September 6, 2006

Robert Kagan to Speak At Inauguration Event

Print More

To kick off tomorrow’s presidential inauguration of David J. Skorton as Cornell’s 12th president, neo-conservative foreign policy expert Robert Kagan will speak tonight in Bailey Hall, in a lecture entitled, “Culture, Identity and Conflict in World Affairs.”
Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is also an award-winning author. His most recent book, Of Paradise and Power, spent 10 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and won acclaim for its treatment of U.S.-European relations. Kagan also publishes monthly for the Washington Post and serves as a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard and the New Republic. Kagan’s impressive credentials makes him an obvious choice to speak at Inauguration Week.
Provost Biddy Martin, explained, “Kagan is a well-known public intellectual whose talk would appeal to multiple audiences.”
Prof. Peter Katzenstein, government, a discussant at the symposium, echoed Martin’s sentiments.
“[Kagan’s] last book shows that he is an important thinker in the field of American foreign policy,” he said. “He is an Atlanticist and an expert in U.S. relations with Europe.”
The line-up for the academic symposium was determined by a panel of Cornell faculty who hoped to attract a significant and diverse portion of the community to the event by recruiting an influential and easily-recognizable speaker.
Kagan’s appearance may also encourage some locals to welcome a native son back to the Ithaca area — Kagan lived in Ithaca for years as a child, while his father, Donald, served as a member of Cornell’s history department in the ’60s.
Martin said she hopes the audience will “get involved” in the symposium during the question and answer session.
Kagan’s lecture will include themes from his upcoming book Dangerous Nation: America in the World. Katzenstein and Prof. Isabel Hull, history, will then address the speech and offer their own perspective on the topics.