An Open World | 2020 | Events

An Open World: How America Can Win the Contest for Twenty-First-Century Order
Rebecca Lissner
Rebecca Lissner
US Naval War College
October 28, 2020
Virtual event


This ambitious and incisive book presents a new vision for American foreign policy and international order at a time of historic upheaval. The United States global leadership crisis is not a passing shock created by the Trump presidency or COVID-19, but the product of forces that will endure for decades. Amidst political polarization, technological transformation, and major global power shifts, Lissner and Rapp-Hooper convincingly argue, only a grand strategy of openness can protect American security and prosperity despite diminished national strength. Disciplined and forward-looking, an openness strategy would counter authoritarian competitors by preventing the emergence of closed spheres of influence, maintaining access to the global commons, supporting democracies without promoting regime change, and preserving economic interdependence. The authors provide a roadmap for the next president, who must rebuild strength at home while preparing for novel forms of international competition. Lucid, trenchant, and practical, An Open World is an essential guide to the future of geopolitics.


Rebecca Lissner is an Assistant Professor in the Strategic and Operational Research Department at the U.S. Naval War College. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Perry World House, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Brady-Johnson Predoctoral Fellow at Yale University's International Security Studies, and Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellow. Rebecca's research interests focus on international security and American foreign policy. Her first book, co-authored with Mira Rapp-Hooper, is An Open World: How America Can Win the Contest for Twenty-First-Century Order; she is also working on a book manuscript that examines how military interventions shape great powers' grand strategies. Rebecca’s academic writing has been published or is forthcoming in Political Science Quarterly, International Security, the Texas National Security Review, Survival, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and International Peacekeeping. Her policy writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Washington Quarterly,  and The Atlantic, among other publications. Rebecca received an AB in Social Studies from Harvard University and a MA and PhD in Government from Georgetown University.