Aroop Mukharji on McKinley, Asia, and America’s Rise as a Great Power

On Target: an EGF Conversation

As global news headlines race from one story to the next, the line between fact and speculation is often blurred. At the same time, the dynamics driving international relations often get ignored. On Target unpacks the most pressing issues of the day, from nuclear weapons to US foreign aid. Research fellow Zuri Linetsky invites EGF’s nonresident fellows to break down their research and apply it to today’s most critical foreign policy debates.

In this inaugural episode, Zuri’s guest is Aroop Mukharji, a historian of a period widely regarded as the dawn of expansive US foreign policy––the 1890s. Aroop sheds light on the Spanish-American War and the perceptions which drove President McKinley to annex the Philippines––a pivotal moment in America’s embrace of great power status––and how this can help us think about Washington’s decision-making today, from Afghanistan to the Pacific.


Aroop Mukharji is a nonresident fellow at EGF and an associate of the Applied History Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Aroops’s research on America’s rise as a great power in the 1890s crosses disciplinary boundaries, to incorporate political science, decision science, and psychology.

Zuri Linetsky is a research fellow at EGF, whose research focuses on US grand strategy in Asia and US security sector assistance.


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