Strauss Center News

Updates from the Strauss Center and our affiliated distinguished scholars and fellows


Gavin Introduces the Spring 2020 Texas National Security Review

Jun 22, 2020 |

Francis J. Gavin, Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at SAIS-Johns Hopkins University, as well as former Director of the Strauss Center, recently published an essay titled “The Best of the Brightest? Ideas and Their Consequences” in the Texas National Security Review, which is co-sponsored by the Strauss Center. In it, Professor Gavin discusses how we ought to consider the role of ideas, expertise, and influence in U.S. foreign policy. As the introductory essay to TNSR’s Spring 2020 issue, Gavin’s essay provides an overview of the essays and arguments to come, all of which focus on the ways in which states attain desired outcomes in the geopolitical sphere, with particular emphasis on the “strategies of coercion.” Gavin’s summary concludes with a synopsis of an essay dedicated to the late Sir Michael Howard, whose legacy— “a combination of modesty, intense curiosity, and penetrating, searching intellect, oriented toward helping decision-makers”— ought to inspire and guide the efforts of current policymakers. Read the full essay here.