Reagan, Partisan Politics, and Foreign Policy
Holeman Lounge

Long considered in American politics to be above partisanship, foreign policy decisions today are commonly utilized as political assets or avoided as electoral liabilities.  In some cases, particularly when American troops have been deployed, they have defined elections.  Partisanship has also proved itself to be an effective tool in shaping foreign policy decisions through advocacy or opposition.  The Reagan administration governed during a period of major global change, yet the relationship between partisan politics and foreign policy during the 1980s remains unclear.  This session will explore the reciprocal links between politics and policy during the Reagan years, and the impact of this relationship on future administrations.
 
Chair: Julian Zelizer, Professor of History and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Panelists:

  • Michael Barone, Senior Political Analyst, Washington Examiner; Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Kiron Skinner, Director, Center for International Relations and Politics, Carnegie Mellon University; W. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
  • Peter Trubowitz, Peter Trubowitz, Professor of Government, University of Texas, Austin

Downloadable Content

Video: H.264 MP4 | Audio: MP3

Panel Two: The Reagan Defense Buildup and Its Effects

At its two extremes, the defense buildup initiated during the Reagan presidency has been credited with winning the Cold War and condemned as a wasteful enterprise responsible for generating record budget deficits and making negotiations with Soviet leaders even more difficult.  The impact of the buildup was far reaching – on the domestic side, it required additional spending during a time of rising deficits and sparked a spirited debate both in Congress and amongst the electorate; on the international side, it set a new tone for U.S. power and shaded America’s diplomatic efforts and military actions.  Many of these debates have lingered to the present day as scholars and policymakers continue to assess both the immediate and long-term impacts of the buildup. 

Chair: Melvyn P. Leffler, Edward Stettinius Professor of American History, University of Virginia; Faculty Associate, GAGE Program, Miller Center of Public Affairs

Panelists:

  • Thomas Blanton, Director, National Security Archive, George Washington University
  • Eliot Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies and Founding Director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
  • Beth Fischer, Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

Downloadable Content

Video: H.264 MP4 | Audio: MP3

Panel Three: Reagan and the Global Democratic Movement

The collapse of Soviet power took place at the end of the “third wave” of global democratic expansion.  This trend, sparked by successful democratic transitions in Portugal and Spain in the mid-1970s, flourished during the Reagan years in many corners of the world, including Latin America, Asia, Africa and Central Europe.  The extent to which the policies of the Reagan administration set the conditions for – or even promoted – the continuation of this trend is a matter of great debate, one which is further complicated by varying policies toward different nations and regions, tensions between democratic advocacy and other national interests, and changes in strategy during the course of the Reagan presidency.  This session will assess how the administration navigated these issues, and to what extent their efforts impacted future presidents’ strategies for democratic expansion.

Chair: Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

Panelists:

  • Paula J. Dobriansky, Distinguished National Security Chair, U.S. Naval Academy; Adjunct Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University; Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government & Regulatory Affairs, Thomson Reuters
  • Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Robert Kagan, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy, Brookings Institution
  • Paul Kengor, Professor of Political Science, Grove City College; Executive Director, Center for Vision & Values

Downloadable Content

Video: H.264 MP4 | Audio: MP3

Keynote Roundtable

Moderator: Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Panelists:

  • John Warner – U.S. Senator, R-VA (1979-09); Secretary of the Navy (1972-74)
  • Jim Webb – U.S. Senatator, D-VA (2007-present); Secretary of the Navy (1987-88); Assistant Secretary of Defense (1984-87)
  • Richard Haass – President, Council on Foreign Relations (2003-present); former Director, State Department's Policy Planning Staff
  • John Negroponte – U.S. Ambassador to Honduras (1981-85), Mexico (1989-93), the Philippines (1993-96), the United Nations (2001-04) and Iraq (2004-05); deputy national security advisor (1987-89); Deputy Secretary of State (2007-09); Director of National Intelligence (2005-07)

Remarks by:
Governor Gerald L. Baliles
Eugene V. Fife, Chairman, Miller Center Governing Council

Downloadable Content

Video: H.264 MP4 | Audio: MP3

Panel Four: Reagan and the Rise of Global Capitalism

The economic policies of the Reagan administration initiated a marked shift toward free-market capitalism in the United States.  While the merits of these policies continue to generate thorough debate among scholars and policymakers, the consequences on the American economy are well known.  In contrast, the impact of these policies on the international economic landscape, particularly the global trend toward capitalism, has earned far less review.  This session will examine the effects of Reagan’s economic policy on areas such as globalization, economic growth, deregulation, and debt, and the derivative impacts on American prestige and the global balance of power.

Chair: Jeffry Frieden, Professor of Government, Harvard University

Panelists:

  • Alfred E. Eckes, Jr., Ohio Eminent Research Professor in Contemporary History, Ohio University
  • Henry R. Nau, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, The Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Allan H. Meltzer, Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University

Downloadable Content

Video: H.264 MP4 | Audio: MP3

Panel Five: Reagan and International Institutions

The U.S. held a largely utilitarian view of international institutions during the 1980s.  The Reagan administration’s avid defense of national sovereignty caused relationships with legal bodies like the International Court of Justice and institutions of global governance such as the United Nations to vary between uneasy and contentious.  In contrast, interactions with regional alliances such as NATO or multilateral treaties like GATT were conducted on more favorable terms.  The degree to which the United States supports or opposes such institutions has always weighed heavily on their ability to conduct business.  This session will examine the Reagan administration’s policies toward various international institutions and the ramifications of these policies on international norms and regimes, and future U.S. presidents.

Chair: Zalmay Khalilzad, President, Khalilzad Associates; former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2007-2009), Iraq (2005-2007) and Afghanistan (2003-2005)

 

Panelists:

  • Barry E. Carter, Professor of Law and Director of the Center on Transnational Business and the Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Kim R. Holmes, Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies; Director, Davis Institute for International Studies, The Heritage Foundation
  • John B. Bellinger III, Adjunct Senior Fellow for International and National Security Law, Council on Foreign Relations; Partner, Arnold & Porter, LLP

Downloadable Content

Video: H.264 MP4 | Audio: MP3

Keynote Address: Ronald Reagan and Leadership

Speaker: The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney, former Prime Minster of Canada

Remarks by:
Governor Gerald L. Baliles
Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., Chairman, Board of Trustees, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

Conference Close
Governor Gerald L. Baliles, Director, Miller Center of Public Affairs

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