Stephen Wertheim
Senior Fellow, American Statecraft Program


Stephen Wertheim is a senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a historian of U.S. foreign policy and analyzes contemporary problems in American strategy and diplomacy. Wertheim is also a visiting lecturer at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

He is the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy (Harvard University Press, 2020), which reveals how U.S. leaders, in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, decided to pursue global military dominance as an effectively perpetual project. Wertheim has published scholarly research on a range of subjects and concepts in U.S. foreign policy, including humanitarian intervention, international law, international organization, colonial empire, public opinion, and “isolationism.”

Named one of “the world’s 50 top thinkers for the Covid-19 age” by Prospect magazine, Wertheim regularly comments on current events. His essays have appeared in the Atlantic, Foreign AffairsForeign Policy, the Guardian, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. He has also appeared on C-SPAN, Deutsche Welle, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS. His commentary may be viewed here.

During the 2022-23 academic year, Wertheim was a distinguished lecturer in history at Catholic University and a visiting lecturer in law at Yale Law School. He previously held faculty positions in history at Columbia University and Birkbeck, University of London, and postdoctoral research fellowships at Princeton University and King’s College, University of Cambridge. Before coming to Carnegie, Wertheim was director of grand strategy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think-tank he co-founded in 2019.

He received a PhD from Columbia University in 2015 and an AB summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2007.

PhD, MPhil, MA; Columbia University, AB, Harvard University      

All work from Stephen Wertheim

101 Results
Making Big Changes in U.S. Foreign Policy: Opportunities and Obstacles for the Next Administration
July 23, 2024
11:00 AM — 12:00 PM EDT

A growing number of analysts argue that the era of U.S. hyperpower is over and that the country needs a strategic reorientation. But major changes in U.S. foreign policy are difficult to achieve and have occurred only rarely in history.

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In The Media
in the media
Will the NATO Alliance Survive a Second Term of Donald Trump?

Experts opine on whether the NATO alliance can survive a second presidency of Donal Trump.

· July 9, 2024
Foreign Affairs
In The Media
in the media
America Isn't Leading the World

Never in the years since the Cold War has the United States looked less like a leader of the world and more like the head of a faction — reduced to defending its preferred side against increasingly aligned adversaries

· June 11, 2024
The New York Times
In The Media
in the media
Stephen Wertheim Returns: Restraint and Retrenchment

A discussion of Ukraine, NATO, restraint, “retrenchment” and the foreign policy implications of the 2024 elections.

· May 15, 2024
Security Dilemma
In The Media
in the media
What Does America Want in Ukraine?

Washington’s current approach is a strategic cop-out—and risks making another forever war.

· May 9, 2024
Foreign Policy
In The Media
in the media
Prioritization and Primacy - A Conversation with Stephen Wertheim

From Europe to the Middle East, numerous crises have emerged during the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden.

· April 30, 2024
USP-RSIS Podcast
The United States Stepping Back From Europe Is a Matter of When, Not Whether

The younger generation is not likely to carry on President Biden’s level of commitment to a leading U.S. role in European security. So the United States stepping back from Europe is a matter of when, not whether.

· April 1, 2024
How Strong Are U.S. Interests in Defending Countries Across Europe?

This vital question looms large in Washington partly because it was not squarely debated during NATO’s enlargement.

· March 19, 2024
In The Media
in the media
A New U.S. Grand Strategy: The Case for U.S. Retrenchment Overseas, With Stephen Wertheim

A discussion on whether and where the United States should be less involved in the world.

· March 19, 2024
The President's Inbox Podcast (CFR)
In The Media
in the media
The Hard Choice of Retrenchment

A discussion on the lack of strategic focus in the Biden administration’s foreign policy and argues that genuine prioritization requires retrenchment.

· March 5, 2024
Power Problems Podcast (CATO)