Citizens of the World: Global Citizenship & U.S. Foreign Relations
October 12, 2023
The United Nations defines global citizenship as “the umbrella term for the actions of globally minded individuals and communities on a worldwide scale.” Global citizenship at the individual level could look like supporting an international ministry, doing charitable work abroad, or advocating for policy changes to address climate change. But how would a nation guided by the ethic of global citizenship interact with the world? Scholar and author Dr. Christopher McKnight Nichols moderated a panel discussion with Michigan State University associate professor of history Dr. Emily Conroy-Krutz, director of Grand Valley State University’s International Relations Program Dr. Polly Diven, and founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University Dr. Jeffrey Engel. Their discussion focused on the merit of global citizenship as a guiding ethic in U.S. foreign policy and answered the question: how do we balance our shared humanity with national interests and security?
Christopher McKnight Nichols
Christopher McKnight Nichols is Professor of History and Wayne Woodrow Hayes Chair in National Security Studies, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, at The Ohio State University. Nichols specializes in the history of the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world, with a focus on ideas and particularly isolationism, internationalism, and globalization. An Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, Andrew Carnegie Fellow, and award-winning teacher, Nichols is a staunch advocate for history and the humanities. He is also an active public commentator, notably in the Washington Post and on NPR, on the historical dimensions of U.S. foreign policy and politics. Nichols is author or editor of six books. His well-known book is Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age (Harvard UP, 2011, 2015) and he has received accolades his volume Rethinking American Grand Strategy (Oxford UP, 2021). His most recent book, with co-editor David Milne, is Ideology in U.S. Foreign Relations: New Histories (Columbia UP, 2022), awarded the International Studies Association’s 2023 Joseph Fletcher Prize for Best Edited Book in Historical International Relations.
Emily Conroy-Krutz is associate professor of history at Michigan State University and the author of Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the Early American Republic (Cornell, 2015) and co-editor of The Early Imperial Republic (Penn, 2022). Her writings on religion, reform, empire, and gender can be found in the Journal of the Early Republic, Early American Studies, Diplomatic History, William and Mary Quarterly, and several edited volumes. She is a series editor for Cornell’s US in the World series, and her next book, Missionary Diplomacy: Religion and American Foreign Relations in the Nineteenth Century will be out in March from Cornell.
Jeffrey A. Engel
Jeffrey A. Engel is founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University and Professor in the Clements Department of History. A Senior Fellow of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies and formerly a Senior Fellow of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University. He additionally studied at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, before holding a John M. Olin Postdoctoral Fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University.
Polly Diven is Professor of Political Science and Director of International Relations at Grand Valley State University. She has a master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the intersection of U.S. domestic politics and U.S. foreign policy. She is particularly interested in how domestic interest groups influence foreign policy, including the impact of agribusiness and pharmaceutical companies on U.S. foreign policy. Recently, her research has focused on the determinants of public opinion on U.S. foreign policy. A co-authored article, “Can’t Buy Me Love (with Foreign Aid)” will be published later this year in Foreign Policy Analysis. In May 2023, Professor Diven was a Fulbright Teaching Fellow at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan.