Argument: Majority of scholars support unconditionally meeting hostile leaders

Issue Report: Obama, meeting with hostile foreign leaders without preconditions


Mark Oppenheimer. “Let’s talk”. Boston Globe. 22 June 2008 – “among international relations scholars, there is far less controversy. Virtually all specialists agree that meetings between leaders of regimes at odds can be a good thing, and that while the circumstances of such meetings have to be right for both sides, it’s better to express an openness to them, Obama-style, than to rule them out ahead of time. Most thinkers, in the mostly liberal academy and even in conservative think tanks, are deeply skeptical that we can “isolate” our enemies by refusing to talk with them; the very idea of isolation is, to use the words of Harvard’s Graham Allison, “a radical exception and departure from the mainstream of policy under Republicans and Democrats forever, and for most of the practice of the last 2,000 years of recorded history.”