Millennials and U.S. Foreign Policy

Policy Forum
June 18, 2015
11:00AM to 1:00PM
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring A. Trevor Thrall, Associate Professor, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, George Mason University; and Erik Goepner, Doctoral student in public policy, George Mason University; with comments by Betsy Woodruff, Politics Reporter, The Daily Beast; Emily Ekins, Research Fellow, Cato Institute; and Aaron Schumacher, Director, International, Foreign Policy Group, and Senior Vice President, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy; moderated by Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

The Millennial Generation, those roughly 87 million men and women born between 1980 and 1997, now represent one-quarter of the U.S. population. With those on the leading edge of Millennials now hitting their mid-thirties, this cohort is becoming increasingly influential. A new study from the Cato Institute finds that the end of the Cold War, 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have imprinted Millennials with a distinct pattern of foreign policy attitudes. Millennials perceive the world to be significantly less threatening than do their elders and are more likely than earlier generations to support international cooperation than the unilateral use of military force. They may also have a permanent case of an “Iraq Aversion.”

In this special Cato policy forum, the authors, George Mason University scholars A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner, will present their findings, followed by a lively discussion on the impact that the Millennial Generation may have on U.S. foreign policy and domestic politics.