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James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair

Expertise

U.S. foreign and defense policy; international security; globalization; Congress; domestic politics of U.S. foreign policy; public opinion.

Programs

Roundtable Series on America’s Governability Crisis , Renewing America Roundtable Series

Bio

James M. Lindsay is senior vice president, director of studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg chair at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) where he oversees the work of the more than six dozen fellows in the David Rockefeller Studies Program. He is a leading authority on the American foreign policymaking process and the domestic politics of American foreign policy.

Before returning to CFR in 2009, Dr. Lindsay was the inaugural director of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin, where he held the Tom Slick chair for international affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. From 2003 to 2006, he was vice president, director of studies and Maurice R. Greenberg chair at CFR. He previously served as deputy director and senior fellow in the foreign policy studies program at the Brookings Institution. From 1987 until 1999, he was a professor of political science at the University of Iowa.

From 1996 to 1997, Dr. Lindsay was director for global issues and multilateral affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. He has also served as a consultant to the United States Commission on National Security / 21st Century (Hart-Rudman Commission) and as a staff expert for the United States Institute of Peace's congressionally mandated Task Force on the United Nations.

Dr. Lindsay has written widely on various aspects of American foreign policy and international relations. His book with Ivo H. Daalder, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (Brookings Institution Press, 2003), was awarded the 2003 Lionel Gelber Prize, named a finalist for the Arthur S. Ross Book Award, and selected as a top book of 2003 by the Economist. His other books include Agenda for the Nation (with Henry J. Aaron and Pietro S. Nivola, Brookings Institution Press, 2003), which was named an "Outstanding Academic Book of 2004" by Choice Magazine; and Congress and the Politics of U.S. Foreign Policy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994). He has also contributed articles to the op-ed pages of many major newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. He writes the blog, The Water's Edge, which discusses the politics of American foreign policy and the domestic underpinnings of American global power.

Dr. Lindsay holds an AB in economics and political science from the University of Michigan and an MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University. He has been a fellow at the Center for International Affairs and the Center for Science and International Affairs, both at Harvard University. He is a recipient of the Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs and an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Lindsay was born in Winchester, Massachusetts in 1959 and lives in the Washington, DC, suburbs.

Featured Publications

All Publications

Podcast

The World Next Year: 2015

In 2015: low oil prices affect economies worldwide; a new dawn begins for Afghanistan and Pakistan; tough economic times might have political repercussions; and a global debate intensifies over technology, privacy, and national security.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

Recent Activity from The Water's Edge

Events

Roundtable Series on America’s Governability Crisis

Director: James M. Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair
April 27, 2012—Present

The Roundtable Series on America's Governability Crisis focuses on the challenge of governing effectively during a time of sharp partisan polarization in Washington. The series seeks to examine the challenges that domestic division poses to developing and executing sound fiscal, economics, defense, and foreign policies. The series is held as part of the Renewing America initiative, which considers how policies at home will directly influence the economic and military strength of the United States and its ability to act in the world.

Renewing America Roundtable Series

Director: James M. Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair
July 1, 2011—Present

Part of CFR's Renewing America initiative, this roundtable series brings high-level attention to homegrown challenges to U.S. national security. Meetings in this series are led by individual CFR fellows and examine how policies at home will directly influence the economic and military strength of the United States and its ability to act in the world.

CFR Events

Session I: The Global Debate on the ITU and Internet Governance 

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Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama

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DC Fellows' Book Launch Series--By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World

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CFR Fellows' Book Launch Series: No Exit from Pakistan--America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad

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No Exit from Pakistan: America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad

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A Conversation with Kerri-Ann Jones

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Campaign 2012 and Foreign Policy

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What Does the Public Really Think About Defense Spending?

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The Middle Class in an Age of Global Finance

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America’s Dysfunctional Politics

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Session One: Prospects for Democracy

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Post-Qaddafi Instability in Libya

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UK Keynote: A New Approach to Counter-Radicalization

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Closing Remarks

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Deterring a Nuclear Iran

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Understanding Anti-Americanism

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Surprise, Security, and the American Experience

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The Role of Foreign Policy in the 2004 Presidential Election

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