I’m Paul Fritz, Associate Professor of
Political Science at Hofstra University. Foreign policy generally doesn’t
determine the elections. This year I think it should play a much bigger role
because we have two candidates that are vastly different on a number of
critical areas that people should be paying a lot of attention to. We have one
that’s a very traditional sort of neoliberal primacy candidate, who is
talking about maintaining American alliances, maintaining American
hegemony, we have another candidate who is thinking more in transactional terms and
is questioning the value of US primacy, questioning the value of long-standing
alliances, so that the differences are quite stark right now. In the post 9-11
era, every election has to some extent been about terrorism when it comes to
foreign policy. That’s playing a little bit less of a role today in 2016
than it has in 2008 and 2012 but it’s still certainly there. You do see
other foreign policy issues like immigration, which is actually foreign
policy and domestic issue, coming together that’s getting much more
attention than it ever did in terms of ’08 or ’12 so, and I think
students are really asking many more questions about this and are much more
interested in it. It’s going to set the tone a lot of ways especially with deep policy
questions regarding the foreign policy section. The first debate is a more
general debate, we’re going to touch on all kinds of different issues of foreign
policy and security issues will be relatively small part of it but it’ll be
really our first taste of the candidates’ two perspectives in a detailed way
hopefully. I was here in 2008 and then 2012 they were both fun. 2008 was my
second year at Hofstra so it was all new to me. The excitement among the students in
2008 and 2012 was just phenomenal and I’ve had so many former students talk
about those experiences and how wonderful they were and how much they
got out of them that I expect exactly the same in 2016. I’m teaching international relations and
American foreign policy this semester and in those classes in particular going
to see what’s undergirding these candidates positions essentially what
we’re looking at are the theories that help us to understand international
politics and American foreign policy that really animates the different
policy positions we’ve seen so this is going to be a very close tie with both
of those classes that I’ll be teaching to the debate, to the election in general
I think it will be very exciting in that regard too