Domestic & International (Dis)Order: New Aspen Strategy Group Book

October 29, 2020

New essays from leaders address racial and political division at home, U.S.-China relations, the global economy, and foreign policy challenges in 2021

Contact: Jon Purves
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, October 29, 2020
The Aspen Strategy Group (ASG) today released its latest policy book, Domestic & International (Dis)Order: A Strategic Response. An accompanying launch event will take place on Thursday, October 29 at 10:00am ET.

The book is comprised of 24 papers that reflect the discussions of the 2020 Aspen Strategy Group Summer Workshop, a nonpartisan private gathering of senior national security professionals, policymakers, foreign policy experts, journalists, academics, and private sector leaders representing the top experts in their fields. Contributors include Senator Tim Scott, Madeleine Albright, Zoë Baird, Jane Harman, David McCormick, David Petraeus, and Kurt Campbell. The foreword is by ASG co-chairs Joseph S. Nye, Jr. and Condoleezza Rice, with a preface by Executive Director Nicholas Burns and Director Anja Manuel.

Domestic & International (Dis)Order: A Strategic Response can be read online at

Executive Director Nicholas Burns explains: “These bipartisan essays examine the extraordinary challenges Americans are facing both at home and in the world in 2020.”

Aspen Strategy Group Director Anja Manuel added: “Unlike previous editions in this series, Domestic and International Disorder does not center on one international topic, but focuses on the most important issues before us at this inflection point: democracy, race and political divisions on the American home front; the global economy; the future of U.S.-China relations; and U.S. foreign policy priorities for 2021.”

Dysfunction on the Home Front: Race, Democracy, and Political Divisions in America 

In these four essays, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) shares his view on race in America today from his perspective as a Black man raised in South Carolina; Ayaan Hirsi Ali addresses “critical theories” and expresses concern for the foreign policy implications should these concepts become widely accepted in the U.S.; Diana Farrell provides a sobering, data-led analysis of how COVID-19 could widen racial gaps in financial outcomes without government intervention; and Anne-Marie Slaughter explores American renewal and how the nation must come to exemplify “a successful pluralist democracy in which no one racial or ethnic group has a majority.”

The Future of U.S.- China Relations

Across eight essays, Joseph S. Nye suggests a U.S. strategy to engage with China that starts with “realism rather than ideology;” Kurt M. Campbell explores how U.S. China relations is falling at the center of a new American grand strategy; Shivshankar Menon considers the current crisis between India and China and the broader impact on U.S. relations; Tom Pritzker examines the importance of geoeconomics in terms of a U.S. China strategy, and Anja Manuel calls for the formation of a “Tech 10” to form a robust innovation ecosystem across nations that share similar values. Additional commentary comes from Robert D. Blackwill, Michael Green, and Naima Green-Riley.

The Global Economy

Zoë Baird argues that our national security must be built on a foundation of broadly shared economic prosperity; Aditi Kumar warns against U.S. complacency in digital markets and networks, calling for an “offensive strategy” to ensure national technological primacy; Bridgewater CEO David McCormick sets out the building blocks of national renewal; and David Petraeus surveys the global pandemic, its lasting geopolitical implications, and underscores that “none of us is safe unless all of us are safe.”

Foreign Policy in 2021

Madeleine Albright sees “borderless challenges” in her foreign policy priorities for 2021, to be addressed through partnerships and American reengagement with the international community; Peter Feaver explores the “high cards” that a potential Trump second administration or a first term Biden Administration could have to play in 2021; Jane Harman stresses the value of a neglected intelligence infrastructure, saying that “only with good intelligence can we hope to craft the foreign policy we need;” Kay Bailey Hutchison, assessing U.S. security challenges in 2021 and beyond, shares her perspective on NATO, COVID-19, terrorism, and power competitions with Russia and China; Wolfgang Ischinger believes that Germany’s best future lies in its role as a leader in Europe, confident in its power yet still part of a coalition. Additional contributions come from John McLaughlin, Torrey Taussig, and Philip Zelikow.

Domestic & International (Dis)Order: A Strategic Response will be launched at an Aspen Institute online event on Thursday, October 29 from 10:00-11:30am ET. Panelists include: Nicholas Burns, Zoë Baird, Ertharin Cousin, Diana Farrell, Naima Green-Riley, Jane Harman, Anja Manuel, Joseph Nye, Tom Pritzker, Torrey Taussig, Philip Zelikow. Attendees are invited to register here.


The Aspen Strategy Group’s mission is to convene decision makers in resolutely non-partisan public and private forums to address key foreign policy challenges facing the United States. The ASG organizes its annual Summer Workshop in Aspen along with Track II dialogues with Brazil, China, Europe, and India. It also presents the annual Aspen Security Forum, a three-and-a-half-day public conference that engages current and former senior U.S. administration officials, conservatives and liberals, to take part in discussions on the most vital national security challenges of our time. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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