The Brief: Law School News and Events

Former Clinton Aide Envisions New 'Interconnected' Foreign Policy

Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, former director of policy planning in the State Department,
proposed a new approach to foreign policy during the Holt Lecture, with more
emphasis on development, social empowerment through technology and public-private
partnerships. Slaughter left the Obama administration in February to return to Princeton
University, where she is a professor of Politics and International Affairs.  
Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, former director of policy planning in the State Department, proposed a new approach to foreign policy during the Holt Lecture, with more emphasis on development, social empowerment through technology and public-private partnerships. Slaughter left the Obama administration in February to return to Princeton University, where she is a professor of Politics and International Affairs.
Anne–Marie Slaughter, a former aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, proposed at the Holt Lecture last April a redefinition of foreign policy in which development and social empowerment play as big a role in the future as traditional state to state diplomacy.

"To be a global leader is a far more complex task today than it has ever been. It requires more knowledge and more understanding of more actors in an interconnected world," said Slaughter, a professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and former director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department.

Slaughter, who left the Obama administration last February, said we are moving from "a world of states in which states are the primary and indeed really the only actors that matter to a world in which you still have to work very intensively in government-to-government relations, but you also have to focus on societies."

Slaughter said the shift in approach puts greater weight on development, technology as a tool for social and economic empowerment, Internet freedom, and public-private partnerships.

Slaughter praised the Obama administration for including development among its "three D's" of foreign policy, which also include defense and diplomacy. "Even listing development as one of the pillars of our foreign policy is new."

Development is crucial, said Slaughter, for combating major threats to society, such as proliferation of nuclear or biological weapons, terrorist networks and the spread of violent extremism, instability in the global economy, climate change, global pandemics, and resource scarcity.

Slaughter also stressed the importance of the often forgotten segments of society – women, youth, and entrepreneurs – in promoting conflict resolution, human rights, and democracy.

"A dollar spent on a woman reverberates through her health, her family's health, the community (and) livelihoods," she said, noting that a new model in foreign relations is confirmed daily through the uprisings in the Arab world.