You Are Invited–Why the US is Not Destined to Decline: A Debate

Why the US is Not Destined to Decline: A Debate

Wed, May 2nd  – 4:00 to 5:30 pm

6th floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Sponsored by International Security Studies and the History and Public Policy Program

A book launch and reception

To argue against the widely proclaimed idea of American decline, as this book does, might seem a lonely task. After all, the problems are real and serious. Yet if we take a longer view, much of the discourse about decline appears exaggerated, hyperbolic, and ahistorical. Why? First, because of the deep underlying strengths of the United States. These include not only size, population, demography, and resources, but also the scale and importance of its economy and financial markets, its scientific research and technology, its competitiveness, its military power, and its attractiveness to talented immigrants. Second, there is the weight of history and of American exceptionalism. Throughout its history, the United States has repeatedly faced and eventually overcome daunting challenges and crises. Contrary to a prevailing pessimism, there is nothing inevitable about American decline. Flexibility, adaptability, and the capacity for course correction provide the United States with a unique resilience that has proved invaluable in the past and will do so in the future. Ultimately, the ability to avoid serious decline is less a question of material factors than of policy, leadership, and political will.

Author Robert J. Lieber will discuss his new book, Power and Willpower in the American Future: Why the US is Not Destined to Decline. He will be joined on the panel by Michael Mandelbaum.

Visit for a map and directions to the Wilson Center.

If you wish to attend this event, please send RSVP to


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