The Psychology of Presidential Decisions: The Trump Problem
- Date: 9/21/2017 at 3:15 PM – 5:00 PM
- Location: Brusewitzsalen Östra Ågatan 19, Uppsala University
- Lecturer: David A. Welch (Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada), moderator: Dag Blanck (Professor of North American Studies and director of the Swedish Institute for North American Studies, SINAS, at Uppsala University), chair: Cecilia Albin (Professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University)
- Organizer: The Department of Peace and Conflict Research and the Swedish Institute for North American Studies (SINAS) in cooperation with Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice, all at Uppsala University
- Contact person: Cecilia Albin
You are kindly invited to attend a seminar titled “The Psychology of Presidential Decisions: The Trump Problem” with David A. Welch, Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada.
How can political psychology help us understand Donald Trump? What should we expect of him? Does his presidency offer any opportunities for progress on important global issues, or is Trump himself a major global threat?
It is a matter of longstanding debate among scholars of International Relations and U.S. foreign policy just how much difference the personality of a president makes. Some would argue that the structure of the international system itself, or the institutions and procedures of policy making, largely constrain presidents. According to the strongest version of this view, who occupies the White House does not matter. Structure, not agency, dominates. But it is increasingly clear that personality does matter: presidents are not substitutable. Since personality matters, it is important to understand how specific presidents make decisions. Seen through this lens, Trump represents an unprecedented challenge not only to analysts, but to other global actors who must attempt to understand and anticipate his actions.
Moderator: Dag Blanck, Professor of North American Studies and director of the Swedish Institute for North American Studies (SINAS) at Uppsala University
Contact person and chair: Cecilia Albin, Professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University
David A. Welch is CIGI Chair of Global Security at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, and Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, where he has recently been working on Asia-Pacific Security.
His 2005 book Painful Choices: A Theory of Foreign Policy Change (Princeton University Press) is the inaugural winner of the International Studies Association ISSS Book Award for the best book published in 2005 or 2006, and his 1993 book Justice and the Genesis of War (Cambridge University Press) is the winner of the 1994 Edgar S. Furniss Award for an Outstanding Contribution to National Security Studies. He is co-author of Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation, 10th ed. (Pearson Longman), with Joseph S. Nye, Jr. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1990.