Joshua Rovner, Tower Center Chair, contributes to the Washington Post.

Washington Post

Originally Posted: February 11, 2016

Daniel Drezner says Donald Trump is the champion of foreign policy ‘realism.’ He’s wrong. It’s Barack Obama.

When President George W. Bush decided on war with Iraq in 2003, the ostensible goals were to depose the dictator Saddam Hussein and destroy his alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Lying just beneath the surface, however, was a deep and bipartisan enthusiasm for using military power to spread American values.

The war was backed by neoconservatives in the White House and liberal internationalists in Congress. Members of this coalition didn’t agree on everything, but they shared the belief that the United States would benefit from overthrowing illiberal regimes. READ MORE

High-level’ national security postdoctoral fellows join SMU Tower Center

SMU News

Originally Posted: December 16, 2015

DALLAS (SMU) – Thomas Cavanna and David Benson have been selected to serve yearlong national security postdoctoral fellowships at SMU. Cavanna is in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, and Benson joins SMU as part of a National Science Foundation-funded project on cyber-security.

“Both are pursuing important interdisciplinary scholarship at a very high level,” says Joshua Rovner, Tower Center acting director. “They’ve sought out discussions and collaborative research on critically important policy issues, and they are pushing the boundaries of what we know about international relations and national security policy.”

Cavanna’s work focuses on U.S. foreign policy, strategy and nuclear studies, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. He is the author of Hubris, Self-Interest and America’s Failed War in Afghanistan: the Self-Sustaining Overreach (Lexington Books, 2015). His next book, expected in spring 2016 to focus on U.S. foreign policy toward India and Pakistan in the 1970s, is based on his dissertation, which won the 2013 Prix Jean-Baptiste Duroselle for best dissertation in history of international relations. Another forthcoming book will address U.S. grand strategy and the rise of China from the Cold War to the Obama administration. READ MORE

LISTEN: Is Saudi Arabia doing enough to fight ISIS?

The Texas Standard

Originally Aired: December 9, 2015

Robert Jordan, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and diplomat-in-residence at SMU’s Tower Center, talked with The Texas Standard on Dec. 9, 2015, about Saudi Arabia’s role in the struggle with ISIS and what more can that country do. Jordan is the author of Desert Diplomat: Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11.

READ MORE about the interview, as well as excerpts from it.

LISTEN

Historian David McCullough receives Medal of Freedom from SMU’s Tower Center

SMU News

Originally Posted: November 19, 2015

David McCullough, the prolific writer frequently referred to as “America’s greatest historian,” received the Medal of Freedom from SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Historian David McCullough (center) with President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the Medal of Freedom presentation ceremony.

McCullough spoke at a Q&A-style public forum moderated by SMU Tower Scholar Sara Jendrusch in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. After the event, McCullough received the Medal of Freedom award at a private dinner that included a discussion moderated by former Wyoming Senator Alan K. Simpson.

The Tower Center Medal of Freedom is presented every two years to an individual or individuals who have contributed to the advancement of democratic ideals and to the security, prosperity and welfare of humanity.

McCullough has twice won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book award. He has received the United States’ highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his “lifelong efforts to document the people, places and events that have shaped America.” READ MORE

Listen: Joshua Rovner, Tower Center, On the Paris attacks

KLIF

Originally Posted: November 16, 2015

SMU’s Joshua Rovner, the John Goodwin Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics & National Security Policy, talked with KLIF radio’s Amy Chodroff and Dave Williams, about the terrorists’ attacks in Paris last Friday and SMU students who are studying there. LISTEN

Historian David McCullough will receive the Medal of Freedom from the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

SMU News

Originally Posted: November 16, 2015

David McCullough, the prolific writer frequently referred to as “America’s greatest historian,” will receive the Medal of Freedom from SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

McCullough will speak at a 4:30 p.m. Q&A-style forum moderated by SMU Tower Scholar Sara Jendrusch in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. The event will be free for students, faculty and staff, who are requested to confirm their attendance at rsvp@smu.edu. After the event, McCullough will accept the Medal of Freedom Award at a private dinner.

The Tower Center Medal of Freedom is presented every two years to an individual or individuals who have contributed to the advancement of democratic ideals and to the security, prosperity and welfare of humanity.

McCullough has twice won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book award. He has received the United States’ highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his “lifelong efforts to document the people, places and events that have shaped America.”

“David McCullough is a national treasure. His historical work is breathtaking in scope,” says Joshua Rovner, SMU Tower Center Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security. “No one has done more to engage Americans in their own political history, warts and all. He is also a dazzling writer, with a rare talent for transforming complex events into truly engrossing narratives.”

His newest book, The Wright Brothers (Simon & Schuster, 2015), is a New York Times bestseller about the American Dream story of Wilbur and Orville Wright, two brothers from Ohio who profoundly changed history on a winter day in 1903.

McCullough’s 11 books include two Pulitzer Prize-winners: Truman (1993), about the seemingly ordinary man from Missouri who was perhaps the most courageous president in history, and John Adams (2001), a work focusing on founding father/second U.S president that became one of the most widely read American biographies of all time and spawned a seven-part HBO mini-series produced by Tom Hanks.

Fueled by his belief that “history is the study of people,” McCullough’s books have been translated and published in 10 languages, and more than nine million copies are in print. McCullough is one of the rare writers whose books never have been out of print.

Throughout his highly productive career, McCullough has been an editor, teacher, lecturer and familiar presence on public television as host of Smithsonian World, The American Experience and narrator of numerous documentaries including Ken Burns’ The Civil War. His is also the narrator’s voice in the movie Seabiscuit.

A gifted speaker, McCullough has lectured in all parts of the country and abroad, as well as at the White House. He is also one of the few private citizens to speak before a joint session of Congress.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1933, McCullough graduated from Yale with honors in English literature. He is an avid reader, traveler and has enjoyed a lifelong interest in art and architecture. He also is a devoted painter. He and his wife Rosalee Barnes McCullough have five children and 19 grandchildren.

The Tower Center, located within SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, supports teaching and research programs in international and domestic politics with an emphasis on global studies and national security policy. It also educates undergraduates in international relations, comparative politics and political institutions.

Past Tower Center Medal of Freedom recipients include former Secretary of States James A. Baker III and Colin L. Powell; U.S. Senator John McCain; former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; and former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, as well as former First Lady Laura Bush.

For more details about The Tower Center, visit http://www.smu.edu/towercenter or call 214-768-3954. Follow them on Twitter @SMUTowerCenter and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/towercenter.

READ MORE

‘Art & Power: War, Politics and the Destruction of Ancient Treasures’ Focus of Art, International Security Experts at SMU Tower Center Forum Oct. 1

Contact Denise Gee: dgee@smu.edu or (214) 768-7658

Sept. 29, 2015

‘Art & Power: War, Politics and the Destruction of Ancient Treasures’ Focus of Art, International Security Experts at SMU Tower Center Forum Oct. 1

DALLAS (SMU) — As atrocities are being perpetrated by ISIS militants on some of history’s most irreplaceable treasures and their guardians, a distinguished panel of art and international security experts will discuss “Art & Power: War, Politics and the Destruction of Ancient Treasures,” Thursday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m. in Jones Great Hall at Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Blvd.

The forum, sponsored by SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, will be free and open to the public, but reservations are required by 5 p.m. Weds., Sept. 30, by emailing tower@smu.edu.

Featured speakers will be:

Anita M. Difanis, director of government affairs for the Association of Art Museum Directors in New York City, who has combined a passion for politics with the joy of art since joining the AAMD in 1992. Before then, Difanis worked with the American Arts Alliance. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and Michigan State University.

Mark A. Roglán, director of the Meadows Museum and adjunct associate professor of art history at SMU, is an authority on Spanish art, art history and community art engagement. His leadership has resulted in an array of creative acquisitions, exhibitions and community outreach events at the Meadows, which features one of the finest repositories of Spanish art in the nation. In 2010, Roglán was knighted for his contributions to arts and culture by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Joshua Rovner, moderator of the forum, is John G. Tower Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security and acting director of the Tower Center, a program within SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Rovner writes frequently on strategy, international security and U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011), which won the International Studies Association Best Book Award for security studies, and the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award.

For more information about the Tower Center and its upcoming events, visit http://www.smu.edu/towercenter or call (214) 768-3954.

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SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

In the spirit of John Tower’s commitment to educate and inspire a new generation of thoughtful leaders, the Tower Center seeks to bridge the gap between the world of ideas, scholarship and teaching, as well as the practice of politics. The primary mission of the Tower Center is to promote the study of politics and international affairs and to stimulate an interest in ethical public service among undergraduates. The Tower Center is an academic center where all parties and views are heard in a marketplace of ideas, and the Center pursues its mission in a non-partisan manner.

SMU faculty to assist area history teachers in tackling immigration

DALLAS (SMU) — Immigration has rarely been so controversial or prominent a topic as it is today, which makes it all the more challenging to teach it to middle-and high-school students. SMU and the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture are partnering with Humanities Texas and the Texas Historical Commission to present a conference at the museum on the history of U.S. immigration from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, to help area teachers tackle this hot-button topic in the classroom. READ MORE

Watch: WFAA, Tower Center forms strategic academic partnership with Latino Center for Leadership Development

WFAA

Originally Posted: September 16, 2015

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SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies has formed a strategic academic partnership with the Latino Center for Leadership Development (Latino CLD). The new Latino CLD-SMU Tower Center Policy Institute will identify and implement policy-focused solutions to the Latino community’s most pressing concerns, from educational and economic opportunities, to voting rights and immigration reform, to the under-representation of Latinos in elected and appointed roles at the federal, state and local levels, as well as corporate boards.